The Singapore Heritage Festival, an island-wide celebration of Singapore's heritage and culture slated to start on June 19, is still taking place. Albeit, virtually. Thanks to a new Digitalisation Fund for the arts and culture sector, you can experience the festival from home through virtual tours and culinary workshops.
What is the New Digitalisation Fund?
The heritage festival is just one of several projects that will benefit from the fund, a part of the Government's $55 million Arts and Culture Resilience Package announced on March 26. The package aims to help offset the cost of rent, wages, and training of businesses and individual in the arts industry.
The fund will help make museums' exhibitions and collections accessible online, as well as support the digital presentation (or live streaming) of large-scale events on Singapore's arts calendar, such as the Singapore Writers Festival, Singapore Art Week, and Singapore International Festival of the Arts. The latter was slated to take place from May 15 to May 31 but has been postponed in light of Covid-19. Additionally, there will also be rental waivers for two months for tenants on properties owned by the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY).
Grace Fu, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth said in Parliament on April 7: "Since the onset of Covid-19, we have heard many calls for help from the arts and culture sector. They are worried about their livelihoods and careers, as all events and activities have been cancelled or postponed."
The Digitalisation Fund aims to soften the blow caused by the mass cancellations that involve not just the producers, but also the actors, set designers, and everyone else involved in the productions. Additionally, the package will also support a Digital Presentation Grant for the Arts, which entails groups or individuals up to $20,000 for each project. The ministry aims to support more than 200 new digital projects through the fund.
Another initiative to help the local arts and culture scene is the Pasar Glamour Art Aid, a campaign aimed to raise $100,000 for an emergency relief fund. The initiative, helmed by Singaporean actress Janice Koh, aims to help Singapore's performing arts community weather the Covid-19 storm and to provide immediate and urgent financial assistance (one-off $500 grants) to Singapore and PR freelancers working in the live performing arts scene here.
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Pasar Glamour is launching an emergency relief fund called Pasar Glamour Art Aid, to help freelancers in the performing arts cope with job losses and lost income due to Covid-19. We will match every donation to the fund, dollar-for-dollar, up to $50,000, to provide one-off grants of $500 to freelance practitioners who are struggling to make ends meet right now. We’re able to do this thanks to your strong support at our charity sale last year, and with the help a kind donor. If you are able and willing, please help us raise $100,000 to support up to 200 arts practitioners, who need this relief grant. Every little counts! And if you are a performing arts practitioner, who needs financial support, please check if you’re eligible to apply. The work of our Singapore performing arts community, both on stage and off, play a vital role in our cultural life and creativity, and they have given voice to our stories and experiences. We want to do our part to help our arts scene weather this storm. We hope you will join us. xo Janice, Pam & Petrina. Link to the @pasarglamour Art Aid campaign in our bio. #pasarglamourartaid #helpperformingarts #savetheartssg #sgunited #sgarts #pasarglamour #rayofhope
On an individual level, you can also help by donating to your local theatre group, who are standing in solidarity to tide the current situation.