Our SG Arts Plan Gets Increased Funding After Successful 2023

March 11, 2024



Elle Yap

In an attempt to push for an accessible and recognizable culture economy, Singapore will be giving additional funds to its flagship five-year arts program. Minister of State for Culture, Community and Youth Low Yen Ling announced the injection of funds during a presentation in the country’s parliament on Thursday, March 7. During the speech, she said that over S$100 million will be added in the Our SG Arts Plan as the government pushes for developing a local “arts ecosystem” for the community. 

“This hundred million dollars provided is on top of the annual budget for arts and heritage,” Low said. “And [the additional funding] will go to number one, expanding art access to Singaporeans. Number two, developing our artists and arts workers in Singapore. And number three, building a robust arts ecosystem where art companies and artists thrive.”

Our SG Arts Plan (2023 – 2027)

The Our SG Arts Plan 2023-2027 is a five-year initiative by the Singaporean government. The program was made to ensure the continued progress of the country as a future cultural giant. Its plans include creating a shared culture that can connect its society together with distinctive local art. It’s also seen as a collaboration between local artists and businesses, for a potential economic boost from art creation. 

“Our SG Arts Plan (2023 – 2027) seeks to address pressing challenges, pave the way for professionals to build a viable career in the arts and enable audiences to enjoy and be inspired by the arts. We see this masterplan as a living cultural policy document, evolving as the needs of the arts community change, as new partners in the public and private sectors come onboard, and as we learn novel ways to engage audiences,” the official document said. 

Much inroads can be pointed out towards the successful implementation of the Our SG Arts Plan. The most prominent success story would be the recently-successful Singapore Art Fair. Reports from different organizations say that this year’s ART SG were beholden to record sales. Many galleries were able to sell millions of dollars’ worth of art despite competition from markets like Hong Kong. 

The Local Art Scene Thrives

But beyond the sale of art, the focus of Our SG Arts Plan appears to be cultural as well. The National Arts Council is receiving requests for funding from local groups as pivoting their artistry towards digital or expansion. 

Local organizations like Lao Sai Tao Yuan Teochew Opera Troupe are using the funding to seek fresh blood. They will be doing different workshops at school to promote the opera. They’ll also be developing a mobile game that allows individuals to make their own opera troupe. 

Self-employed artists are also receiving a boost with the funding opportunities. Beyond the funding itself, different training programs are also being offered for self-employed individuals to help them achieve success. 

“NAC will strengthen the support for Arts SEPs to boost their prospects and chances of success. We will enhance and increase their training opportunities to enable them to pursue their profession with better career stability,” Low said.

Exterior of the Singapore Art Museum. Photo by Choo Yut Shing. Source: Flickr.
Exterior of the Singapore Art Museum. Photo by Choo Yut Shing. Source: Flickr.

The government itself is also using the funding to promote better mental health care for its citizens. Different arts programs aimed for seniors have been created, for example, to help with their cognitive maintenance. 

“Through these initiatives, we hope to make the arts and heritage accessible to all Singaporeans across different age groups, ensuring meaningful engagement with our cultural heritage,” Low said of Our SG Arts Plan. 

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