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Utilisation of the Cultural Medallion Fund

Response to parliamentary question on the utilisation of the Cultural Medallion Fund by Cultural Medallion recipients

Oral PQ 5464. Ms Usha Chandradas: To ask the Minister for Culture, Community and Youth (a) of the past 132 Cultural Medallion recipients, how many have fully utilised their entitlements to access cash grants from the Cultural Medallion Fund; (b) what percentage of such grant entitlements remain unutilised; (c) what is the number of recipients who have not utilised the grant at all; (d) whether there is a time limit for the utilisation of grants; and (e) how is the entitlement dealt with if a recipient is unable to or does not utilise their entitlement within their lifetime.

  1. The Cultural Medallion (CM) is Singapore’s highest national arts accolade, recognising individuals for their artistic excellence and contributions that have been important in shaping Singapore’s arts and cultural landscape. To date, there are 135 recipients of this award, including three who were recently conferred the award in 2023. Although the Cultural Medallion Award was established in 1979, the CM Fund was only introduced later in 2001. It is available to all CM recipients, including those awarded before 2001. The fund aims to support the continuous development of our CM recipients’ artistic practices and their commitment to nurturing the next generation of artists and audiences. It also seeks to positively impact the Singapore community through the projects undertaken by the recipients both nationally and internationally.
  2. Each CM recipient can access up to $80,000 from the CM Fund throughout their lifetime to support arts-related projects that meet any of the following objectives. First, community outreach such as workshops and community showcases. Second, for the CM recipient to develop their artistic practice and craft, such as through further studies and residencies. Next, to facilitate knowledge transfer and develop other local artists, including mentoring younger artists. And finally, for profiling and documentation of CM recipient’s work, such as through publications, exhibitions, or other showcases.
  3. The Fund has supported many projects initiated by the recipients, ranging from the documentation and creation of new works to the development of other artists.
  4. For example, Dr Tay Teow Kiat, a 1993 CM recipient, used the CM Fund to support the 10th Anniversary Opening and Closing concerts for the 2023 Singapore Chinese Music Festival. The Festival showcased Singapore’s diverse music tapestry and provided a platform for our local composers to present their compositions. Likewise, Mr Djamal Tukimin, a CM recipient in 2017, used the CM fund to promote his literary works and translate them into English. This enabled him to reach out to more readers locally and internationally and deepen their understanding of Singapore’s literary heritage and culture. The 1986 CM Recipient, Prof Wong Yoon Wah, and the 1996 CM recipient, Ms Dan Ying, used their funds to jointly organise The Southern Literary Journey. They held multi-lingual poetry events in Singapore and Malaysia, which provided opportunities to strengthen cultural ties between the two countries.
  5. To date, 71% of the living CM recipients have partially or fully used their CM Funding. Of the CM recipients who had passed away and were eligible for the Fund, 59% had partially or fully utilised their CM Funding. NAC supports and works closely with the CM recipients to help them conceptualise their proposals and use the funds for their projects.
Last updated on 11 January 2024