Enriching communities through PAssionArts
Speech by Mr Baey Yam Keng, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Culture, Community and Youth & Transport at PAssionArts Night 2019, at Wisma Geylang Serai
11 December 2019
Chief Executive Director, PA, Mr Desmond Tan,
Friends of PAssionArts,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
- Good evening. It is my pleasure to be here tonight and meet with the Community Arts and Culture Club (CACC) members, grassroots volunteers, artists and partners involved in this year’s PAssionArts Festival.
- The SG Arts Plan recognises the significant role that arts play in culture-building and our community life. For the past eight years, the PAssionArts programme has brought the arts closer to Singaporeans, with more programmes being held in our neighbourhoods and common spaces. These events have brought together residents from different walks of life and created greater vibrancy in our community. All these would not have been possible without the significant contributions of our volunteers and partners. A warm thank you and congratulations to everyone who has contributed to the success of PAssionArts!
- The theme for this year’s PAssionArts Festival 2019 is ‘Our Homes, Our HeARTs’. More than 180 artists and art groups worked alongside our network of almost 90 CACCs to express their aspirations and love for Singapore through a variety of art forms at the festival. The close collaboration with our artists and partners have produced many high quality artworks, which will be recognised at the Awards ceremony later on.
- This year’s festival also saw a host of other art installations featured at 38 Festival Arts Villages island-wide, many of which were co-created with families, friends and neighbours. With your collective efforts, the Festival reached out to more than 250,000 residents across Singapore, including 48,000 young families.
Bringing the arts to the community
- I am heartened that PAssionArts has brought the arts directly into the community. The efforts by our CACCs, artists and arts groups, and your active participation have enlivened the spaces where we live, work and play.
- One excellent example of arts enriching the community is PAssionArts ‘Garden of HeARTs’. To commemorate Singapore’s Bicentennial year, this nation-wide initiative saw over 30,000 residents from all backgrounds coming together to create 200 sets of Garden of HeARTs installations. With the facilitation of local artists, residents from all over Singapore shared their dreams and hopes for Singapore through their designs and paintings.
- Ms Aarti was one of the participants who helped to co-create Garden of HeARTs. Together with her mother and children, they had painted blue birds on an orange plank at Jurong Spring’s pre-festival workshop, which she had also proudly signed. As her son was interested in sketching and painting, this was a good opportunity for all three generations of the family to enjoy the arts together. When the installation was brought to nearby Jurong Spring Community Club, they were very excited to see their artwork on display, taking many photographs and videos with it. It must have been a great sense of achievement for Ms Aarti and her family. Motivated by this, their family hopes to participate again in more arts activities like this.
- These co-created artworks are also displayed at 200 locations island-wide, ensuring that the Garden of HeARTs can be enjoyed by all.
Bonding Together through the Arts
- Apart from enlivening our communities, the arts provide many wonderful opportunities for family bonding.
- The ‘Let’s Paint Together!’ programme by PAssionArts is one such example. It is a new nation-wide mass painting programme, and participants can bring their completed art pieces home for display. Through painting, families can enjoy quality time together, while creating something together as one family.
- This was exactly the experience shared by Mdm Sharon Poh. She was here at Wisma Geylang Serai four months ago for the PAssionArts Festival for one of the ‘Let’s Paint Together!’ session. Although Mdm Poh’s children had been attending art classes, she only found out through the session that her husband was also talented at painting and mixing paints to create different colour tones! I think it is really great that families - parents and children - come together to create wonderful works.
- Once again, I would like to thank all CACC members, community artists and partners for their efforts in making quality art accessible to everyone through PAssionArts. Through these activities, Singaporeans have been able to bond with their families, find new ways to express themselves, and discover new skills and talents.
- I wish everyone a wonderful night ahead and an early merry Christmas and happy new year.
Last updated on 17 January 2020