Making Arts Education More Accessible

Watch the video: ‘SOTA Arts Development Award’.

Dwi Tiara, a recipient of the Arts Development Award, with her SOTA buddy Aum Sebin

In order to make the arts more accessible to young people in Singapore, the School of the Arts (SOTA) officially launched the Arts Development Award (ADA) on 30 July 2018. This award, funded by Temasek Foundation Nurtures, is offered to Primary 4 to 6 students from low-income families who show artistic potential. Covering course fees, materials, costumes and transport costs, the award allows these children to be exposed to, and enriched by an early arts education. Additionally, award recipients will each be paired up with a “buddy” — a SOTA student who will mentor and support them in their academic, artistic, and personal growth.

In an interview with TODAY, Ms. Jana Ismail, mother of ADA recipient Dwi Tiara Haqiem Mohd Fazel, said that if not for the Award, she would not have been able to sign her daughter up for an art class. She had lost her husband to cancer five years ago, and is now working part-time to support her family. The Award provides Tiara with the opportunity to attend weekly art lessons for a year.

Currently, the Award is offered to pupils who demonstrate an interest or potential in dance or visual arts. However, SOTA’s principal, Lim Geok Cheng, has said that the school is “looking at expanding it to include other art forms” in the future.

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To increase interest in the arts and inculcate meaningful life values in children, SOTA has developed two new initiatives for primary school students—the Children’s Theatre and the Play with SOTA Student Ensembles.

In the former, SOTA students showcase theatre performances centering on values such as resilience and empathy, as well as on current issues such as our ageing society and bullying. Before and after their performance, SOTA students engage in discussions with the primary school children, and exchange valuable learning points.

In the latter, primary school children are invited to rehearse with SOTA’s music ensemble to increase their awareness of the range and possibilities of music-making. In SOTA’s recent rehearsal of the Percussio showcase, over 370 primary school students who attended had the opportunity to learn about body percussion.

About Temasek Foundation Nurtures

Temasek Foundation Nurtures is one of the six non-profit philanthropic organisations set up by Temasek and sponsored through Temasek Trust.

Temasek Foundation Nurtures is a Singapore-based non-profit philanthropic organisation that funds and supports programmes focusing on education and professional development, with the aim of building a community of passionate learner who contribute to society. The Foundation develops talent and foster learning and growth, especially for our young in areas such as music, arts, sports, math and science, engineering and technology.