Arts attendance in Singapore grows, buoyed by higher non-ticketed event attendance

Versus by Cake Theatrical Productions, part of the 2015 Singapore International Festival of Arts.
Versus by Cake Theatrical Productions, part of the 2015 Singapore International Festival of Arts.PHOTO: CAKE THEATRICAL PRODUCTIONS

SINGAPORE - Attendance at arts events here has grown in the past year, mainly buoyed by higher non-ticketed event attendance, according to the 2015 Singapore Cultural Statistics report released on Friday (Nov 20).

While non-ticketed attendance at arts events climbed to 2.8 million in 2014, up from 2 million in 2013, ticketed attendance hovered at about 1.9 million, same as the previous year. The Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, which issued the report, attributed this to "more small-scale productions, in addition to a few blockbusters".

Public arts engagement has also taken off, with community interest registering the sharpest increases last year. Membership in performing arts interest groups in community clubs and residents' committees jumped to 36,766 last year, up from 24,767 in 2013. Among this, dance and vocal groups saw the greatest spike.

Visitorship at national museums and heritage institutions slipped to 2.97 million in 2014, a slight drop from 3.21 million the year before, due to the closure of the Asian Civilisations Museum and National Museum of Singapore for revamps.

Physical visitorship to the libraries also continued to decline, falling to 25.8 million last year, marking a downward trend from a 38.7 million peak in 2009. But digital visitorship to the National Library Board's websites rose to 12.1 million from 5.8 million during the same period.

Arts education and employment numbers have grown as well, signalling the growth of the local arts scene. Overall, tertiary arts courses enrollment here edged up to 5,504, up from 5,409 in 2013, while total employment in the arts and cultural sector rose to 27,436, up from 25,329 during the same period.

jianxuan@sph.com.sg