Nationwide community arts festival kicks off on Saturday

SINGAPORE - The open field next to the Jurong East MRT station was filled with song and dance on Saturday evening (June 18), as some 3,000 residents kicked off this year's PAssionArts Festival.

The nationwide community festival returns for the fifth year until July 31 and will feature the most facade art projects. There will be 160 of these large-scale installations springing up at Housing Board blocks around the island in the lead up to National Day.

The first piece of facade art, a work by nearly 100 Yuhua residents, was unveiled at Block 131, Jurong East Street 31, across the road where the launch of the festival was held.

Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, who was the guest of honour for the Saturday event, said this year's PAssionArts Festival will create more opportunities for Singaporeans to take part in the arts at the community level.

"This year the PA Fest is bigger than ever before," he said, adding that people are "expressing our community spirit through the arts".

"This year is a bit special... It's the first year in the next 50 years for Singapore," he said. "If you look at the art, most of it is happy, optimistic, looking to the future."