SPH chairman Lee Boon Yang donates $100,000 to School of the Arts Endowment Fund

The School of the Arts Endowment Fund provides bursaries, scholarships and other forms of financial aid to students pursuing the arts. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The chairman of Singapore Press Holdings, Dr Lee Boon Yang, has donated $100,000 to the School of the Arts (Sota) Endowment Fund, which provides bursaries, scholarships and other forms of financial aid to students pursuing the arts.

"Sota is an unique institution in Singapore," said Dr Lee, who is the patron of the fund, in a statement on Monday (July 27). "It provides young Singaporeans with the opportunity for intensive academic and arts education.

"However, like everything that is rare, it comes at a cost. For some parents with talented children, the cost may be more than they can bear.

"This is where the Sota Endowment Fund can make a critical difference. The fund will be able to support such deserving students and enable them to realise their full potential in both academic studies and the arts."

It is Dr Lee's second donation of $100,000 to the school. The fund was started last year.

"I hope to see more organisations and individuals step forward to help make arts education more accessible and join this noble effort to nurture future generations of artists and creative professionals to enrich our society" said the former minister for information, communications and the arts who is also the chairman of Keppel Corporation.

Alumna Ashley Jane Leow, who received the Sota Bursary, said: "It eases the burden on my family as the bursary (pays for) my school fees and materials used for my art form and studies...It also gave me the confidence that my efforts as an artist were being recognised."

The 20-year-old, who is studying film on an Infocomm Media Development Authority scholarship at Boston's Emerson College in Massachusetts and Paris College of Art in France, added: "I am grateful to the donors who believe in a Sota education and support pursuit of the arts."

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Sota held its awards day ceremony online on Monday, in light of restrictions owing to the Covid-19 pandemic. The ceremony made use of videos and social media features.

The school said: "The severe economic impact from the Covid-19 pandemic has not spared the arts community. Many artists and creative practitioners face an uncertain future where their livelihoods are concerned. This may create a negative impression on the value of the arts.

"Sota is committed to rising above such short-term challenges and (working) to groom future generations of Singaporeans with a strong commitment to the arts."

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