SINGAPORE - Local arts company Teater Ekamatra, which has had to cancel two productions because of the coronavirus pandemic, has launched its first fundraising challenge.
The company hopes to raise at least $10,000, which, after matching, will translate into $40,000, as every dollar donated will be "upsized" to $4.
For every dollar donated, a private donor will match it dollar-for-dollar up to $10,000. The total amount will then be doubled through the Cultural Matching Fund set up by the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth.
Mr Mohd Fared Jainal, Teater Ekamatra's artistic director, says it has been a difficult time for the company. Two of its productions, Berak, meant to run in March, and Punggah, expected to run in April, were cancelled in the light of the pandemic.
The Straits Times had reported earlier this month (July) that the company has lost more than $200,000 as a result of Covid-19.
However, he maintains that the company is committed and "looking at how it can sustain its efforts in championing diverse voices within the polyphony of Singapore's multicultural society".
"We have been doing this urgent work for over 30 years, and it remains urgent. We want to be able to continue for another 30 years, and beyond," he says.
Funds raised will go towards supporting Teater Ekamatra's programmes, including its long-running Playwright Mentorship Programme, as well as its new Zoom play reading series, Baca Skrip. It will cover expenses such as rental and staff salaries.
Titled AMBOI!, a colloquial Malay word that expresses wonderment, the company's fundraising challenge runs until Aug 31.
Teater Ekamatra hopes to give back to donors if its reaches its fundraising target by having a mini Zoom theatre festival, featuring appearances by a star-studded lineup of guests and collaborators.
The company's director, Ms Shaza Ishak, says: "We hope this fundraising challenge, with its 1:4 feature, will inspire more giving. It's equally a challenge to ourselves to keep finding ways to carve out space for the ethnic minority voice in Singapore in the years to come."
- - The campaign is hosted on giving.sg/teater-ekamatra-ltd-/amboi.