Singaporeans more interested in arts, latest NAC survey shows

Visitors look at portraits at the Singapore History Gallery, inside the National Museum of Singapore.
Visitors look at portraits at the Singapore History Gallery, inside the National Museum of Singapore. ST PHOTO: MARCUS TAN

More Singaporeans are recognising the benefits and value of arts and culture, the national survey on arts consumption and engagement has found.

On average, 78 per cent of the population acknowledge that arts and culture help to foster a sense of belonging, community and identity, as well as inspire creativity and innovation. This was a key finding of the National Arts Council's 2015 National Population Survey on the Arts, released on Wednesday (Sept 28). The figure marks a 15 percentage point increase compared to the last survey finding in 2013.

The overall level of interest in arts and culture has also risen, with 41 per cent of respondents saying they are interested in arts and culture, the highest ever in a decade. In the last survey, only 28 per cent of those surveyed expressed interest.

With the many arts and culture events that took place during Singapore's Golden Jubilee celebrations last year, arts attendance saw a 38 percentage point increase, with 78 per cent of the population turning up to watch arts and culture events and visiting arts and culture institutions. This increase in attendance was seen across the different segments of the population, from students and people married with children, to professionals and executives as well as seniors.

Similarly, arts participation, including involvement in arts workshops and talks, rose from 13 per cent in 2013 to 28 per cent in 2015.

At the press briefing on the survey results, the arts council also highlighted its upcoming programmes, such as the Singapore Writers Festival in November, and its plans to refine its Major Grant scheme, which supports the development of established arts organisations.

The revised grant scheme will have three tracks of assessment and support for arts groups to choose from, so that they can better focus on what they specialise in, whether that is art-making, supporting the professional development of the industry, or reaching out to the community.