Wanted: Public input for next 5-year plan to promote S'pore culture, history

The National Heritage Board is currently working on Our SG Heritage Plan 2.0, which will be launched in 2023. ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG

SINGAPORE - A space for crafts in Armenian Street, initiatives to promote Singapore’s history abroad and a national collection of local designs are among ideas being considered for the nation’s next heritage masterplan.

From Friday (July 29) until Nov 30, the public can submit feedback on these ideas and propose their own to the National Heritage Board (NHB).

The board is currently working on Our SG Heritage Plan 2.0 - a five-year plan for the museum and heritage sector that will be launched in 2023.

Since the start of 2021, NHB has engaged more than 650 stakeholders, partners, enthusiasts, and creatives in over 50 focus group discussions, where they pieced together a structure for the new five-year plan.

The structure comprises four focus areas - community, identity, industry and innovation.

Focusing on community, the board aims to provide more opportunities for the public to co-create content and programmes, such as engaging young people in sustaining intangible cultural practices, documenting traditional trades and picking up practices that are new to them. 

Meanwhile, the Tiger Beer logo and batik prints on the sarong kebaya of Singapore Airlines stewardesses could become part of a national collection of design icons and memorabilia - a new initiative proposed under the identity pillar.

With its industry focus, the board is exploring setting up a space for crafts and creative works in Armenian Street, where traditional artists and craftsmen can gather. 

And under the innovation pillar, the board is looking to give national monument owners more help to maintain their property sustainably.

The public may learn more about these initiatives and share their views on an interactive online portal as well as at physical booths located in seven places: Asian Civilisations Museum, Geylang Serai Heritage Gallery, Indian Heritage Centre, Malay Heritage Centre, National Gallery Singapore, National Museum of Singapore and Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall.

NHB director for strategic planning and data management Marcus Chee said that the board intends through the next five-year plan to improve the capabilities of heritage businesses and practitioners.

"NHB is a large player in the heritage scene but we do want the whole industry to grow together with us," he said.

He added that the Covid-19 pandemic also caused NHB to produce more digital content - one of several goals of the first five-year plan launched in 2018 - such as the fully digital Singapore HeritageFest in 2020.

Temi, the robot guide, giving a tour at Changi Chapel and Museum on July 29, 2022. ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG

Also part of digitalisation efforts are Temi, a robot guide that has been deployed at Changi Chapel and Museum since April, and digital recreations of historical sites and works such as the original Changi Murals. The digitalised murals will be showcased to the public at the museum early next year.

To offer feedback regarding the heritage plan, members of the public may visit an online portal to answer questions based on the four pillars, or drop off handwritten feedback at one of the seven booths.

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