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SPH Foundation Launches Arts Fund (BT)

BackApr 21, 2011

THE theatre, once seen as the domain of the elite, has now been made even more accessible to Singaporeans with the help of the newly launched Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) Foundation Arts Fund.

Launched yesterday at The Esplanade Theatre, the fund aims to give the underprivileged the opportunity to enjoy and appreciate the arts.

The fund will also help local arts groups to produce quality productions and reach out to more audiences as Singaporeans become increasingly engaged in the blossoming local arts scene.

'We want to provide more opportunities for our charities and their beneficiaries to enjoy and appreciate our arts and culture,' said Tony Tan, chairman of SPH and the SPH Foundation. 'A good arts performance is meant for all. It is not elitist or exclusive to certain segments of the population only.'

For a start, $100,000 has been set aside to fund at least four local arts groups.

The first arts production to benefit from the Fund is Toy Factory Productions' 881 The Musical, which was performed at the launch to the enjoyment and amusement of the audience.

Seated amongst them were 103 elderly members from AWWA Community Home, Lions Befrienders and SWAMI Home Help Service, the first beneficiaries to be treated to an arts performance with the launch of the fund.

This is not the first time SPH has combined the arts and charity - two key areas of SPH's and SPH Foundation's corporate social responsibility efforts, according to Dr Tan.

The Gift of Music series was launched more than five years ago to bring local arts productions to people in the heartlands, and provide a platform for home-grown artists to showcase their talent and broaden their appeal.

SPH has also groomed literary talents in Singapore through its sponsorship of the Singapore Writers Festival and the SPH-NAC Golden Point Award.

'We are grateful to SPH Foundation for giving our beneficiaries the opportunity to enjoy and appreciate the arts,' said Jennie Chua, chairman of Community Chest.

Audiences can look forward to productions from i Theatre, The Theatre Practice and the Singapore Repertory Theatre, the other three arts groups which will be supported by the Fund this year.