The Business Times Budding Artists Fund Kicks Off Its First-ever Arts Camps For Underprivileged Children And Those With Disabilities

Introduction: One hundred children who have had little prior experience or opportunity to engage in the arts will get to do so at The Arts House’s first arts camp from 12 to 14 December 2005.

One hundred children who have had little prior experience or opportunity to engage in the arts will get to do so at The Arts House’s first arts camp from 12 to 14 December 2005.

Called ‘ScissorsPaperStone’, the arts camp is part of The Arts House’s Business Times Budding Artists Fund (BT BAF) programme which was launched in May this year. The Fund aims to enable children, between the ages of five and 16 years and distanced by socio-economic circumstances, to pursue their aspirations to develop artistic talents in music, dance, theatre, visual arts and theatre production.

Through this fund, The Arts House and The Business Times hope to identify and nurture these young talents through different activities, as well as engage professionals in these artistic fields to conduct training programmes for the children.

“One of the core beliefs of The Arts House and its partners for the BT BAF is that that no child with potential talent should be denied the opportunity to be part of the creative industry, even if they are distanced by socio-economic conditions or physically challenged,” said Mr. Phan Ming Yen, Director of Artistic Development at The Arts House. “As such, these arts camps aim to provide an opportunity for those who had few such occasions to engage in the various art forms and allow them to discover their innate talent previously unknown to them. At the same time, it allows us to identify and develop their talent.”

In fact, this December will not only see one but two arts camps at The Arts House.

The first, ‘ScissorsPaperStone’, is sponsored by Central Singapore Community Development Council while the second one titled ‘Tropicana Arts Camp’ is a collaboration between The Arts House, Very Special Arts Singapore (VSA) and Seagate, and aims to introduce children with disabilities to arts and crafts involving themes and materials found at the beach or in the sea.

“Art is able to reach children and youths in its non-threatening manner. It places the children and youths at ease and hence creates an environment and atmosphere to draw them out from their self-consciousness to the realisation of their talent as well as their genuine expressions.  This camp will provide an opportunity for the children to explore and develop their full potential,“ said Mr Kelvin Tan, General Manager of Central Singapore CDC.

Tropicana Arts Camp is the first time that the Arts House, Very Special Arts Singapore (VSA) and Seagate are collaborating on the unique free arts camp for children with disabilities (aged six to 16). With the help of VSA – a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote arts participation for people with disabilities, the camp hopes to expose the children to the breadth and variety of the arts through fun themes that will change every year.

“Seagate believes in equal opportunities, especially in areas of making education accessible to children. The arts camp will provide an impactful experiential lesson that is not only enjoyable, but also one that can develop the innate talents of these needy children,” said Reza Nikfar, vice president of Seagate’s Woodlands Recording Media Operations. “We’ve also encouraged our employees to serve as volunteers for the arts camp.”

These two camps are just the beginning. The BT BAF plans to conduct these camps twice every year and hopes to attract up to 100 children each time. Already plans are underway for another such camp in June 2006.

Says well-known arranger and composer Mr. Iskandar Ismail who is a member of the Fund's Board of Advisers and also on the board of directors of The Arts House:  “We hope to change the perception that the arts are only meant for a selected elite through these camps. As BT BAF aims to make arts accessible to those who otherwise cannot afford it, we hope that these camps will provide an environment for the young who have had few occasions to be involved in the arts because of their circumstances to discover what is within them and hopefully find new meanings to their lives.”

*Note to editors:

Photo-opportunities and interviews with representatives from the key organisers, partners, sponsors and children can be arranged upon request.
Visuals are also available upon request.

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Carlyn Law
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CAMPFACTS

Eligibility Criteria

The criteria for those eligible for the two arts camp are as listed below.

(a) A Singaporean or Permanent Resident between the ages of five and 12 years
(b) A full-time student receiving formal education
(c) Comes from a family whose gross household income does not exceed S$1,500 per month for families with one or two children or is less than S$1,800 per month for families with three or four children
(d) Living in a 4-room HDB flat or smaller

Alternatively, the child has to be:
(a) A Singapore citizen or Permanent Resident between the ages of five and 12 years
(b) A resident in a welfare home or a similar organisation for the less privileged

For the ScissorsPaperStone camp which is sponsored by the Central Singapore Community Development Council (CDC), the children are preferably residents or attending a school within the Central Singapore District.

ScissorsPaperStone
Date: 12 to 14 December 2005
Venue: The Arts House (1 Old Parliament Lane)
Time: 9am to 6pm on 12 & 13 Dec (Monday & Tuesday) \ 9am to 8pm on 14 Dec (Wednesday)
Organised by: The Arts House
Sponsored by: Central Singapore Community Development Council
Supported by: Creative Community Singapore

This is the first of a planned series of annual arts camps organized by BT BAF. The generic name of the camp ‘ScissorsPaperStone’ which is based on the simple game was chosen for the various imagery it connotes - a sense of play, raw material, ingenuity and elements which form the basis of creativity and the arts.

This inaugural camp is targeted at children who are five to 12 years old and will revolve around an “animal kingdom” theme and the children will discover the positive values and wonders of animals through the arts. In this three-day non-residential arts camp, the children will get to perform popular songs which are lively and easy to learn and act out through movement and music. Among the instructors conducting the camp include Kuo Po, a well known Singaporean saxophonist and performer who founded the JazzKids group. (For more information on Kuo Po, please visit http://www.kuopo.com). A nominal registration fee of $5 applies.

For details, please contact:

Angeline Cheong, Acting Senior Manager (Social Services Development)
Central Singapore Community Development Council
DID: 6370 9487 / Fax: 6370 9928
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Johnson Kee, Assistant Director (Artistic Development Department)
The Arts House
DID: 6332 6921 / Fax: 6336 3021
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Very Special Arts - Tropicana Arts Camp
Date: 19 & 20 December 2005
Venue: The Arts House (1 Old Parliament Lane)
Time: 9am to 6pm on 19 Dec (Monday) \ 9.30am to 7pm on 20 Dec (Tuesday)
Organised by: Very Special Arts Singapore and The Arts House
Sponsored by: Seagate Technology International
Supported by: Creative Community Singapore

This is the first time that the Arts House, Very Special Arts Singapore (VSA) and Seagate are collaborating on the unique free arts camp for children with disabilities (aged six to 16). The inaugural Tropicana Arts Camp aims to introduce children with disabilities to arts and crafts involving themes and materials found at the beach or in the sea. From crafting fun beachwear to beach-themed performances such as discovering the Hawaiian dance, the participants will be thoroughly immersed in beach culture during the two-day non-residential camp. A nominal registration fee of $5 applies. 

For registration details, please contact:

Theophila Chua, Project Executive
Very Special Arts Singapore
Tel: 6448 6275 / Fax: 6441 6403
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Partners & Sponsors

The Arts House at the Old Parliament

Opened in March 2004, The Arts House is Singapore’s newest arts and heritage venue where all are inspired by the arts and where the arts become a fundamental in life through a connection with artists and their works. Built in 1827, Singapore’s first Court House and former Parliament House, is the only gazetted government building designated as a multidisciplinary arts centre. At The Arts House, audiences connect with artists and arts organizations through a broad spectrum of engaging, contemporary arts and entertainment events. The Arts House is managed by Old Parliament House Limited, a not-for-profit full-service arts management company limited by guarantee.

In May 2005, The Arts House and The Business Times launched the Business Times Budding Artists Fund (BT BAF) which has a Board of Advisors to ensure corporate governance. This board comprises a board of directors from The Arts House, Alvin Tay - editor of The Business Times, Iskandar Ismail - well-known local arranger, composer and performer, and Clara-Lim Tan who is vice-principal of BeattySecondary School and has much experience in arts education. Visit www.theartshouse.com.sg 

Central SingaporeCommunity Development Council (CDC)
Established in November 1997, the CDC is a local administration that works closely with the local grassroots oragnisations, town councils, voluntary welfare organisations, schools and other groups to facilitate the delivery of a wide and comprehensive range of community and public service to the Central Singapore community. Its mission is to help realise the vision of a cohesive, harmonious, self-reliant, vibrant and people-centred Central Singapore Community, achieved through community programmes and projects. The Central Singapore District comprises Ang Mo Kio, Bishan-Toa Payoh, Jalan Besar and Tanjong Pagar Group Representation Constituencies (GRCs). Visit www.centralsingapore.org.sg

Creative Community Singapore (CCS)
A key initiative of the Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts (MICA), CCS aims to encourage Singaporeans from all walks of life to unleash their creative potential in the area of the arts, design and media sectors. To achieve this, CCS seeks to fund bold, fresh projects that inspire creativity and promote community entrepreneurship. Ideally, projects should involve individuals, enterprises, agencies and community groups, with a common goal of strengthening community bonding and identity.

Seagate
Seagate is the worldwide leader in the design, manufacturing and marketing of hard disc drives, providing products for a wide-range of Enterprise, Desktop, Mobile Computing, and Consumer Electronics applications. Seagate's business model leverages technology leadership and world-class manufacturing to deliver industry-leading innovation and quality to its global customers, and to be the low cost producer in all markets in which it participates. The company is committed to providing award-winning products, customer support and reliability to meet the world's growing demand for information storage. Seagate can be found around the globe and at www.seagate.com

Very Special Arts Singapore (VSA)
VSA is a non-profit organisation whose mission is to promote arts participation for people with disabilities. It is affiliated with the National Council of Social Service in Singapore and VSA Arts in the United States. It runs numerous programmes for children, youths and adults with disabilities throughout the year. Major events on its calendar include camps for children and youths, a major art exhibition at Raffles City, an art competition for children and youths and a seasonal greeting card project (in partnership with Society for the Physically Disabled). Visit www.vsa.org.sg