Various community arts programmes available to seniors

Various community arts programmes available to seniors

We thank Mr Khidhir Asyraf for his letter “Get seniors involved in arts in the heartlands” (Sept 11).

An integral part of the National Arts Council’s (NAC’s) work has been to encourage appreciation of and participation in the arts among Singaporeans, seniors included.

We believe that the arts enable a better quality of life and help to strengthen social bonds.

The value of the arts among seniors is validated in the findings of the Arts for Ageing Well study, funded by the NAC. It showed that seniors engaged in the arts experience a greater sense of holistic well-being.

The NAC as well as key arts and cultural organisations in Singapore have been reaching out and engaging seniors in various ways.

For instance, seniors can enjoy quality activities in arts venues and community spaces across the island, such as Victoria Theatre, public libraries and the newly opened Our Tampines Hub.

The annual Silver Arts Festival presents affordable programmes for seniors, as well as projects that encourage interaction between seniors and the younger generation.

There are also NAC platforms, such as Arts in Your Neighbourhood, that provide enriching experiences for the young and old at their doorstep.

Our efforts include working with social service organisations and artists to co-develop customised arts programmes. These wellness, intervention and rehabilitation programmes have gained interest among some of the key social service organisations.

In 2014, the NAC initiated the WeCare Arts Fund, a partnership with the Community Development Councils, to introduce more participatory programmes for social service beneficiaries. It has reached some 8,000 beneficiaries, many of whom are elderly.

Administered by the Community Development Councils, the fund will continue to enable more organisations to provide quality arts programmes for their beneficiaries, with a provision of $1 million over the next two years.

The NAC also works alongside partners such as the National Library Board, the People’s Association and Safra to bring the arts to where communities live, work and play.

We will continue to enable a broad cross-section of seniors to experience the arts in the heartlands and other social settings, providing more opportunities for inter-generational interactions, and to build up bonds through the arts.