Funding arts and charity

Many in the audience laughed long and loud when theatre actor Sebastian Tan cracked a Hokkien joke on stage.

He was performing in 881 The Musical by the Toy Factory Productions. Amongst the audience were some 103 elderly folks from three charity organisations, namely AWWA Community Home, Lions Befrienders and SWAMI Home Help Service.

They were invited to catch 881 The Musical, thanks to the launch of the SPH Foundation Arts Fund on April 20. Most of them were at the Esplanade Theatre for the first time.

The objective of the Fund is to give the underprivileged the opportunity to enjoy and appreciate the arts. At the same time, the Fund will also help local arts groups to produce quality productions and reach out to more audiences.

The SPH Foundation Arts Fund has set aside $100,000 to fund at least four arts groups for a start, with 881being the first arts production to benefit from the Fund. Other arts groups which will be supported by the Fund this year include i Theatre, The Theatre Practice and the Singapore Repertory Theatre.

Prior to the show, Dr Tony Tan, Chairman of SPH Foundation, unveiled the logo of the Fund at a pre-show reception, in the company of VIP guests including Ms Jennie Chua, Chairman of the Community Chest and Mr Edmund Cheng, Chairman of the National Arts Council, together with guests from the arts and charity sectors.

Speaking at the launch, Dr Tan said: "Our sponsorship can ease the financial burden of our arts groups, so that they can concentrate on honing their craft. And by bringing new audiences to them, we can help expand their reach in the community."

He added:"We want to provide more opportunities for our charities and their beneficiaries to enjoy and appreciate our arts and culture. A good arts performance is meant for all. It is not elitist or exclusive to certain segments of the population only."


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