Do the arts, such as music and literature, really play a significant part in Singaporean society?

YES: The arts play a highly significant role in nurturing and enriching Singaporean society.

  1. The arts are vital in educating Singaporean youths holistically and an increasing number of educational institutions and programs have allocated significant resources towards promoting the arts in students.

  2. Commercialization of the arts has contributed significantly to the employment of Singaporeans and the growth of many local businesses in related industries such as events management, exhibition curators and advertising agencies.

  3. In recent years, greater government funding and involvement in nurturing the arts has seen the growth and development of many talented local practitioners, who have contributed significantly to developing an arts culture informed by authentic Singaporean values, themes and voices.

NO: The arts are peripheral to Singaporean society and may be underappreciated despite their potential value.

  1. The arts may be increasingly recognized by educators and their institutions as integral to holistic development but many Singaporean youths themselves are less enthusiastic and prefer to specialize in traditional science or business-related courses that are perceived as more commercially viable.

  2. Many local businesses have grown due to the commercialization of the arts in Singapore but these businesses focus mainly on the presentation and promotion of art events rather than creation of art, thereby furthering only the economic rather than aesthetic profile of the arts.

  3. Despite positive support by the authorities, the mass media has been too successful in enthralling the masses with foreign artists and their work, significantly undermining attempts to develop an authentic Singaporean artistic identity.