The Singapore Arts Festival 2009

The Singapore Arts Festival first began in 1977 as a national arts festival celebrating the local arts activities of Singapore's diverse communities. Over the last three decades, the Festival, organised by the National Arts Council, has played a symbiotic and catalytic role in the development of the artistic and cultural life of Singapore. It has helped to transform the city's cultural landscape, turning it into one of Asia's major cultural capitals today. It has influenced the work of artists and has since generated a growing public demand for the arts, spawning new cultural platforms, events, and movements that help underpin the lively cultural scene in present Singapore.

Today, the Festival is characterised by a bold, progressive and innovative spirit, committed to commissioning new works by Singapore, Asian and international artists; investing in works that bridge disciplines, cultures, language and geographical boundaries; exploring, among others, contemporary issues related to history, memory, migration, and urban living; discovering emergent and promising artists; and encouraging regional and international artistic exchanges and collaborations. The Festival also features an extensive programme of free outdoor performances island-wide, bringing the arts to the doorsteps of Singaporeans.

Placing festival networking as an important process of cultural dialogue and festival collaborations, the Festival championed and co-founded the Association of Asian Performing Arts Festivals in 2004, and has since served as its chair and secretariat, overseeing a membership of 30 organisations in the Asia, Europe, America and Australasia.

The Singapore Arts Festival remains the largest singular event on Singapore's arts calendar, inviting artists from more than 20 countries, offering more than 400 activities and attracting up to 500,000 attendances – a 4-week infusion of performances and events that inspires and captures the public imagination of the city.

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