Аrts and culture strategies for activating neighbourhood public spaces: bringing arts to the heartlands of singapore

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In 2011, the National Arts Council (NAC) Singapore started an initiative of establishing the ‘Community Arts and Culture Nodes’ in Singapore’s heartlands that extend beyond the traditional art venues, such as museums, art galleries or theatres to incorporate various public spaces and facilities. The objectives of this initiative are to provide greater access to arts through regular quality arts programmes in the local housing neighbourhoods, to activate neighbourhood public spaces through arts and culture and to increase the opportunities for social interaction and community bonding. 25 of such nodes are envisioned to be established island-wide by 2025. With reference to ‘Community Arts and Culture Nodes’ strategy, this paper discusses the capacities of five Singaporean neighbourhoods to create culturally rich and vibrant environments through unique art experiences and participation opportunities for the local residents. The key focus is the neighbourhood spatial opportunity analysis that involves mapping and assessing available neighbourhood spaces, their characteristics, strengths and weaknesses, as well as the symbiotic relationship between the quality and capacity of space design and programming in relation to arts and culture events and activities. The process and findings of neighbourhood analysis provide a guide for choosing the most suitable spaces for the arts as well as the strategies to activate community spaces through arts and culture activities.
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