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Bringing Arts into the Neighbourhoods: Choosing the Right Space and Strategy

Authors:

Abstract

This guide is designed to support the growth and establishment of arts where people live, work, and play. It aims to help sustain the efforts to increase diverse touch-points for communities to encounter the arts, strengthen capability among stakeholders to develop a sense of community in neighbourhoods through the arts, and enhance a sense of place between residents and shared spaces through a diversity of arts and cultural experiences. The content presented in this guide represents the synthesis of a study conducted at selected Arts and Culture Nodes. The Arts and Culture Nodes initiative, launched by the National Arts Council in 2012, establishes an island-wide network of arts touch-points within neighbourhoods to provide all Singaporeans with greater access to quality arts, bring vibrancy and stronger identity to public spaces, and increase opportunities for community participation and bonding through the arts. Such touch-points go beyond formal arts venues (typically found in the city centre) and involve partnerships with various institutions such as libraries, government agencies, civic centres, community and recreational clubs and corporate organisations that play a key role in their respective neighbourhood.
Bringing Arts
into the
Neighbourhoods
Choosing the Right Space and Strategy
Bringing A rts into the Nei ghbourhoods:
Choosin g the Right Space a nd Strategy
Published by the National Arts Council
90 Goodman Road, Goodman Arts Centre,
Singapore 439053.
© 2019 National Arts Council
© Zdravko Trivic, Nina Mascarenhas,
Quyen Duong, Beng Kiang Tan &
Rita Padawangi or individual contributors
Centre for Sustainable Asian Cities (CSAC),
School of Design and Environment
and National University of Singapore.
All rights reserved; no parts of this
publication may be reproduced, stored in
retrieval system, or transmitted in any
form or by any means, electronic,
mechanical, photocopying, recording,
or otherwise without prior written
permission of the publisher.
The publisher does not warrant or
assume any legal responsibility for the
publication’s contents. All opinions
expressed in this publication are of the
authors and do not necessarily reflect
those of the National Arts Council and
the National University of Singapore.
All images provided are by courtesy
of authors unless stated otherwise.
All quotes presented are taken from the
focus group discussions or interviews with
local artists and art event organisers and
paraphrased for the purpose of this guide,
with the written consent obtained from
each participant.
ISBN: 978-981-14-1356-8
Bringing Arts
into the
Neighbourhoods
Choosing the Right Space and Strategy
by
Zdravko Trivic,
Nina Mascarenhas,
Quyen Duong,
Beng Kiang Tan &
Rita Padawangi
for the
National Arts Council
This guide is an outcome of a research collaboration between the National Arts Council (NAC) and the
Centre for Sustainable Asian Cities (CSAC) at the School of Design and Environment (SDE), National University of Singapore (NUS).
Contents
About this Guide ............................................................................................ 3
Key Concepts: Creating the Place, Fostering an Arts Ecology ........................ 4
Steps, Tools and Strategies ................................................................................ 5
Three Key Questions ............................................................................................ 6
Choose the Right Space
Step 1: Articulate Your Vision ............................................................................. 8
Step 2: Consult Secondary Sources to Understand the Neighbourhood .... 10
Step 3: Visit the Neighbourhood and Evaluate Shortlisted Spaces ............ 12
Filter 1: General Spatial Conditions ................................................... 13
Filter 2: Pedestrian Activity .................................................................. 21
Filter 3: Suitability Criteria .................................................................. 30
Checklists for Neighbourhood Space Evaluation .......................................... 40
Choose the Right Strategy
What can Space do for the Arts? ...................................................................... 44
What can the Arts do for a Space? ................................................................... 46
What can Arts and Space do for the Community, and vice versa? ................ 47
Footnotes ......................................................................................................... 50
References ....................................................................................................... 51
North-East
North
Central
West
East
Libraries
Gardens and Parks
Community Clubs and Civic Centres
Recreational Clubs
Corporate Organisations
Others
Arts and Culture Nodes As of May 2019
The island-wide network of arts touch-points within neighbourhoods
will continue to evolve.
For a current listing, click here.1
Companion
Guide:
To be used
collectively or
independently,
click to
download.23
About this Guide
This guide is designed to support the growth and establishment
of arts where people live, work, and play. It aims to help sustain
the efforts to increase diverse touch-points for communities to
encounter the arts, strengthen capability among stakeholders
to develop a sense of community in neighbourhoods through the arts,
and enhance a sense of place between residents and shared spaces
through a diversity of arts and cultural experiences.
The content presented in this guide represents the synthesis of
a study conducted at selected Arts and Culture Nodes. The Arts and
Culture Nodes initiative, launched by the National Arts Council
in 2012, establishes an island-wide network of arts touch-points
within neighbourhoods to provide all Singaporeans with greater
access to quality arts, bring vibrancy and stronger identity to public
spaces, and increase opportunities for community participation
and bonding through the arts.
Such touch-points go beyond formal arts venues (typically found
in the city centre) and involve partnerships with various institutions
such as libraries, government agencies, civic centres, community and
recreational clubs and corporate organisations that play a key role in
their respective neighbourhood.
Space
Specif ic to a
Neighbourhood
Arts
Processes
Universal to Art s
Production
Schools
Libraries
Public Space
Community
Centres
Participants
Volunteers
Organisers
Artists Rehearsal
Exhibition
Performance
Learn
Practice
People
Roles
Universal to Art s
Production
Creative Placemaking
Arts and Culture Ecology
54
Key Concepts:
Creating the Place,
Fostering an Arts Ecology
Neighbourhoods provide valuable spatial and human resources for
arts and culture. These opportunities are however, often untapped.
Good overall quality of space is essential for social activities
such as arts and cultural activities.3 Therefore, careful selection
of spaces in the neighbourhood and understanding the ways
communities use them are critical.
The diagram below summarises the key elements of
a neighbourhood arts and culture ecology. There are numerous
possibilities for intersections between stakeholders, arts
processes and spaces.
Creative Placemaking
Creative placemaking is the process of bringing
positive impacts to the community through a
symbiotic relationship between arts, space, and
people.4 Creative placemaking may or may not
involve permanent physical changes to
neighbourhood spaces, but it always involves
enhancing the sense of belonging and attachment
to the neighbourhood and community.5
Arts and Culture Ecology
Neighbourhood arts and culture ecology refers
to a comprehensive network of physical
infrastructure (space), people, and organisations
established to support the regular creation,
practice, performance and exhibition of the arts.
It offers a useful means to leverage the symbiotic
clustering of creative resources and activities
within the neighbourhood.6
Steps, Tools
and Strategies
This guide offers a systematic approach to evaluate key spatial
conditions and user activities in the neighbourhood and eases
the process of choosing conducive settings for community arts
and cultural activities. Accordingly, it proposes steps, tools and
strategies for anyone keen to build a strong ecology of arts and
culture spaces, programmes and communities to boost vibrant
public life and creative activities in the neighbourhood.
The overarching aim of this guide is to:
Whom this guide is for
 Organisers of community arts
who want to understand the
spatial capacities of their
neighbourhoods (within and
beyond their own premises),
and choose the most
appropriate spaces (and
collaborators) for their arts
and cultural activities.
 Agencies and policy makers
who want to consider
informal venues for the arts
or identify potential partners
in neighbourhoods.
Artists
who want to understand how
their arts practices might
best synergise with the
spaces, people and activities
in a neighbourhood.
Support Growth of
Arts and Culture Ecology
in the Neighbourhood
Choose
Suitable Arts Venues
Present a step-by-step
framework to identify
and evaluate spatial
opportunities in the
neighbourhood and choose
the most suitable formal
and informal venues for
community arts and
cultural activities
Activate
Public Space
Articulate strategies
to activate public
space through arts
Engage and Benefit
the Community
Suggest ways
in which arts and
space can actively
engage the
community and
trigger positive
social impact
STEP
1Articulate
Your Vision
STEP
2Consult Secondary Sources
to Understand the Neighbourhood
STEP
3
Visit the Neighbourhood and
Evaluate Shortlisted Spaces
Choose
the
Right
Space
6 7
Three Key Questions
With space, people, and the arts as the main components,
this guide develops strategies for establishing successful community
arts and culture initiatives and networks in the neighbourhood,
framed by the following key questions:
What can Arts and Space do for
the Community, and vice versa?
What can the Arts do for a Space?
What can Space do for the Arts?
98
Reflect on key intentions and requirements of your
planned arts and cultural activity in reference to your spatial
capacity. Any of the three aspects of placemaking –
People, Space, and Arts – can serve as a starting point
for developing community arts initiatives or strategies.
 What outcomes do you want to achieve?
E.g. activate the space through the arts;
promote quality arts in the neighbourhoods;
deepen or diversify arts engagement;
bring the community together?
 What are (or might be) the challenges in achieving
such outcomes?
 What resources do you have – space, human resources,
skills, time, etc.?
Examples of potential visions
 Activating under-utilised
indoor and outdoor
neighbourhood spaces
through the arts
 Building a stronger sense
of neighbourhood identity,
pride and attachment
through the arts
 Empowering the residents
by encouraging active
community participation
 Boosting social bonding
and inter-generational
interaction
 Improving the well-being
of elderly residents
 Supporting grassroots
initiatives and boosting
creativity through the arts
 Branding spaces and
activities, etc.
Articulate
Your Vision1
STEP
What is Your Starting Point?
People
Space What are the general spatial conditions?
Is the space close to pedestrian activity?
Does the space fulfill suitability criteria?
Who is the target audience?
How to engage them?
Where do they gather?
What type of arts and cultural activity?
What is the scale of the activity?
What is the level of engagement?
Who is the target audience?
Arts
1110
Consult online and offline resources to be informed about
key landmarks, amenities and institutions in the selected
neighbourhood (example on the right shows the key land use
and amenities in Woodlands neighbourhood).
Identify a potential partnering institution, public space
or landmark and consider an area of about 400m radius
(equivalent to a 5-minute walk) to visit and study in
greater detail.
Identify and shortlist all potential spots for arts in the
neighbourhood. Conduct a site visit to verify these
initial choices.
Notes
 Heaviest pedestrian flow
typically occurs next to
public transport stations
and commercial areas
(shopping centres, food
courts, etc.).
 Spaces where people
normally gather include
commercial areas
and public amenities
(parks, playgrounds,
sports courts, community
clubs, etc.).
 Amenities such as
amphitheatres, pavilions
and void decks, contain
activity only at certain
times of the day or week.
Land Use and Amenities
Map of Woodlands Neighbourhood
Residential
Educational
Institution
Commercial
Open Space
Park
Transport
Facilities
Badminton
Basketball
Bus Stop
Community Centre
Community Garden
Daycare or
Kindergarten
Food Court or
Hawker Centre
Fitness Corner
Parking
Playground
School
Supermarket
Consult Secondary Sources to
Understand the Neighbourhood2
STEP
Visit and
study 400m
radius of
identified
landmark
Woodlands MRT
Woodlands
Regional Library
FILTER
1
FILTER
2
Pedestrian
Activity
Suitability
Criteria
FILTER
3
1312
Filter 1:
General Spatial Conditions
Inspect and validate basic spatial
conditions of areas pre-selected
in Step 2.
Filter 2:
Pedestrian Activity
Observe movement patterns and
stationary activities in and around
the pre-selected areas and shortlist
spaces for detailed evaluation.
Filter 3:
Suitability Criteria
Evaluate shortlisted spaces according
to criteria for good public space and
suitability for arts and cultural activities.
Narrow the search for suitable spaces in the neighbourhood
using the following three filters and Checklists for
Neighbourhood Space Evaluation on pg. 40.
Visit the Neighbourhood and
Evaluate Shortlisted Spaces3
STEP
This filter describes basic pre-conditions of neighbourhood
spaces to become arts and cultural activity venues.
Filter 1:
General Spatial Conditions
General
Spatial Conditions
1a. Scale (size) .........................14
1b. Level of Enclosure ............16
1c. Ground Surface ..................18
1514
S Small Up to 200m2
M Medium 200-500m2
L Large 500-1,000m2
XL Extra Large 1,000-5,0 00m2
XXL Double Extra Large Over 5,000m2
Visit the Neighbourhood and
Evaluate Shortlisted Spaces
> Filter 1: General Spatial Conditions
3
Notes
 In general, a seating place
requires about 0.5m2
of floor area. For more
accurate estimation,
areas dedicated for stage
and main circulation
should be deducted.
Seated participants
would normally require
larger area per person
than standing ones.
 Workshops often
require more furniture
(e.g. tables, writing
boards) and specific
seating arrangements
different from typical
spectator activities.
Workshops may require
a larger area per person
than performances,
but not necessarily
a larger space.
Available Spaces Categorised by Scale
Map of Woodlands Neighbourhood
400m
The size of the venue is primarily defined by its floor area
and participants capacity. While suitability depends on
the type of arts and cultural activity, in general the larger
the space, the more favourable it is considered, primarily
due to its flexibility.
1a. Scale (size)
* M ost of the advan tages and disad vantages of l arge scale spac es
are oppo site to those lis ted in regards t o small scale spac es.
Advantages
+ Greater participants
capacity
+ Greater flexibility
for the arrangement of
stage, seating area, etc.
Disadvantages
Reduced visibility of
stage and performers
Reduced audibility
Lack of intimacy,
which is important
for social interaction
Weaker connection
between the performers
and participants
Large Scale Spaces*
Small
Medium
Large
Ext ra Large
Double E xtra Lar ge
S Small
Pavilion
M Medium
Basketball Court
XL Extra Large
Woodlands Civic Centre Plaza
S
M
Woodlands
Regional Library
XL
16 17
Open Spaces with no roof or walls
Sheltered Spaces with a roof but no walls
Indoor Fully enclosed spaces
Visit the Neighbourhood and
Evaluate Shortlisted Spaces
> Filter 1: General Spatial Conditions
3
Sheltered
Multi-purpose Hall
Indoor
Woodlands Regional
Library Auditorium
Available Spaces Categorised by Level of Enclosure
Map of Woodlands Neighbourhood
Open
Shelter ed + Indoor
Limited A ccess /
Fenced
400m
Woodlands
Regional Library
* M ost of the advan tages and disad vantages of op en and sheltere d spaces
are oppo site to those lis ted in regards t o indoor spaces .
The level of enclosure of a space is primarily defined by
the presence of a roof and walls.
1b. Level of Enclosure
Advantages
+ Usually better equipped
+ Greater control
(of space) and easier
logistics management
+ Fewer distractions
and greater comfort
(e.g. better temperature,
light, sound and
seating conditions)
+ Favourable for
events that require
focused attention
Disadvantages
Reduced visual and
physical accessibility
for incidental
participants
Need for
enhanced publicity
Tendency to be
associated with closed-
door or paid activities
Implicit obligation
to stay for the entire
duration of the activity
The biggest
difference is the
level of control in the
environment. In a
concert hall, you can
work with lighting and
control the settings
around you, but in a
public space you do not
have that much control.
– Artist
Open
Woodlands Civic Centre Plaza
Indoor Spaces*
1918
Paved Hardscape, e.g. rigid surface
(tiles, concrete, etc.)
Unpaved Softscape, e.g. sof t surface
(grass, soil, sand, pebbles, etc.)
Visit the Neighbourhood and
Evaluate Shortlisted Spaces
> Filter 1: General Spatial Conditions
3
This criterion describes whether the ground surface
of a space has been laid with rigid flooring materials or
is in its natural state.
Available Spaces Categorised by the Type of Ground Surface
Map of Woodlands Neighbourhood
Notes
 Large spaces suitable for big-scale activities are often
unpaved, such as the green lawns.
Paved
Unpaved
Tre es
400m
Woodlands
Regional Library
1c. Ground Surface
Paved
Placing chairs,
temporary shelter,
equipment, stage,
dance mats, and other
provisions is generally
easier on paved
surfaces, especially
when ground is wet
Paved surfaces
generally offer better
acoustics due to
sound reflection
Unpaved
Unpaved surfaces
present lower need for
providing conventional
seats (e.g. potential
seating on grass during
dry weather)
Unpaved surfaces
can provide a more
relaxed environment
Characteristics of Surfaces
Paved
Roof of Multi-storey Car Park
Unpaved
Green Space within Precinct
FILTER
1
FILTER
2
General Spatial
Conditions
Suitability
Criteria
FILTER
3
2120
400m
Visit the Neighbourhood and
Evaluate Shortlisted Spaces
> Overlay of Filters 1a + b + c
3
Example of a potential space for the arts,
Woodlands Civic Centre Plaza
1a. Extra Large Scale: 1,000-5,000m2
1b. Level of Enclosure: Open
1c. Ground Surface: Paved
Available Spaces by Combining Filters
1a. Scale + 1b. Level of Enclosure + 1c. Ground Surface
Map of Woodlands Neighbourhood
Pedestrian Activity
2a. Transient Activity .......................22
2b. Stationary Activity ..................... 24
Spatial Opportunity Scale
Darker shades indicate more opportunities for arts and cultural activities.
LESS MORE
Woodlands
Regional Library
This filter describes the intensity of pedestrian activity in the
neighbourhood – where people move and where they gather;
who they are, how many of them, when and what kind of
activity they are engaged with.7
Filter 2:
Pedestrian Activity
2322
400m
Visit the Neighbourhood and
Evaluate Shortlisted Spaces
> Filter 2: Pedestrian Activity
3
Passing By: Number of People & Where?
The question of ‘how many’ is basic for understanding
how intensively neighbourhood spaces are used.
Knowing the number of passers-by (commuting or strolling)
and where they go on an everyday basis can inform
the decision about desirable venues and the choice
of arts and cultural activities.
Notes
Counting is often
conducted by two
researchers. While one
observer pays attention
to people moving, the
other focuses on the
characteristics of the
space and how people
interact with and within it
(See 2b: Stationary
Activity on pg.24).
‘Shadowing’ can be a
time-consuming exercise.
It requires following
a substantial number
of people (often for an
unpredictable period
of time) in order to
observe movement
patterns and generate
solid conclusions.
Selected Points of Observation and
Volume of Observed Transient Activities & Dominant Pedestrian Movement Paths
Map of Woodlands Neighbourhood
People C ount
Dominan t
Pedes trian Paths
1 2 3 etc.
Selected Points of Observation
Prior to site visit, identify the points
in the neighbourhood where on-site
observation of pedestrian activities will be
done (as shown in example map above).
Points of observation should include
spots next to key junctions, pedestrian
walkways, bus stops and MRT stations,
and neighbourhood amenities.
Woodlands
Regional Library
100+502510
2a. Transient Activity
Counting
At selected points of observation (example on the right),
count the number of people passing by for a short period
of time (e.g. 5-10mins).
Repeat this exercise at different times of the day
(morning, afternoon, evening) and week (weekday
vs. weekend) to get comprehensive insights about the
intensity of pedestrian movement at these points.
If possible, note down or estimate gender, age and
ethnicity of passers-by.
Tracing and ‘shadowing’
If time allows, discreetly follow groups of pedestrians
to verify data gathered through counting and gain more
specific insight into where people go to.
Plot the most frequented movement paths based
on counting and ‘shadowing’ results (as shown in
an example on the right).
Snap-shot techniques7
to capture and map movement patterns
Woodlands
Regional Library
2
31
5
8
13 14
9
15
21
22
17
16
18
10
24
20
23
6
4
7
12
11
19
24 25
Visit the Neighbourhood and
Evaluate Shortlisted Spaces
> Filter 2: Pedestrian Activity
3
Volume of Observed
Stationary Vs. Transient Activities at Selected Points
Map of Woodlands Neighbourhood
400m
Noting down activities
Parallel to counting passers-by (See 2b: Stationary
Activity on pg. 22), record the number of people and
the specific stationary activities they are engaged in
at each observation point for a short period of time
(e.g. 5-10mins).
Note gender, age and ethnicity of users engaged in
observed stationary activities.
Repeat this exercise at different times of the day
(morning, afternoon, evening) and week (weekday
vs. weekend).
Snap-shot techniques7
to capture stationary activities
Stationary: Who & What?
Mapping what specific activities happen in specific
neighbourhood spaces and who performs them is useful
for identifying potential synergies with specific arts and
cultural activities.
Typical stationary activities include – gathering, sitting,
people-watching, playing, exercising, etc. Such a record
indicates if the space encourages dwelling and interaction
between the users or just passing by. Stationary activities
can be further categorised as necessary (e.g. waiting for
the bus), optional (e.g. reading) or social (e.g. playing chess).
Gathering knowledge about the behaviour of different
user groups in public space is a cornerstone of a public
life study. It provides useful insights for planning arts
and cultural activities that target the needs of specific
population groups. Such groups are commonly (but not
solely) defined by gender, age and ethnicity, which are the
characteristics that are relatively easy to observe on-site.
2b. Stationary Activity
Woodlands
Regional Library
2
31
5
8
13 14
9
15
21
22
10
24
20
23
6
4
7
12
11
19
People C ount
Stati onary Acti vity
Transition al Movement
Dominan t
Pedes trian Paths
100+502510
17
16
18
400m
Overlay of
Filter 1: General Spatial Conditions
+
Filter 2: Pedestrian Activities,
Selected Four Types of Spaces
Map of Woodlands Neighbourhood
Visit the Neighbourhood and
Evaluate Shortlisted Spaces
> Overlay of Filters 1 + 2
3
2726
Woodlands
Regional Library
People C ount
Stati onary Acti vity
Transition al Movement
Dominan t
Pedes trian Paths
4 Types of Spa ces
100+502510
Four Types of Spaces
Types of spaces in the neighbourhood can be identified based on
their proximity to the most frequent pedestrian patterns and
availability of stationary activities (Filter 2) and general spatial
conditions (Filter 1).
Advantages
+ High visibility,
accessibility
and adjacent
amenities provide
reasons for people
to visit and remain
in a space
Disadvantages
Often crowded
and noisy settings,
with many
distractions
Not suitable for
activities that
require deeper
engagement and
focused attention
Competitive
spaces (with other
event organisers)
Type A
Spaces close to the most frequented
pedestrian movement paths and containing
stationary activity
Advantages
+ Often of good
overall quality,
close to public
amenities
and familiar
to residents
Disadvantages
Not as accessible
as Type A spaces
Challenging to
draw incidental
participants
Enhanced
publicity required
Type B
Spaces away from pedestrian movement
but close to stationary activity
Advantages
+ Typically good
visibility and
accessibility
Disadvantages
Little or no
incentives for
people to linger
in space
Type C
Spaces close to pedestrian movement
but away from stationary activity
Advantages
+ Quiet spaces,
with often good
overall quality
and without
competition from
other uses
Disadvantages
Strong publicity
needed to attract
people to attend
activities
Type D
Spaces away from both pedestrian movement
and stationary activity
A1
D3
B3
A2
D1
C1
B1
D2
B2
C2
Type A
Attractive spaces suitable for diversifying and
increasing participants
Type C
Potentially suitable for small pop-up arts and cultural activities
and teasers
Type B
Intimate settings potentially suitable for small-scale and
more targeted activities to deepen engagement with the arts
Type D
Bringing activity into under utilised spaces
3
29
Bedok Neighbourhood
Bedok Town Square
next to the MRT station,
Bedok Mall, supermarket
and hawker centre
Woodlands Neighbourhood
Rarely used open space
alongside the covered
walkway next to Block 352
Woodlands Avenue
Woodlands Neighbourhood
Badminton court and green
space near Blocks 514 and
515A Woodlands Drive 14
Bedok Neighbourhood
Amphitheatre behind
Block 35 Chai Chee Avenue
Strategies for Types of Spaces
Based on the identified type of spaces,* the initial strategies for
activating neighbourhood spaces through arts can be formulated.
* E xamples of ty pes of spaces de picted above a lso include thos e
from the n eighbourhoo ds other than Woo dlands.
Visit the Neighbourhood and
Evaluate Shortlisted Spaces
> Overlay of Filters 1 + 2
28
FILTER
3
FILTER
1
General Spatial
Conditions
FILTER
2
Pedestrian
Activity
3130
Visit the Neighbourhood and
Evaluate Shortlisted Spaces
3
Can people use a variety of transportation
(bus, train, car, bicycle, etc.) to reach the place?
While prioritising the pedestrians, a successful space is also
accessible by various mobility means, e.g. vehicular, public
transport and cycling, but should not be dominated by their
presence. Mobility options increase accessibility.
Is the space visible from a distance?
Visual access and legibility are crucial for both navigating
the space and understanding what happens in a space, and
is particularly important for arts and cultural activities.
Can people reach the place on foot easily?
Physical access is important to enable people to reach
the venue easily and safely. Some examples of barriers are
high-traffic roads adjacent to outdoor venues or indoor
venues that are primarily accessed via staircases.
Is the interior visible from the outside?
An event can draw a participant if passers-by are able
to see what is happening within an indoor venue.
Is the space suitable for people with special needs?
Universal access to space is important, especially for the
elderly, people with disabilities, children in prams, etc.
It can also ease the transportation of heavy equipment.
Suitability Criteria
3a. Accessibility................................ 31
3b. Configuration .............................33
3c. Comfort ...........................................34
3d. Supporting Infrastructure ....... 36
3e. Multi-functionalit y .......................37
3f. Image ................................................... 39
This filter describes conditions that would make the space conducive
as an arts venue. Parties involved in arts and cultural activities – such as
event organisers, artists, participants, and residents living close to the
venue – may have different views and priorities regarding suitability criteria.
Suitability criteria also depend on type of arts and cultural activities.
Filter 3:
Suitability Criteria
Accessibility generally refers to the ease with which people
can reach the space. Good urban space pays attention
to pedestrians by providing a variety of paths that are
protected from non-pedestrian traffic and cater for all
users, especially the disabled, children and the elderly.
Physically and visually accessible space is a prerequisite
for any activity, including arts and cultural activities.8
3a. Accessibility
Is the space free from columns and
other obstructions?
Trees, street furniture and columns can block the views
of the performers as well as hinder the provision of a stage
or a shelter.
Is the space flexible?
Flexibility is the ability of the space to accommodate a
variety of changes to its physical form and layout. This
could involve a change in area through movable partitions,
or the ability to put up a shelter, etc.
The ope n courtyar d space of Kallan g CC can accommo date a temporar y shelter
when nee ded as well as fle xible stage and s eating arrang ements.
Bedok Town Sq uare is a large she ltered space wi th columns loca ted at the
periph ery that do not o bstruct the v iew of the perfo rmance. Amphi theatre-like
seatin g along the edges le aves room for add itional flexib le seating.
Visit the Neighbourhood and
Evaluate Shortlisted Spaces
> Filter 3: Suitability Criteria
3
3332
Is the space publicly accessible 24/7?
Spaces which are always open allow for greater flexibility
to schedule and facilitate arts and cultural activities,
especially before and after office hours.
Some of the
palm trees
[in this space] pose
various challenges.
It’s a nice place, but
the stage size is limited
and we can’t organise
bigger events here.
If we make the stage
and participant area
bigger, trees will
obstruct the view. Also,
the trees restrict the
position and mounting
of the tentage.
– Node partner
It’s because
the MRT station
[is] here, everything
tends to be here.
– Participant
We have to consider …
the participants –
you have to think
of the wheelchair,
the disabled,
the bicycle,
then the people
walking up and down.
– Node partner
Glass f açade of Kalla ng CC auditorium al lows pedestr ians passing by to s ee
what is hap pening inside.
The space outside Boon Keng MRT station exit B is always accessible to the public.
The configuration of a venue refers to a combination of its
physical characteristics, such as size, shape (compact or
linear), layout and level of flexibility (arrangement of stage,
equipment and participant areas for a variety of activities,
presence of any visual barriers, etc.), among other design
attributes, which can considerably determine the type and
nature of arts and cultural activities to be held there.9
3b. Configuration
3534
Does the space provide good auditory experiences?
The presence of reflective surfaces for sound is important
for the acoustics of a space, especially for theatre plays and
music events. The absence of reflective surfaces increases
the need for additional amplification or balancing of sound
to improve audibility.
Are the immediate surroundings free from spaces
sensitive to noise?
Venues should preferably be away from the spaces that are
sensitive to noise, such as hospitals and homes. However,
with high-density conditions in HDB neighbourhoods, this
may be challenging, especially when the intention is to bring
the arts closer to where people live and play. When deciding
on venues close to HDB blocks, the time and duration of the
activity should be considered carefully.
Is the space adequately ventilated and cooled?
Is it sheltered?
In the tropical climate, heat and rain are ever-present
challenges for all (performers, participants and organisers)
at open-air activities, even if held at night or in covered
spaces during the day.
Is the space free from surrounding visual,
noise or other distractions?
Spaces with high traffic movement are favourable for
attracting more participants. However, these venues are also
inevitably crowded and noisy. Background noise and visual
distractions reduce the level of control artists have over the
participant’s experience of the activity.
The Wood lands Regional L ibrary audit orium has a sound pr oof air-conditio ned
space th at offers a co mfortable e nvironment to f ocus on the per formance.
The spac e at Block 88 Tanglin Hal t has reasonabl e acoustics be cause
of the ref lective ceil ing. The adjacen t supermarket a nd hawker centre,
however, cr eate backgro und noise.
We put in a lot
of fans and coolers
just to make the
place conducive for
the performers and
definitely for the
residents, so that
they would actually
stay on to be engaged
by the performance
and not be challenged
by the weather.
– Node partner
As musicians, we look
for high ceiling or roof,
because we need
some reflections,
if not, the sound will
go everywhere and
we have to use a better
sound system to
compensate for the
public spaces.
– Artist
Visit the Neighbourhood and
Evaluate Shortlisted Spaces
> Filter 3: Suitability Criteria
3
The comfort of a venue refers to how people feel in that
space and their experience through senses, which may also
affect how they appreciate the arts and cultural activities.
This includes the presence (or absence) of ambient sounds,
smells, lighting and sights that might be unpleasant,
non-conducive or distracting as well as the temperature of
the venue, which is affected by its levels of enclosure and
ventilation. Protection from extreme weather conditions
(sun and rain) is an important factor in our tropical climate.
Finally, being able to minimise sound and other atmospheric
disturbances that an activity may produce to the immediate
surrounding is an important consideration when choosing a
space for an arts and cultural activity.10
3c. Comfort
3736
Is the space multi-functional?
Spaces that can host different activities are more likely
to be adaptable for different requirements of an arts and
cultural activity.
Are there adjacent spaces that are for:
eating, recreation, waiting, grocery shopping?
The presence of adjacent spaces and amenities allow
participants to combine their attendance with other
activities. Adjacent amenities can also attract incidental
audience and provide possible extension to the space.
Does the space have adequate lighting?
While most public spaces will have sufficient lighting for
basic visibility to navigate through the space, arts and
cultural activities might require additional lights to increase
visibility for performances or workshops held at night.
Does the space have public toilets?
Public toilets also serve as a space for artists to change
into their costumes and therefore add to the convenience
of the venue.
Are there places to sit and stay?
The presence of existing seating in a space reduces or
eliminates the need to rent chairs for the activity.
It also allows participants to linger in the space after,
contributing to a more sociable atmosphere.
When the
performers feel
comfortable with the
entire environment,
they tend to perform
better and they smile
a lot.
– Node partner
Basket ball courts a re spaces that ar e usually well-lit in t he evening
to allow fo r greater visib ility.
An Example of the Rule of ‘Triangulation’:
1. Shelter (Pavilion) + 2. Badminton Court + 3. Amphitheatre Seats
Precin ct amenities at B lock 661C Jurong West S treet 64 nea r SAFRA Jurong .
Visit the Neighbourhood and
Evaluate Shortlisted Spaces
> Filter 3: Suitability Criteria
3
3
2
The absence of supporting infrastructure usually requires
additional logistic arrangements to compensate for them.
While this may not pose a major challenge in organising
events, the presence of supporting infrastructure may
reduce the costs and efforts of organising and hosting arts
and cultural activities in the long run, while supporting
greater frequency and regularity of activities.11
3d. Supporting Infrastructure
Diversity of arts and cultural activities is crucial for the
success of public spaces. Such diversity can be created by
layering multiple uses within the space, permeable edges,
adjacent activities, a variety of forms, spatial conditions
and ambiences, and a sufficient concentration of people.12
Good programming invites people, which in turn attract
more people.
William H. Whytes rule of ‘triangulation’ suggests that
the arrangement of activities and amenities in space can
substantially contribute to the intensity of its use and of
social interaction.13 For example, an advertisement board,
a bench and a rubbish bin placed adjacent to each other
at a lift lobby provide more opportunities for incidental
interactions among the void-deck users than when these
elements stand alone. The symbiosis between available
space and programmes and art interventions may be
crucial for their success.
3e. Multi-functionality
1
38 39
Is the space clean? Does it feel safe?
A perception of hygiene and safety can considerably affect
how and whether a neighbourhood space is used. A dirty or
messy space with broken lights or other signs of vandalism,
may be seen as unsafe and therefore avoided by residents,
especially those with young children.
Are there choices of different things to do?
Activities bring people into space and encourage its
use. A greater variety of things to do supports the use
of neighbourhood spaces by diverse user groups and at
different times of the day and week.
Is the space used by people of different ages?
The presence of different age groups indicates that the
space is accessible and well-used, as well as supporting
inter-generational bonding, which may influence the type of
arts and cultural activity.
Is the space used as a gathering point?
Spaces in which people come in groups can be seen as
natural or established meeting points.
Kallan g neighbourho od – Arts can imp rove the image of sp aces. In an open ground
or in a park, the
children can roam
about without being
scared that they
will fall.
– Participant
You can watch a
performance and
buy groceries here.
You c an just put t he
things down and watch
the performance,
it’s convenient.
– Participant
I think a playground
is a good venue
[where] parents and
kids interact.
– Participant
Neighbo urhood around Wo odlands Regio nal Library – HD B precinct ame nities
such as pl aygrounds are in ter-generation al gathering spa ces as the childre n
who play t here are accomp anied by parent s or grandpare nts.
Amenit ies around Tanglin Hal t, including the MR T station, supe rmarket, ATM
and othe r commercial ac tivities at tract incide ntal audience. T he adjacent fo od
cour t also serves a s an informal ex tension of the aud ience seating ar ea.
Visit the Neighbourhood and
Evaluate Shortlisted Spaces
> Filter 3: Suitability Criteria
3
The first impression of a space can considerably shape
users’ behaviour and interaction with and within space.14
Apart from aesthetic qualities, attachment, sense of
belonging, personalisation and temporary appropriation are
some of the key ingredients of space character.15
Arts and cultural activities can bring vibrancy and a festive
mood to everyday spaces and contribute to building
stronger identities of neighbourhood spaces and creating
important collective anchor-points for the communities.16
Image of space also refers to its hygiene and maintenance.
Clean and well-maintained spaces, with mown lawns,
emptied rubbish bins and no signs of decay or vandalism,
are generally more attractive and contribute to
users’ perception of safety, while encouraging positive
social behaviour.17
3f. Image
S
M
L
XL
XXL
Criteria
1a.
Scale (Size)
Comments
Small Up To 200m2
Medium 200-500m2
Large 500-1,000m2
Extra Large 1,000-5,0 00m2
Double Extra Large Over 5,000m2
Open
Sheltered
Indoor
1b.
Level of
Enclosure
3c.
Comfort
3b.
Configuration
Comments
3a.
Accessibility
Criteria
Is the space free from surrounding visual,
noise or other distractions?
Is the space adequately ventilated
and/or cooled? Is it sheltered?
Does the space provide
good auditory experiences?
Are the immediate surroundings free
from spaces sensitive to noise?
Is the interior visible from the outside?
Is the space suitable for people
with special needs?
Can people reach the place
on foot easily?
Can people use a variety of transportation
options to reach the place?
Is the space free from
columns and other obstructions?
Is the space flexible?
Is the space visible from a distance?
Is the space publicly accessible 24/7?
Are there places to
sit and linger?
Does the space have
adequate lighting?
Does the space have
public toilets?
3d.
Supporting
Infrastructure
Comments
2a.
Transient
Activity
2b.
Stationary
Activity
Criteria
Is the space close
to pedestrian paths?
Are there people performing
stationar y activities within the space?
Paved
Unpaved
1c.
Ground
Surface
Checklists for
Neighbourhood Space Evaluation
Use the following checklists to describe and evaluate shortlisted
spaces on-site, in order to select the most suitable spaces for arts
and cultural activities.
4140
Filter 1: General Spatial Conditions
Filter 2: Pedestrian Activity
Filter 3: Suitability Criteria
What can Arts and Space do for
the Community, and vice versa?
Choose
the
Right
Strategy
What can the Arts do for a Space?
What can Space do for the Arts?
4342
Filter 3: Suitability Criteria
3f.
Image
Comments
3e.
Multi-
functionality
Criteria
Is the space used by people
of different ages?
Is the space used as
a gathering point?
Is the space clean?
Does it feel safe?
Are there choices of
different things to do?
Is the space multi-functional,
e.g. are there multiple uses and activities
happening in the space?
Are there adjacent spaces that are used
for/cater to: eating, recreation, waiting,
grocery shopping?
44 45
Diversity of spaces creates flexibility
and options for arts and cultural activities
Synergies may be created between adjacent spaces of different
attributes – covered and open, tiered and flat surfaced, etc.
Such synergies allow for greater flexibility in the event of
unpredictable situations (such as weather change) as well as
offering the capacity to expand the scale of an activity.
Existing indoor spaces at community institutions
can broaden engagement
Non-dedicated indoor spaces that are regularly (if not permanently)
available for activities can broaden and deepen engagement
of the community in the arts. Such spaces can be identified in
schools, community centres, libraries and other public institutions.
Informal, flexible spaces create a sociable
atmosphere for the arts
Choose informal, flexible spaces and seating arrangements to
create a sociable atmosphere for the arts. Formal venues are
typically designed with rigid seating arrangements that do not
allow much freedom to mingle for the participants.
Comfortable indoor settings direct attention
towards the arts
Art lovers, whose experience is focused on the performance, prefer
to be in indoor environments, which have comfortable temperature,
seating and are free from distractions. The accessibility of the
venue is not as important to arts enthusiasts as the conduciveness
of the setting. They usually plan to attend an activity in advance and
will therefore make an effort to find the venue no matter where it is.
Spaces can allow for temporary or permanent props
to enhance arts and cultural activities
Temporary design measures (movable stage, tents, walls, lighting,
advertisement boards, community markers, etc.) can considerably
improve the quality of an activity. They can also encourage the use
of public space and social interaction before and after the arts and
cultural activity. On the other hand, permanent design interventions
can minimise the use of temporary adjustments and may add to the
perception of an informal public space as an arts and cultural venue.
What can Space do for the Arts?
Arts Imp rints Around My Nei ghbourhood by Qu ek Ling Kiong at Toa Payo h’s Dragon P layground – Ar ts in Your Neighbour hood March 2016.
Space can help attract, diversify and
increase participants
Employ high-traffic spaces in the town centres and near MRT
stations (type A and C spaces) to diversify and increase participants
for the arts.
Create synergies between local amenities and the arts
Eating, shopping and even exercising can be synergetic with the
arts as these are social and recreational pursuits. Having these
activities happen in the same space or close-bys adds to the
appeal and encourages people to visit and stay. Moreover, adjacent
amenities and structures may provide alternative spaces to watch
the performance beyond the allocated participant area.
Low-traffic spaces can provide a quiet
atmosphere for arts and cultural activities
Choose low-traffic quiet areas (type B and D spaces) to deepen
participation and make the arts experience more rewarding.
While high-traffic areas are suitable for publicising arts and cultural
activities, it is the low-traffic spaces that provide the quiet
atmosphere that is often more suitable for deeper engagement
and greater enjoyment of an activity. Synergy can be developed
between the two by advertising activities organised within
enclosed high-quality venues in nearby high-traffic spaces.
4746
Exquisi tely Us, Me and You! co-cre ated by Terence Lin a nd Taman Juron g’s residents , located at Blo ck 352 Kang Ching Road –
Our Galle ry at Taman Jurong, a n NAC’s Arts and C ulture Node.
Enliven everyday spaces with a sense of joy and surprise
Spaces where people perform necessary activities, such as transit
spaces or outside grocery stores, can be bustling and most
frequented but not necessarily pleasant to spend time in. Hence,
introducing the arts in such spaces can make a big impact on the
daily experiences by triggering good mood and boosting overall
sense of well-being. The arts can introduce a sense of joy and the
unexpected, and encourage people to bond with others through a
sense of shared experiences.
Activate spaces where there is movement
but no stationary activity through the arts
Such spaces exist near town centres as well as within heartland
precincts along major connecting paths, but have no stationary
activity because of the absence of any adjacent amenities.
They include public plazas, void decks and other spaces next to
covered linkways (or the covered linkways themselves). These
constitute good locations for arts and cultural activities as they
face no competition from commercial interests, yet can easily
draw participants because of their visibility and accessibility.
Activate under-utilised ‘white elephant’ spaces
Arts and cultural activities held in locations without high pedestrian
traffic can offer a quiet and conducive atmosphere but need more
publicity. Such under-utilised spaces include amphitheatres,
ground parking areas, and even roofs of multi-storey car parks.
The very nature of the arts is experimental and imaginative and
thus has the potential to transform such spaces.
What can the Arts do for a Space? What can Arts and Space do for
the Community, and vice versa?
Neighbo urhood
spaces u tilised for ar ts
and cultu ral activiti es
by Kalla ng CC
Other p otential
neighbo urhood spac es
around K allang CC
A1 A2
4 Types of Spa ces
Good Practice: Arts and Culture Ecology
Diversity of Neighbourhood Spaces Utilised by Kallang CC
Map of Kallang Neighbourhood
Build a strong arts and culture ecology in the neighbourhood
There needs to be an ecology of spaces that supports different processes
involved with the creation (and co-creation), practice, performance and
exhibition of the arts. Arts and cultural activities should capitalise on all
spatial and human resources in the neighbourhood and bring them into
a comprehensive and symbiotic whole.
Kallang
CC
400m
C1 A1
D1A2
A3
B1
C2 B2
C3
C5
C4
B3
B2 Kallan g CC
courtyard
C2 Green sp ace at
MRT exit C
A2 Plaza o utside Boon
Keng MRT ex it B
A3 Bendem eer Mall C3 Green sp ace
Performance
B2 Kallan g CC practice r oom
Practice
B2 Kallang C C auditorium
B1 Amphit heatre and
basketball co urt
Rehearsal
48 49
Spark interest in the arts and cultural activities
through different levels of arts participation
Invest into arts and cultural activities of different natures and
levels of engagement to boost stronger interest in the arts among
the participants and encourage ground-up initiatives.
Inventive Arts Participation
Engages the mind, body, and spirit in an
act of artistic creation that is unique and
idiosyncratic, regardless of skill level.
Interpretive Arts Participation
Creative act of self-expression that brings
alive and adds value to pre-existing works
of art, either individually or collaboratively.
Curatorial Arts Participation
Creative act of purposefully
selecting, organising, and collecting
art to the satisfaction of one’s own
artistic sensibility.
Spectating Arts Participation
Encompasses arts experiences that
an individual selects or consents to,
motivated by some expectation of value.
Ambient Arts Participation
Involves experiencing the arts,
consciously or unconsciously, that is
not purposefully selected – arts that
‘happens to you’.
Active
Passive
The Rubbis h Prince by 3Pumpki ns, Danny Yeo and Ong Kia ng Sin at the playgr ound of Woodlan ds Waterfron t Park –
Art s in Your Neighb ourhood Novem ber 2018.
Encourage the interdependence between
volunteerism and community arts practice
The community interest groups who use the practice rooms
in Kallang CC to meet, learn and practice also give back to the
community by performing at their monthly activities.
Strengthen ties between professional artists
and arts interest groups
Cater to the diversity of arts interests through different types
of activities and performers involved. Organise activities with
professional artists as well as community performers.
Offer your spaces to arts interest groups and arts classes.
5150
References
Artscape. (2016a). Approaches to Creative Placemaking.
URL: http://www.artscapediy.org/Creative-Placemaking/
Approaches-to-Creative-Placemaking.aspx.
Artscape. (2016b). Place Matters. URL: http://www.artscapediy.
org/Creative-Placemaking/Place-Matters.aspx.
Carmona, M., Health, T., Oc, T., and Tiesdell, S. (2010). Public
Spaces Urban Spaces: The Dimension of Urban Design. Vol. 2.
Amsterdam; Oxford: Elsevier.
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Space. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press.
Cho, I. S., Heng, C. K., and Trivic, Z. (2016). Re-framing Urban
Space: Urban Design for Emerging Hybrid and High-density
Conditions. New York: Routledge.
Evans, G. (2001). Cultural Planning, An Urban Renaissance?.
London: Routledge.
Gehl, J. (1987). Life between Buildings: Using Public Space.
New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold.
Gehl, J., and Svarre, B. (2013). How to Study Public Life.
Washington; Covelo; London: Island Press.
Jacobs, J. (1961). The Death and Life of Great American Cities.
New York: Random House.
Marcus, C. C, and Francis, C. (1997). People Places:
Design Guidelines for Urban Open Space. Vol. 2.
New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold.
Markusen, A., and Gadwa, A. (2010). Creative Placemaking.
Markusen Economic Research Services and Metris
Arts Consulting. National Endowment for the Arts.
URL: https://www.arts.gov/sites/default/files/
CreativePlacemaking-Paper.pdf.
Montgomery, J. (1998). Making a City: Urbanity, Vitality and
Urban Design. Journal of Urban Design, 3(1): 93-116.
Nemeth, J., and Schmidt, S. (2011). The Privatization of Public
Space: Modelling and Measuring Publicness. Environment and
Planning B: Planning and Design, 38(1): 5-23.
PPS (Project for Public Space). (2013). All Placemaking
is Creative: How a Shared Focus on Place Builds Vibrant
Destinations. URL: https://www.pps.org/reference/
placemaking-as-community-creativity-how-a-shared-focus-
on-place-builds-vibrant-destinations/.
PPS (Project for Public Space). (2016). Placemaking: What If We
Built Our Cities Around Places? URL: https://www.pps.org/wp-
content/uploads/2016/10/Oct-2016-placemaking-booklet.pdf.
PPS (Project for Public Space), and Metropolitan Planning
Council. (2008). A Guide to Neighbourhood Placemaking in
Chicago. URL: http://www.placemakingchicago.com/cmsfiles/
placemaking_guide.pdf.
Shaftoe, H. (2008). Convivial Urban Spaces: Creating Effective
Public Places. Sterling; London: Earthscan.
Silberg, S., Lorah, K., Disbrow, R., and Muessig, D. (2013).
Places in the Making: How Placemaking Builds Places
and Communities. MIT Department of Urban studies and
Planning. URL: https://dusp.mit.edu/sites/dusp.mit.edu/files/
attachments/project/mit-dusp-places-in-the-making.pdf.
Stern, M. J. (2014). Measuring the Outcomes of Creative
Placemaking. In: The Role of Artists & The Arts in Creative
Placemaking, May 30-31, 2014, Baltimore, MD – Symposium
Report. pp. 84-97. Washington DC: Goethe-Institut and EUNIC.
URL: https://repository.upenn.edu/siap_placemaking/1/
Ursic, M. (2015). ‘City as a Work Of Art’: Influence of Public Art in
the City. URL: http://www.theatrefit.org/perch/resources/art-in-
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Urry, J. (2007). Mobilities. Cambridge: Polity.
Wenger. (2008). Planning Guide for Performance Spaces Vol.
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Whyte, W. H. (1980). The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces.
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Wilson, J. Q., and Kelling, G. L. (1982). The Police and
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Footnotes
1 Current listing of Arts and Culture Nodes.
https://www.nac.gov.sg/whatwedo/engagement/artsforall/
Arts-Culture-Nodes.html
2 Download companion guide ‘Assessing the
Impact of Bringing Arts into Neighbourhoods’.
https://artsforall.sg/resources/toolkit/nac-nus-csac-
guides.aspx
3 See, Gehl (1987).
4 See, e.g. Jacobs (1961), Montgomery (1998), PPS (2016),
Silberg et al. (2013), Whyte (1980).
5 See, e.g. Artscape (2016a), Markusen and Gadwa (2010),
PPS (2013).
6 See, e.g. Artscape (2016b), Stern (2014).
7 See, Gehl and Svarre (2013) for further details and useful
methods and tools to study public spaces.
8 See, e.g. Carmona et al. (2010), Carr et al. (1992),
Marcus and Francis (1997), Shaftoe (2008), Urry (2007).
9 See, e.g. Wenger (2008).
10 See, e.g. Marcus and Francis (1997).
11 See, e.g. Cho et al. (2016), Marcus and Francis (1997),
Nemeth and Schmidt (2011), Shaftoe (2008).
12 See, e.g. Jacobs (1961), Evans (2001).
13 See, White (1980).
14 See, e.g. PPS and Metropolitan Planning Council (2008).
15 See, e.g. Carmona et al. (2010).
16 See, e.g. Januchta-Szostak (2010), Ursic (2015).
17 See, Wilson and Kelling (1982).
Acknowledgements
The authors and publisher of this guide would
like to express sincere gratitude to all the
Arts and Culture Node partners, event organisers,
artists and residents, for their kind support
and participation in this study, and for
consenting to the photos and quotes used in this
guide. The authors also express their thanks to
Nivedhitha Ravi, Sheryl Foo Ming Yee,
Zhang Qingran, Yip Renhao, and other part-time
student researchers from the National University
of Singapore who contributed during the course
of this research project.
52
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In an era of globalization, the community is playing an active role in identity recognition and social bonding. (Mulligan and Smith, 2010, Kay, 2000) Coinciding with this awareness is the promotion of community arts engagement. In 2018, Our SG Arts Plan (2018-2022) has been launched by NAC with the vision of “excellence that inspires our people and connects our communities”. The plan stems from the Arts and Culture Strategic Review (ACSR) in 2012, at the time when the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) formed, and initiates a shift of the arts and cultural policy from profitable creativity economy development to expedient tools for social cohesion and community building. (Hoe, 2018). Community art has experienced almost 10 years of development course in Singapore. Existing community art programs in Singapore include the National Arts Council (NAC)’s Art for All, People’s Association (PA)’s PassionArts etc. These active community arts engagements over the years greatly increase the arts and cultural attendance of Singapore citizens, but also advent a wider gap between interest and attendance (NAC, 2018, Strait Times 2018). In the launch of Our SG Art Plan at Our Tampines Hub in 2018, Grace Fu, MCCY, said, growing audiences for the arts will be a priority for the National Arts Council. (Strait Times, 2018) This paper looks into the state-led Community arts programs and presents the tripartite discussion on policy vision, program implementation and engagement measurement. It begins by reviewing the definitions of community arts and engagement. Then, the paper outlines the cultural policies and practices in Singapore since its independence and formulates the social turn in the past decade which aims at building nation identities and facilitating social cohesion through community arts engagement. From policy to practice, how the community arts programs are implemented will be explored in terms of growing audience, building capability, and empowering community.In following, the impact assessment of community arts engagement on communities will be reviewed from the report Assessing the Impact of Bringing Arts into Neighborhoods by Zdravko Trivic as the commission of NAC. Lastly, the paper highlights the weakness and challenge of community arts engagement in breaking the barrier of community building.
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Me and You! co-created by Terence Lin and Taman Jurong's residents, located at Block 352 Kang Ching Road -Our Gallery at Taman Jurong, an NAC's Arts and Culture Node
  • Exquisitely Us
Exquisitely Us, Me and You! co-created by Terence Lin and Taman Jurong's residents, located at Block 352 Kang Ching Road -Our Gallery at Taman Jurong, an NAC's Arts and Culture Node. References Artscape. (2016a). Approaches to Creative Placemaking. URL: http://www.artscapediy.org/Creative-Placemaking/ Approaches-to-Creative-Placemaking.aspx.
Public Spaces Urban Spaces: The Dimension of Urban Design
  • M Carmona
  • T Health
  • T Oc
  • S Tiesdell
Carmona, M., Health, T., Oc, T., and Tiesdell, S. (2010). Public Spaces Urban Spaces: The Dimension of Urban Design. Vol. 2. Amsterdam; Oxford: Elsevier.