Drop in performing arts attendance but overall arts activity up

Drop in performing arts attendance but overall arts activity up
While overall arts activity in Singapore remains on an upward trend, 2012 saw a drop in attendances at performing arts and heritage events despite the bustle of the scene.

The Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth explained this in a press release, saying that "this was due to the market adjusting itself after the initial spike of popular musicals, such as The Lion King and Wicked, brought in by the integrated resorts when they first entered the scene".


Get the full story from The Straits Times.

Here is the full statement from the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth:

Singapore's arts and cultural landscape has grown significantly over the years, with more reported arts activities, as well as more people attending and participating in arts and culture events compared to a decade ago. There has also been more emphasis on quality over quantity over the years. The Government's efforts to make the city-state into a regional art hub have been assertive, with more being invested to facilitate the development of the sector.More young people are also pursuing an arts education in Singapore.

A GROWING ARTS AND CULTURE SCENE FOR ALL SINGAPOREANS

According to the Singapore Cultural Statistics 2013 Report[1], there are more reported arts activities in 2012, with an average of 23 arts performances and 49 exhibitions happening each day, compared to about 10 arts performances and 30 exhibitions a decade ago.

At the same time, statistics show that there is a growing appreciation for the performing arts in Singapore. More people are attending arts events, with ticketed attendance at arts events increasing from slightly under a million in 2003 to almost two million in 2012.

Ticket sales for performing arts events have nearly doubled over the decade, with total tickets sold for performing arts events increasing from 0.7 million in 2004 to 1.2 million in 2012. Total gross takings have also more than doubled over the years, from $32.8 million in 2004 to $80.6 million in 2012. This reflects a growing appreciation for the performing arts in Singapore.

Meanwhile, year-over-year comparison showed that ticketed attendance and gross takings for performing arts events fell in 2012, after an all-time high the previous year. This was due to the market adjusting itself after the initial spike of popular musicals, such as "The Lion King" and "Wicked", brought in by the Integrated Resorts when they first entered the scene.

Non-ticketed attendance for heritage events declined in 2012. This was a result of the National Heritage Board (NHB)'s shift from large-scale events to more targeted ones with better quality of engagement.

The report also details an encouraging trend in the area of arts education and involvement. The number of students who are enrolled in full-time tertiary arts courses has increased over the years, from 1,860 in 2004 to 4,492 in 2012. This shows the growing interest of youths in pursuing an arts education in Singapore.

At the same time, more arts companies[2] and arts societies are entering the scene. There were 1,260 companies and 386 societies in 2012, compared to 302 arts companies and 247 societies in 2003.

Government funding for arts and culture has also continued to grow, increasing by about ten per cent from 2011, to $478.9 million in 2012.

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