PM Lee launches $5m fund for Singaporeans to capture country's heritage

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong shakes the hand of Mr Yuen Ngok Onn, 79, after helping to take a polaroid picture of his family during Singapore Heritage Fest's 10th anniversary celebrations at the National Museum of Singapore on Sunday, July 21, 2013.

SINGAPORE - Those with good ideas on how to capture and celebrate Singapore's shared heritage through exhibitions, publications, documentaries or mobile apps can apply for grants ranging from $1,000 to $30,000.

Media Release: S$5 Million Heritage Grant SCHEME to Boost Greater Community Involvement in Heritage Launched at THE 10th Anniversary of Singapore HeritageFest

The National Heritage Board's (NHB) Singapore HeritageFest (SHF) celebrated its 10th anniversary amidst much festivity at the National Museum of Singapore. Held in conjunction with Racial Harmony Day, the launch of SHF - the festival for the people, by the people - was attended by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Acting Minister (Culture, Community and Youth) Lawrence Wong, together with visitors of the National Museum.

The launch of this year's festival was indeed meaningful with the celebration of the NHB's 20th anniversary, as well as the good news of a new S$5 million Heritage Grant Scheme for the community. The Grant will benefit Singaporeans interested in doing their part for our heritage by providing funding for community-initiated projects.

NHB's 20th Anniversary and New Heritage Grant Scheme Established on 1 August 1993, the NHB was established with the purpose of championing a vibrant cultural and heritage sector in Singapore. In the last 20 years, it has grown significantly from the management of our national museums, to growing the heritage sector and making heritage accessible and enjoyable for all. The new Heritage Grant scheme marks the next chapter for community engagement in our shared heritage.

The S$5 million funding from NHB's new Heritage Grant will be disbursed to the community over the next four years. The scheme comprises two types of grants: the Heritage Participation Grant (HPG) and the Heritage Project (HP) Grant.

Both grants will provide project funding to individuals and non-profit interest groups, societies and organisations with little or no financial support to develop heritage-related projects of documentation, publication and exhibition that will further promote Singaporeans' learning and appreciation of our heritage.

The HPG will support a wide range projects such as short-term exhibitions, conferences, publications and small scale festivals, amongst others, while the HP Grant aims to benefit applicants with a more established background in the preservation and promotion of Singapore's heritage.

Continued Community Involvement and Participation

The NHB's ongoing collaboration with the community was highlighted in Prime Minister Lee's opening speech, where he commended a recent community-initiated project, Heritage Hawker, as a good example of how heritage is closely entwined with our daily lives.

Heritage Hawker is a commemorative book on Singapore's hawkers produced by three Singaporeans, Sinma DaShow, Jernnine Pang and Jim Orca who embarked on a 900-day journey to document the craft and trade of Singaporean hawkers. With support from the NHB, the book explores the lives and resilience of our local street food heroes, and reveals how their hard work has helped build the foundation of our rich collective food heritage.

The book was launched in conjunction with an exhibition-cum-installation focusing on the craft of handmade hawker fare titled Nine Hundred Days at The Arts House, one of the SHF's Festival Hubs.

Prime Minister Lee also shared on the strong involvement of nine Chinese clans and associations in this year's SHF.

The cornerstone of the Chinese community here in Singapore, these clans have, for the Festival, opened up their doors for visitors to discover the important roles they play in their various communities, and how they have contributed to the preservation and promotion of Chinese culture in Singapore. Examples include the Singapore Hokkien Huay Kuan, Kong Chow Wui Koon, Hok San Association and Gan Clan Association.

Prime Minister Lee noted that the new Heritage Grant Scheme will certainly serve as a catalyst for others to step forward to contribute and create new memories and recollections that will strengthen the Singapore story and our collective identity as Singaporeans.

Next page: Launch of Singapore HeritageFest 2013

Launch of Singapore HeritageFest 2013

From 19 to 28 July 2013, SHF 2013, NHB's annual signature outreach event, invites Singaporeans to share and create "Memories for Tomorrow"; cherishing our shared history and experiences while providing an inspiration to look towards the future. This year, 10 Festival Hubs and over 20 programmes island-wide will serve to emphasise the diversity and richness of our multicultural heritage.

Since its inception in 2004, SHF's visitorship has surged from 620,000 to 1.3 million in 2012. This has been accompanied by the growing involvement of Singaporeans from all walks of life - corporations, community groups, or simply passionate individuals and the man-on-the-street who are interested in our heritage.

Their contributions have brought the Festival to new heights with grounds-up programming that resonate with Singaporeans. SHF 2013 is no different with participation from an unprecedented 64 corporations and individuals, a 60 per cent increase from 2012, chipping in to create and enhance the Festival's programming.

Mrs Rosa Daniel, Chief Executive Officer of the NHB, said, "We celebrate our 20th birthday this year and there is indeed much to cheer about as we have, in recent years, witnessed an increased passion and interest in heritage. It is thus timely for the introduction of a new grant scheme that will create the environment for greater community engagement and participation in our heritage.

"The Heritage Grant will serve as a good complement to our existing outreach efforts, such as the SHF, and deepen our collaboration with like-minded groups and individuals. Together, through these fruitful partnerships, we will build new, invaluable memories for future generations to cherish and keep."

Memories For Tomorrow

Singapore HeritageFest 2013 celebrates its 10th year with 10 days of exhibitions and programmes at 10 festival hubs, bringing heritage right to you!

This July, the festival will uncover stories of people from all walks of life, told by Singaporeans who have fond memories of yesteryear or the younger generations who have a special connection with our shared history. From magic and music to national monuments and old trades, the festival's exhibitions and programmes will focus on themes that are close to everyone's hearts, for families and friends to enjoy together.

Be part of this memory-sharing experience that treasures our past, as we create more memories for tomorrow!

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