More appreciating arts and culture in Singapore: Survey

SINGAPORE - More Singaporeans are showing a greater appreciation for the arts, according to the latest findings of the National Population Survey on the Arts, released by the National Arts Council (NAC).

The survey, conducted from Dec 2013 to March this year, shows that more than two-thirds of Singaporeans believed that the arts helped them express their thoughts, feelings and ideas, enabled them to be more creative and improved the quality of life for everyone.

Compared to 2011, appreciation had risen by 4 per cent on average.

Value of arts engagement also increased by an average of 8 per cent from 2011.

More Singaporeans said that the arts gave them a better understanding of people of different backgrounds and cultures, while more than half said that the arts enhanced their sense of identity, as well as sense of belonging.

Among the 2,015 people polled, students (79%) were the most appreciative of the arts' ability to help express thoughts, feelings and ideas.

Technology has also fuelled an increase in Singaporeans engaging in the arts via digital and electronic media, with 9 in 10 having read, viewed or listened to some form of arts content using digital and electronic media in the last 12 months.

This has grown from 8 in 10 Singaporeans in 2011.

However, live arts attendance rate has seen a decline to 40 per cent in 2013 from its peak at 48 per cent in 2011.

This is the same attendance level as 2009.

NAC attributed the decline to slower economic growth in 2012 and 2013, compared to buoyant conditions of 2010, fewer ticketed arts activities last year, and the need to fulfil family commitments was also an increasingly significant barrier to attending arts activities, claims NAC.

The arts have also become more accessible to Singaporeans of all income levels. According to the survey, more among the lower income group of a monthly household income of less than $2,000 are attending or participating in the arts.