chapter  4
15 Pages

A Drama of Change Cultural Policy and the Performing Arts in Southeast Asia

The period from full-fledged independence in 1965 to the early 1980s was known for government policies geared toward industrial and economic development, with cultural development ostensibly receiving lower priority in terms of policy attention and budget allocation. After several decades of false starts and unfocused efforts in cultural policy, the watershed was marked by the formation of an Advisory Council on Culture and the Arts in February 1988. The biennial Festival of Arts, organized by National Arts Council (NAC), is one of the major events in Singapore's cultural calendar and actively promoted by the Singapore Tourist Board. The existence of the Arts Housing Scheme implies a degree of dependency of artists on the state. While the arts will always need some kind of institutional support, the present scheme can also lead to dependence by provision. On a national scale, most of the urban planning projects have been oriented toward achieving this great city of the next millennium.