Celebrating Arts Donors

Published on 18 July 2017


During the recent Patron of the Arts Awards ceremony, it was announced that there had been a $64.7 million boost to the arts sector through arts patrons, as well as a rise in the number of individual arts patrons, in 2016.

Said Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, “As patrons of the arts, your support will go a long way, not just in furthering artistic development and excellence in Singapore, but also bringing people together through the arts, and enriching the lives of many generations of Singaporeans to come.”

Such contributions are considered especially remarkable in an economically-challenging climate. For example, in-kind contributions (including artwork loans) were at an all-time high of over $20 million in 2016, compared to $7 million in the previous year.

To encourage more cultural philanthropy, the government announced earlier this year that there would be a $150 million top-up to the Cultural Matching Fund, which provides dollar-for-dollar (1:1) matching grants for private cash donation to arts and heritage charities and Institutions of Public Character.

“We are grateful to our arts patrons who continue to be NAC’s invaluable partners in developing artistic excellence and capabilities, expanding access to and appreciation for the arts, and advancing the social value of the arts,” said Mrs Rosa Daniel, CEO of NAC.

Three Patron of the Arts awardees share their motivation behind supporting the arts:


“At SIF, we believe that the arts are the expression of a society’s identity, way of life and perspective. As a medium that transcends language, it has the power to connect people and communities, creating bridges and lifting barriers. In 2016, we launched the ‘Arts for Good initiative‘ to harness the transformative power of the arts to bring people together and for social impact. Together with artists and practitioners, we sought to raise awareness of social issues, share best practices, as well as galvanise greater community involvement in sustainable change. We partner artists, cultural institutions and different sectors of society to contribute to positive social change through the arts and culture. Arts for Good aims to foster inclusive communities, promote sustainable urban living and enable livelihoods.”


Credit: Hong Leong Foundation

“Hong Leong Foundation has always been a strong supporter of the arts and has invested much in this growing sector for over 30 years.  The Foundation believes in the importance of a thriving arts scene for all Singaporeans to enjoy, and hence will continue its support towards local budding talents and the development of various art forms. We will continue to give our help to various avenues that will open young minds to freedom of thought and creativity. Some of our beneficiaries in 2016 include the Sri Warisan Som Said Performing Arts Ltd, the Singapore Violin Festival, Song Lovers Choral Society, Buddhist Fellowship, The Malay Heritage Foundation, Singapore Chinese Orchestra, Toy Factory Productions, and Robot Playground Media Pte. Ltd.”

– Michelle Kwek, a Governor of Hong Leong Foundation


Credit: National Arts Council

Su organised a pop-up exhibition of his personal collection of Andy Warhol’s rare Polaroids titled ‘Andy Warhol: Social Circus’ as part of Singapore Art Week 2016 at Gillman Barracks. He is the founder of The Ryan Foundation, which promotes art education and nature conservation.  

“Many young people in Singapore would know of Andy Warhol, but they may not get the chance to see his actual works. During this exhibition’s opening last year, 100 people RSVP’d but over 2,000 came. There was a lot of buzz around this event because it attracted not only the art lovers, but the fashion crowd and photographers as well. This felt meaningful. It was the largest collection of Andy Warhol’s Polaroids exhibited in Asia.”

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