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Choo, Suzanne S.
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With a view to making a connection between literacy development and community arts, this paper considers selected arts and cultural policies in Singapore and utilises a ground-up community arts centre in the western part of Singapore as a case study. The discussion is supported by information gleaned from interviews with the founder of the centre, Lucy (a pseudonym), and two other community artists, an intern and two children who are regular participants at the centre. The literature framing the discussion spotlights identity and agency as they relate to literacy and community arts. I write this paper from the perspective of an educator and arts manager. Therefore, the government body that is most relevant to my study is the National Arts Council (NAC). My discussion highlights that the factors driving plans and strategies, whether in education or specific to the arts and culture, are largely pragmatic and economic in nature. What impact, then, do pragmatic and economic
requirements have on the practice of community arts? An in-depth exploration of what community arts ought to be or should not be and thoughts on how to change it are outside the scope of this paper, but national objectives seem not to specifically address the person – the individual, the human being – who takes part in community arts. Community arts is a creative function of civic space, an important corollary to quotidian forms of transaction that are the hallmarks of five-foot ways, neighbourhood shops and even the highly structured agenda of State-run community centres. While it is near impossible to make community arts in its present iteration without government funding, there is a need to expand its footprint on the community through a variety of ways, such as by redefining and recognising the place and role of literacy in a more fundamental and programmatic fashion for the individual.
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LC157.S55 Oei
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Appears in Collections:Master of Education

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