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Arts training for more young Singaporeans
THE Business Times Budding Artists Fund (BT BAF) celebrates its 12th anniversary this month by reaching out to even more Singaporeans through the opening of two new arts training centres in Northpoint in Yishun in the fourth quarter of the year.
Both will be run by The RICE Company Ltd (TRCL) which manages the fund that aims to help financially disadvantaged children pursue their dreams in the arts.
BT BAF currently already supports two centrally located arts centres - The Little Arts Academy (LAA) at Selegie Road and 10 Square @ Orchard Central on Orchard Road. Both are multi-disciplinary arts centres which provide creative learning environments for children and youth respectively; and beneficiaries aged six to 19 pursue music, dance, theatre and visual arts there.
The new centres will be named Little Arts Academy North Campus 1 and North Campus 2; and are 4,500 square feet and 3,200 square feet respectively. North Campus 1 will have facilities for dance and theatre training; while North Campus 2 will have a music and visual arts studios, as well multi-purpose rooms.
Chairman of BT BAF and former editor of The Business Times Alvin Tay says the expansion will allow LAA to increase their annual intake by 300 and further its reach so as to sustain a running cohort of 800 beneficiaries.
Mr Tay adds: "There are (also) many who may find it challenging to travel to town for their lessons; as such, these two new centres will serve the needs of families in the North and North East and make it more convenient for them to attend arts classes."
Aminah Hussien, head of both LAA and 10 Square, shares that since BT BAF's inception in 2005, it has supported more than 15,000 children and youth from all walks of life: "We hope to keep up with this momentum and to further deepen our outreach efforts into the heartlands of Singapore with the opening of the Little Arts Academy North 1 and 2."
BT BAF will also celebrate its anniversary on Friday with a special performance by the students and alumni from The Little Arts Academy and 10 Square.
The show titled A Special TSA: Truth, Struggles & Achievement will feature stories of the main cast told through a series of videos and performances that depict their perspective towards life, education as well as their learning journey through the arts.
It will take place at 10 Square where United Overseas Bank (UOB) will also donate US$400,000 to the fund through ChildAid, the annual children's charity concert which raises money for BT BAF and The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund.
Eric Tham, head of group commercial banking at UOB, will present the cheque to Mr Tay at the event.