“Without funding, good intention and revolutionary zeal can only take you so far.” That is a line from an open letter published by Kathy Rowland, one of the founding members of ArtsEquator, a registered charity that publishes South East Asian art news and reviews on its website.
If you are not familiar with ArtsEquator, maybe you can start here with Joel Tan’s An Elder Millennial’s Guide to Classic Singapore TV & Movies, a highly digestible and nostalgic walk through Singapore’s golden TV and movie years. There’s Phua Chu Kang, Under One Roof, Singapore Dreaming and of course, Growing Up.
Rowland’s letter, published on the 2nd of September, is an open appeal of sorts, where she first has us visualize ArtsEquator as a mythical beast and then, as the letter concludes, as an endangered animal.
She reveals that ArtsEquator, like many other arts media organisations, have been hard-hit by the pandemic. And pandemic aside, arts content in local media in recent years have either been reduced or cut completely. Yet, were it not for the pandemic, she is confident that they would have hung on.
For although much of their content was fiercely independent, they also nurtured alternative income streams in the form of paid advertorials and working with arts organisations on projects. But the pandemic had swallowed up all of that. It also brought bad news: that though the National Arts Council would not cut funding completely, it had deigned to reject their proposal for a grant that would sustain them for the next three years.
Unwilling to keep scaling back on its coverage on the arts, ArtsEquator decided to fundraise, to stay in the game for thought-provoking arts content. Donations start at just $20.
Click here to visit ArtsEquator’s giving.sg fundraising page.
Still here? Why not check out more of ArtsEquator’s great coverage of Singapore’s artists, like Sam Lo, also known as the one who did this:
Or check out this cheeky piece about the dangers of quoting Singaporean poetry out of context.
What is your level of involvement with the arts in Singapore? Do you feel that “all art is quite useless”?