Creating New Urban Landscapes in Asia
Chapter 11: From education to enterprise in Singapore: converting old schools to new artistic and aesthetic use
Particularly in the first decade of the twenty-first century, a range of related ideas surrounding the ‘creative economies’ were adopted by numerous government agencies in Singapore, signalling the optimism with which they approached the sector. Official discourse included references to creative/cultural industries, creative manpower, creative workforce, creative clusters, creative town and cultural capital. As we explained in Chapter 5, the economic potential of culture and the arts was championed by numerous political leaders, including and perhaps particularly by the then Minister for Information and the Arts, George Yeo. Agencies such as the Economic Development Board and, later, the Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts (MICA), as well as the Economic Review Committee (ERC) of 2002 were active in promoting this potential. Official documents such as those we introduced in Chapter 5 (for example, Report of the Advisory Council on Culture and the Arts (1989), Investing in Singapore’s Cultural Capital by the Ministry of Information and the Arts (2002) and Creative Industries Development Strategy by the Economic Review Committee (2002)) serve as reminders of the context within which we must examine the use of space for cultural and creative activities.
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