“We have seen the positive impact that the arts has brought to the lives of these young people. The children and youth are able to express themselves creatively through the arts, hone their artistic skills and develop characteristics such as resilience, self-worth and confidence. They now dare to dream and can look forward to new avenues in life that they would not have thought of before.”
Mr Alvin Tay,
Chairman, BT BAF Advisory Board
Vishnucharan Naidu s/o Vijayan
Former BT BAF Beneficiary from 2012 to 2015
“I hope to be able to venture into education and and use theatre as a tool to reach out to young people who don’t have the means to afford an arts education, similar to what BT BAF did for me.”
Losing his father the sole breadwinner of the family was a huge blow to Vishnucharan who was only 12 then. Vishnucharan, also known as Vishnu, started lessons at The Little Arts Academy at the age of 14 as a beneficiary of BT BAF. He found therapeutic benefits in theatre as an outlet to express himself emotionally and creatively.
Fueled by his passion for theatre and production, Vishnu set up his own company – Big Birds Productions and has produced several plays to address societal issues that he hoped to raise more awareness and empathy for. In Vishnu’s final year project, he produced a theatre forum titled ‘in(VISIBLE)’ to initiate open public discussions on mental illness.
Vishnu graduated from Singapore Polytechnic with a diploma in Applied Drama and Psychology where he also received the Model Student Award in 2016. He continues to be actively involved in the theatre scene and hopes to inspire the younger generation with his productions to take social action.
Kang Joo Soon
Former BT BAF Beneficiary from 2009 to to 2016
“I felt a great sense of accomplishment when two of my paintings were sold at a previous fundraising event. I was very happy that the proceeds went towards supporting The Business Times Budding Artists Fund, a fund that has helped me fulfil my dreams of being an artist.”
Joo Soon was referred to BT BAF at the recommendation of his primary school teacher. Having shown keen interest in drawing, Joo Soon was eager to learn more about visual arts. However, his family was not able to afford art classes. With BT BAF’s support, Joo Soon attended weekly lessons at The Little Arts Academy where he learned new techniques and honed his skills.
At 13, Joo Soon exhibited his works for the first time at Mini Monet, an advanced visual arts programme sponsored by United Overseas Bank which teaches the children to conceptualise and create artworks for an exhibition. Subsequently, Joo Soon displayed his artworks in 12 other exhibitions. Two of his paintings were sold at the T32 Dental Charity Art Exhibition in 2010 and proceeds from this sale went to BT BAF. Joo Soon’s artwork was also selected for the “Our People, Our Home” exhibition organised by local contemporary art gallery, Ode to Art.
Today, Joo Soon has graduated from Ngee Ann Polytechnic with a diploma in Arts Business Management. He gives back to BT BAF by sharing his experience with his peers and continues to be involved with the training centres as part of the alumni community.
Nur Afiqah Rapee, 23
Former BT BAF Beneficiary from 2012 to 2015
“The training and dance opportunities I received at 10 Square Youth has helped me build a strong dance portfolio. With the training I received, I landed a place in LASALLE College of the Arts where I’m finally able to work towards my dream of being a professional dancer.”
At 17, Afiqah knew that she wanted to become a professional in dance. Dance was her CCA in secondary school and she was intent on furthering her passion into a career. In order to achieve her goal, Afiqah applied for BT BAF’s support to join 10 Square Youth’s dance training programme to develop and better her skills.
In 10 Square Youth, she gained numerous opportunities to participate in large-scale dance events such as DiverseCity– Singapore International Foundation’s annual showcase of collaborations between Singaporean artists and overseas partners, ChildAid Singapore – an annual charity children concert by Singapore Press Holdings and overseas events such as ChildAid Asia Kuala Lumpur and Tokyo.
Afiqah’s dedication and determination to succeed earned her a spot in the dance faculty of LASALLE College of the Arts. She hopes to give back to BT BAF and the society when she completes her studies.