We will all remember the Year 2020. The pandemic has forced us to accept a new norm, as we adapt and adopt new guidelines on social interaction and how we conduct our everyday life. It has been challenging for all of us, for some in more significant ways than for others. In these challenging times, we seek inspiration from those who rise and thrive, and strive to journey forward. SMU Arts Festival 2020: A-PART is a glowing tribute to that unwavering spirit, and I am immensely proud to welcome you to it.
For the first time, the SMU Arts Festival goes virtual, and has the priceless potential to reach a global stay-home audience. It is also a tour de force and showcase of resilience on the part of our students and staff mentors from the Office of Student Life to demonstrate that through good times and rough patches, the show must go on.
This month-long festival instalment is a creative labour of love that features more than 350 amazing student talents from 11 CCA arts clubs in eight exciting student-driven works. The virtual performances span song, dance, music, literary and visual arts - all of which explore how varied emotions caused by COVID-19 ultimately nurture into empathy and hope through the healing powers of time and space. Our students have spent many months tirelessly planning, rehearsing and filming to put together an innovative maiden online arts festival.
I highlight in particular, TO GATHER, a mini documentary series by SMU Chinese Orchestra that illustrates their collaboration with three special-needs musicians from the community on a beautiful musical project. This programme is supported by Central Singapore Community Development Council through the Do-Good Grant@SMU.
Several of these festival works weave in audience interaction and I highly encourage you to participate in them to gain a more immersive and personal artistic experience. Come and play with us in PLAY A-PART, where the audience is invited to become artists, and submit their festival-inspired pieces online.
I am very pleased that all our SMU Arts Festival offerings are absolutely free this year for both local and overseas audiences. We have, however, provided a link for donations towards the SMU Resilience Fund. The COVID-19 pandemic has adversely impacted many sectors in our community, and there are many students whose families have been unexpectedly affected. The SMU Resilience Fund is a special fund that supports SMU students and their families financially impacted by COVID-19. As student welfare remains our utmost priority, I would like to take this opportunity to encourage you to contribute generously to the fund if you are able.
Finally, I wish you a wonderful experience at SMU Arts Festival 2020: A-PART, as you explore the specially-curated artistic creations and discover our incredible SMU talents!
With all good wishes,
Professor Paulin Straughan
Dean of Students