Singapore-based bank DBS and Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay have announced a strategic partnership to launch a community uplift project around the Marina Bay area.
As part of the new partnership, DBS will donate SGD 3.5 million to support a range of free programmes that will be presented at Esplanade’s Outdoor Theatre every Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and on public holidays.
The venue will be recognised as the DBS Foundation Outdoor Theatre at Esplanade for the next five years, a release stated.
Karen Ngui, DBS Group Head of Strategic Marketing and Communications, and Board Member of DBS Foundation, said their joint efforts with Esplanade are integral in promoting and widening access to the arts in the community.
“With the myriad of uncertainties we all face – be it the pandemic, inflation concerns or geopolitical tensions, among others – it is even more important that we find light in our daily lives and develop a greater sense of community to uphold one another. We look forward to providing the community with more experiences to discover, explore and express themselves, and more opportunities to come together and bond,” she added.
Beginning May 3, 2023, the bank will also launch and present its own series of free programmes, ‘DBS Perspectives @ Esplanade’, mostly on the first and last Wednesday of every month. Members of the public can expect to enjoy a variety of programmes ranging from live shows, interactive dialogues to experiential workshops.
Yvonne Tham, CEO, The Esplanade Co Ltd thanked DBS for its donation and said that in the 20 years since Esplanade first opened, the Outdoor Theatre has been an indispensable part of the civic life at Marina Bay and is a key part of what makes Singapore’s cityscape dynamic and inclusive.
“Every weekend, regardless of ability or background, anyone can sit down at this theatre to enjoy the arts. This stage has also provided countless opportunities for Singapore artists, particularly emerging musicians and performers, to connect with new audiences and dream bigger. In the wake of the pandemic and amidst global uncertainties, we are encouraged that DBS Foundation has stepped forward to share and grow these efforts in bringing diverse people together, uplifting spirits, and inspiring Singapore’s creative future through the arts,” she said.
‘DBS Perspectives @ Esplanade’s’ programme line-up includes topics ranging from a light-hearted look into intergenerational dynamics within a family, to unpacking the nation’s sustainability concerns, to diving into much-needed discussions around issues such as mental health, among others.
Programmes will also focus on using food as a medium to spark new ideas and exchanges around Singapore’s food-related challenges, such as food waste. This also builds on DBS’ broader ‘Towards Zero Food Waste’ initiative launched in 2020 to work towards a more food secure and resilient future.
The first show on May 3 - ‘Intergenerational Fashion Runway’ - is organised in partnership with local social enterprises City Sprouts, The Fashion Pulpit, and Singapore Fashion Runway; it will use fashion as a theme to explore and bridge generational perspectives and conversations.
“Through DBS Foundation’s work with many purpose-driven and innovative entrepreneurs in Singapore, we have witnessed first-hand the great ideas and potential residing within the next- generation. It is our hope that the DBS Foundation Outdoor Theatre can eventually be a stage for more of these bright minds to come forth, express their thoughts, and be heard,” said Ngui.
Other DBS Foundation projects include working with People of Purpose (PoP), DBS’ employee volunteer movement, to bring more underserved communities to the bay; increasing the frequency of DBS Sailing at the Bay programme from two to five days a week; returning as the presenting sponsor of i Light Singapore, Asia’s leading sustainable light festival, for the second year running. The festival will be held at Marina Bay from June 1 to 25, 2023.
More details on the partnership and upcoming “DBS Perspectives @ Esplanade” programmes are available online.