Last week, we had the opportunity to sit down with another exciting personality in the area, Clare Schapiro, an experienced theatre practitioner from Canada, who is now an Artisitic Director at Singapore Creations Etc.
This non-profit organisation works to develop young people through the arts, to challenge their minds and explore their creativity. They help create a platform for a diverse crowd, aged 6 to 20 years. These kids, regardless of race, religion and nationality, gather each week to feed the stage with their thoughts and opinions. Clare, who has a background of over 40 years in theater and the arts, mostly in Canada, started the movement when she first founded Creations Etc. in Montreal, Canada back in 1978. Since then, she has worked with a few other arts movements that mainly advocate womenʼs and childrenʼs rights before moving to Singapore.
Clare believes kids in Singapore that face social and cultural issues can be helped through such platforms and places like the Sultan Gate area can be a possible hub for intervention. Just as her movements, Sultan Gate does help breed a multi-racial and diverse society that can all unite through the language of food, music and the arts. The presence of places such as the Aliwal Arts Centre here can act as a catalyst to such movements. She probably would have not come to this area had she not been introduced to it by a friend and she certainly does not regret being here. With the mosque that almost centres the area and the sound of Adzan (prayer) that fills the space, Clare canʼt help but feel protected, as if taken to a whole other beautiful dimension. She also senses something quite evocative about the area. The diverse flocks of locals and tourists, the play of music -a mixture of Arabic, modern and pop genres- is all fascinating to her. Thereʼs also something new to set your eyes on.
She is also happy to see movements such as Lit The Stage by SultanGate.sg as a good point to nurture young, up and coming musicians and talents. With the rise of community-driven movements for the younger generations, Clare has no doubt that we are able to create wider platforms for a more successful and wholesome Singapore. And all that innovation can start right here at Sultan Gate.
Written by : Junid
Photo by : Wanie Maz