One Foot In: An ‘Arts NMP’ on Politics and Activism in Influencing Cultural Policy


Audrey Wong reflects on her two years as Nominated Member of Parliament for the arts, her experience in the House and her role as an intermediary of sorts between government and the arts community. How does her previous work as activist and co-Artistic Director of independent arts centre The Substation affect her perception of her new role as “arts NMP”? Does having an arts NMP open up possibilities for artists and Singaporeans to influence cultural policy-making? Are there limits to speaking up? And does having an Arts NMP change the politics of engagement between artists, the wider community, legislators and policy makers?



Ms Audrey Wong, Programme Leader, MA Arts & Cultural Management Programme, LASALLE College of the Arts

Audrey Wong comes from an artistic family – her mother, Joanna Wong, is an acclaimed Chinese opera artist and Cultural Medallion recipient. She began work at The Substation in 1996 as publicity executive, then moved into programming. There she started Moving Images, the first year-round programme that nurtures local filmmakers. In 2000 she was appointed Artistic Co-director of The Substation, and served in the post until 2009. At The Substation, Audrey organised theatre events, art exhibitions, artist and cross-cultural exchanges and conferences and also commissioned artists of different disciplines. In 2009, she became the first “Arts NMP” after an unprecedented grassroots effort by the arts community to choose their own representative in Parliament. Since August 2010, she has been Programme Leader of the MA Arts & Cultural Management Programme at LASALLE College of the Arts. She is a board member of the Singapore Art Museum and a Council Member of the National Arts Council. She holds a Masters of Arts in English from National University of Singapore and an MA in Arts Management and Cultural Policy from Goldsmiths College, University of London.




Media Reports:


Wednesday, 15 June 2011
2.30 pm – 4.00 pm