Mar 14, 2017

Arts in Your Neighbourhood 2017: Your Week-by-Week Arts Performances Itinerary for Kids


If there's one thing I learnt about the Arts since becoming a parent, it will be one does not need to be all arty-farty to appreciate and enjoy art performances. In fact, compared to when Ash was born 12 years ago, I would say that the arts scene in Singapore has definitely evolved and become more accessible to everyone.

Like how some of the arts experiences can now be found at one's doorsteps... or even quirky places like West Coast Playground!

Last November, we attended a free puppet show at the outdoor playground and I was mightily impressed at how it incorporated the Spiderweb structure into part of the show. Not only did the kids love it, even the adults laughed so heartily!

The puppet show was part of the Arts in Your Neighbourhood (AYN) programme under the Arts for All initiative by the National Arts Council. Aimed at bringing enriching arts experiences to your doorsteps, AYN is back again this March which will feature a series of free and enjoyable arts activities by established artists and arts groups, at various parts of the island. Best of all, ALL activities are FREE for everyone!

This time around, AYN will be focusing on the northern part of Singapore to rediscover the neighbourhood of Yishun, with brand new activities happening from now to 26 March 2017.

Here's a FUN FACT- Did you know Yishun used to be a pineapple plantation back in the 1900s? Also, Yishun is the Mandarin romanisation of Nee Soon, named after Lim Nee Soon for his contributions to the development of the district as well as his pioneering efforts in the rubber industry. Lim owned rubber and pineapple plantations in many areas, and rubber processing factories. (Source)

Outside of Yishun, there are other activities happening at other locations in Singapore too. Audiences can get ready to be treated to a delightful line-up of over 30 arts and cultural activities, ranging from dance, music and theatrical performances, to interactive visual art installations and fringe activities.

AYN is already in full swing during this week of March School Holidays and with 2 more weekends to go before it ends, I have curated an itinerary of fun-filled arts programmes that you can follow over the next 2 weeks. And yes, all of them are suitable for the entire family!

Kick off this coming weekend with a dance performance right in the heartlands of Yishun on Saturday:

1. District 27
by P7:1SMA featuring OrkeStar Trio

Dates: 18 & 19 March 2017 (SAT & SUN)
Time: 7.30pm
Venue: Chong Pang Amphitheatre

P7:1SMA presents an immersive performance that draws inspiration from the lost landmarks of Yishun and Sembawang such as Sultan Theatre, Naval Base and the coconut groves of Kampong Wak Hassan.

Follow the dancers and musicians as they perform amidst the hustle and bustle of the hawker centre and daily convenience shops in the heart of the Yishun neighbourhood. Look forward to a unique choreography that combines both contemporary and traditional Malay dance moves with captivating music compositions from OrkeStar Trio.

Next, spend the Sunday afternoon at a unique children’s theatre show!

2. A Dragon Behind The Door & More!
by Sweet Tooth (Cake Theatrical Productions)

Date: 19 March 2017 (SUN)
Time: 2pm & 5pm
Venue: Toa Payoh HDB Hub

Join Mini and her father on their amazing journey when they have to stay at Aunt Trixie’s house after waking up to find their house overrun with spotted beetles. Grab a seat in a spotted beetle and get swept away in a magical, fun-filled journey where the imagination takes flight of puppets, larger-than-life characters, music and surprises a-plenty!

And that’s not all! Wander through specially crafted Curious Houses, where families can explore, make believe and bond over craft activities from weaving a dragon, making a spotted beetle puppet to creating your very own mini pop-up theatre.

*Fringe activities will take place on 18/19 March (Toa Payoh HDB Hub) from 11am to 7pm.

The kids will most probably be still on a high after the show, so pop over to Tampines for an interactive Wayang Kulit show!

3. Wow! Wayang
by Sri Warisan

Date: 19 March 2017 (SUN)
Time: 7.30pm
Venue: Our Tampines Hub, (Festive Plaza)

Relive the good old kampong days through this traditional shadow play performance, accompanied by live gamelan music, as stories come to life on a larger-than-life jumbo screen.

From traditional folktales of princes and their adventures to modern day superhero characters, watch closely as these stories unfold through puppetry and the juxtaposition of traditional and modern presentation. Audiences will have a chance to try out the different Wayang Kulit puppets during the performance.

Take a breather for the week, and wake up next Sunday morning for a musical trail around Yishun. It's highly recommended!

4. Arts Imprints Around My Neighbourhood 我家周边的记艺—义顺回响
by Quek Ling Kiong 郭勇德 (HIGHLIGHT!)

Date: 26 March 2017 (SUN)
Time: 9.30am
Venue: Chong Pang Amphitheatre /Yishun Neighbourhood Park

Whether you are a child, parent, grandparent, or someone looking to explore the arts in your neighbourhood, this is one immersive musical experience to rediscover Yishun!

Starting from either Chong Pang Amphitheatre or Yishun Neighbourhood Park, follow the footsteps of the musicians to uncover the story of Yishun, one of the oldest estates in Singapore. Expect a fun-filled experience from pop-up music performances to learning simple drumming techniques and ending on a high note with a special finale concert at GV Yishun cinema! 

Following two successful runs in Toa Payoh and Bedok, this musical trail around the Yishun neighbourhood is the third and final one in the series.

*Transport will be provided for the trail which will end at GV Yishun Cinema.
*Programme is in English and Mandarin.
*Registration is required. To register for the programme, visit

End off the week with a multicultural musical that fuses the best of multi-ethnic sounds.

5. Water: A Musical Tribute
by Nawaz Mirajkar

Date: 26 March 2017 (SUN)
Time: 7.30pm
Venue: Chong Pang Amphitheatre

Inspired by the diverse forms of water, this multi-ethnic performance celebrates the beauty, strength and life of the water element. Fusing Indian, Chinese, and western instruments, this multicultural musical and percussive extravaganza led by Nawaz Mirajkar will leave you wanting for more!

Over the 2 weeks, you can also bring the kids down to the following art installations too:

6. Whisper to a Roar
by Angie Seah

Date: Now until 23 March 2017
Venue: Woodlands Civic Centre

Inspired by the everyday sounds of living in an HDB flat, this sound installation draws on the voices, music and sounds from the surroundings such as conversations at void deck or frying of the carrot cake at the hawker centre.

Visitors are invited to select their own favourite everyday sounds to create a symphony of their neighbourhood.

7. The Real Estates
by Jean Loo

Date: Now until 29 March 2017
Venue: Nee Soon East Courtyard

In the third and final instalment of The Real Estates, artist Jean Loo and her team of photographers draw inspiration and uncover the unique sights, sounds and stories from the Yishun neighbourhood. Visit the installation featuring a rich visual tapestry of photographs that showcases familiar sights and scenes in everyday Yishun and pen down what the neighbourhood means to you.

Oh, and if you are down for any one of the events, remember to redeem your FREE AYN Tote Bags there! All you have to do is to like Arts for All's Facebook page and Instagram account. While stocks last!!!

For full programme listings and to download programme brochure, visit:

Better yet, follow Arts For All's Facebook page at and Instagram account (@artsforallsg) to stay updated on the latest happenings of upcoming events and shows!

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