The image above is an artwork by Eugene Soh, a Professional artist with ART:DIS. Titled Impressionism–Faith, this abstract painting features expressive blue, black and white brushstrokes emanating from the centre, creating a visual harmony that is pleasing to the eyes. On the top right corner, the overlaying words read “12 March to 14 May 2022. Masterclass: Inclusive Arts”, followed by a link for more information “bit.ly/masterclass_inclusivearts”. On the bottom left corner, the overlaying words read, “Learn how to work with and mentor artists with disabilities, and pave the way for greater diversity in Singapore.” On the right of this colourful image is a white column with four logos in two rows, starting with organisers ART:DIS and National Arts Council on the first row, and venue partners Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts and National Gallery Singapore on the second row.
Image description: The image above is an artwork by Eugene Soh, a Professional artist with ART:DIS. Titled Impressionism–Faith, this abstract painting features expressive blue, black and white brushstrokes emanating from the centre, creating a visual harmony that is pleasing to the eyes. On the top right corner, the overlaying words read “12 March to 14 May 2022.  Masterclass: Inclusive Arts”, followed by a link for more information “bit.ly/masterclass_inclusivearts”. On the bottom left corner, the overlaying words read, “Learn how to work with and mentor artists with disabilities, and pave the way for greater diversity in Singapore.” On the right of this colourful image is a white column with four logos in two rows, starting with organisers ART:DIS and National Arts Council on the first row, and venue partners Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts and National Gallery Singapore on the second row. 

Inclusivity is more than just a buzzword. What does it really take to build a fully accessible arts ecosystem where disabled and mainstream communities can collaborate side by side? Discover artistic best practices from industry and subject-matter experts in a series of five masterclasses ($75 each):

  • Inclusive Dance Making on 12 March (2–6pm) and 19 March (3–7pm) at Aliwal Arts Centre
  • Inclusive Music Making on 26 March and 2 April (2–6pm) at Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts
  • Inclusive Visual Arts Making on 9 April and 16 April (2–6pm) at Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts
  • Accessibility and Inclusion on 24 April and 1 May (2–6pm) at National Gallery Singapore
  • Inclusive Theatre Making on 7 May and 14 May (2–6pm) at Aliwal Arts Centre

Jointly organised by ART:DIS and National Arts Council, with venue support from Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts & National Gallery Singapore, learn how to work with and mentor artists with disabilities, and pave the way for greater diversity in Singapore.

Who should attend?

  • Individuals aged 16 and above who are interested in knowing more about inclusivity and accessibility in the arts sector.
  • Artists, arts educators and art groups from both mainstream and disabled communities.
  • Participants with fully vaccinated status, following completion of their booster dose within 270 days of their 2nd dose. Exceptions are made for the two masterclasses ‘Inclusive Music Making’ and ‘Inclusive Visual Arts Making’ due to the concession provided by the venue partner.
  • While not necessary, having prior knowledge and experience in the arts would be an advantage.

Find out more about each masterclass’s programme and facilitators by clicking on the different tabs below. 

For enquiries, please send an email to joosoon@artdis.org.sg

Experience Diverse Abilities Dance Collective’s (DADC) methodologies in facilitating an inclusive dance class environment. Through two masterclass sessions, participants will gain insight into the sensitivities of communicating in an inclusive way and learn tools that can be applied in multiple settings.

Topics covered in Session 1:

  • The importance of warmup exercises
  • Adapting one’s movements and communication styles
  • Different learning settings for persons with diverse abilities
  • How to describe movements that are accessible to all persons
  • How to facilitate creative expression and open collaboration
  • The importance of open exploration and differences in interpretation
  • Activities for this session include executing basic movement sets and creating an improvised sequence of movements

Topics covered in Session 2:

  • How words can be used to inspire movement
  • How different interpretations can combine together
  • How prose can be used to inspire movement
  • The importance of peer learning and feedback
  • How poetry, dance, music and film can meld into a single work
  • Activities for this session include employing movement to create a scenario and responding to poems via movements

Biographies of facilitators

Kavitha Krishnan, artistic director of Maya Dance Theatre (MDT) founded the company with Imran Manaff, creative producer/company manager and associate director, Juraimy Abu Bakar in 2007. She is also the co-founder and creative director of Apsara Asia Pte Ltd an arts education service provider to schools for the past 18 years. As a dance artist, Kavitha was part of ASEAN Flagship Contemporary dance production Realizing Rama which toured internationally.

Kavitha's long experience in Classical Indian Dance (Bharathanatyam), Asian dance forms and modern contemporary dance brings a unique Asian contemporary dance expression to MDT. Over the years, Kavitha has created inter-disciplinary/trans-cultural dance-theatre works with social consciousness and has worked with international collaborators from Australia, USA, Asia and Europe.

Trained as an occupational therapist, Kavitha has also conducted arts outreach programmes for Esplanade’s Community Arts Engagement programmes reaching out to 5 nursing homes and 5 senior activity centres. In 2015, Kavitha worked with Assisted Integrated Care (AIC) to create and operate a pilot creative movement programme for the elderly from Jamiah Nursing Home. In 2018 and as part of MDT, Kavitha further founded Diverse Abilities Dance Collective (DADC) made up of performers with different abilities.

Subastian Tan is a graduate of Singapore Management University (SMU) with a degree in Social Sciences (Psychology). Since 2016, he has been a dancer at Maya Dance Theatre (MDT), performing for productions that address social issues through dance theatre such as Anwesha: Beyond The Darkness and Pancha: Flowers Don't Bloom All The Time.

He is also the programme supervisor of Diverse Abilities Dance Collective (DADC), a community initiative by MDT started in 2018 which provides a semi-professional platform for persons of all abilities. The team has since presented works locally and internationally, fostering empowerment and giving a voice to a diverse group of artists. Through his craft, Subastian aims to connect across cultures and abilities to reflect lived experiences and provide a safe space for conversation and introspection.

June Lin is one of the founding members of Diverse Abilities Dance Collective (DADC) since 2018. She has participated in many of the collective’s performances such as Mystique Charity Gala Dinner by Down Syndrome Association (DSA), Shantajali Festival of the Arts, gallery opening at National Gallery Singapore and some live media performances for Mediacorp.

Recently, June was a performer for Speaking With Hands, DADC’s first production featuring works by guest choreographer Liz Lea from Canberra, Australia. She was also part of Small Steps, a work choreographed by Shahrin Johry, which featured in 2013 in Release 2.0 by Maya Dance Theatre and in Bold Festival 2017 in Canberra, Australia. June has also danced for Saarang Festival 2020 in Chennai, India and was the assistant costume manager for the event. She was further one of the featured artists in SEEDS, DADC’s first digital production in 2021.

June is a regular co-facilitator for dance classes catered to preschool children. She has participated as a speaker for Our Lives, Our Voices 2018, and for Having a Say Conference 2018 in Geelong, Australia. Apart from performance, June is an avid bowler who represented Singapore in the Special Olympics in 2015, earning the nation a silver medal.

Arassi Rajkumar is one of the founding members of Diverse Abilities Dance Collective (DADC), a semi-professional dance collective started in 2018 by Maya Dance Theatre (MDT).

As a dancer, she has performed for events such as Shantajali Festival of the Arts, My Home Your Home, Down Syndrome Association’s Mystique charity gala dinner and more. She was also a performer for DADC’s Speaking With Hands, their first production which featured pieces by guest choreographer Liz Lea from Canberra, Australia. Arassi is also involved in DSA’s Fusion Dance team, under which she performed for Earth Hour 2009 and Purple Parade among other shows. She has also been a part of Bold Festival 2017 as a dancer for Small Steps, choreographed by Shahrin Johry.

As a member of DADC, Arassi also co-facilitates dance classes for children of the preschool level and manages the costumes for the team. Arassi also has experience in drums as well.

Jaspreet Kaur is a founding member of Diverse Abilities Dance Collective (DADC), having actively participated in performances with the group. She most recently was a dancer for Speaking With Hands, DADC’s first production, which had pieces choreographed by Liz Lea from Canberra, Australia.

As a dancer in Fusion Dance by Down Syndrome Association Singapore, Jaspreet has performed on numerous platforms such as their annual charity gala dinner and Purple Parade. Jaspreet was also a dancer for Small Steps, choreographed by Shahrin Johry, which was shown at Release 2.0 by Maya Dance Theatre in 2013 and at Bold Festival in Canberra, Australia, in 2017.

Recently, she danced in Saarang Festival 2020 in Chennai, India, while co-leading DADC for an exchange with Down Syndrome Federation of India. Jaspreet also co-choreographed for SEEDS, DADC’s first digital production and represented the team as a self-advocate for the panel discussion, Ethics in Collaboration. Other than performing, Jaspreet also has 16 years of work experience in a kindergarten, which she applies in her dance classes for children at The Artground and Pathlight.

Discover how digital technologies, such as BandLab and GarageBand, can enable and empower musicians to create, collaborate and release music. Through two masterclasses, participants will learn the intricacies of making music and working with persons with disabilities in an audio-rich environment.

Topics covered in Session 1:

  • The song-writing creative workflow
  • Melody-writing
  • The vocabulary of chords
  • Structuring and arranging songs
  • Midi programming
  • Activities for his session include creating a song on Garageband or Bandlab

Topics covered in Session 2:

  • Refining lyrics
  • Recording audio
  • Music mixing
  • Creating a music portfolio
  • Activities for his session include creating a song on Garageband or Bandlab
Biography of facilitators

Philip Tan is a multi-disciplinary creative and music director, with expertise as a composer, surround sound designer, visual artist and educator. His mastery of event direction is evident in his impressive portfolio spanning more than a decade, which includes national events such as the opening of the Singapore Sports Hub (2015) and international ones such as the SEA Games handover 2013 (Myanmar) and ASEAN Para Games in 2015.

Since 1997, Philip's passion for experimenting with new formats, technologies, concepts, music, arts installations and multi-media storytelling has been displayed in over 30 countries. He is a five-time winner of the Life-Theatre Music Awards and was National Arts Council’s Young Artist Awardee in 2007.

Philip Tan has developed innovative arts curricula and design workshops for teachers’ development, arts institutions, polytechnics, universities, special education schools, charitable and welfare organisations, museums and international arts festivals. He currently teaches orchestration and arrangement at Nanyang Technological University (NIE) and music at ACS International School.

Sky Shen began writing lyrics at the age of 13 and engaged with the online community through YouTube. During his time studying at Temasek Polytechnic, he took on the position of Vice-President of the Temasek Polytechnic Chorale and was trained as a countertenor/soprano under Singaporean conductor and composer Darius Lim. He graduated in 2014 as valedictorian and received multiple accolades in recognition of this excellent studentship.

Sky went on to pursue Pop Vocal Performance & Songwriting at the Lee Wei Song School of Music. His covers of anime theme songs have seen him amassed a steady following on YouTube, and he hopes to continue his reach by performing at local cafes and corporate events.

As a keen media communicator, Sky believes that everyone has a unique story to tell. He now dedicates his expertise in media production to YMCA, assisting the non-profit organisation in raising awareness about social issues. Beyond work, Sky is also regularly engaged as a freelance emcee. He especially enjoys hosting community service events for social service agencies.

Experience ART:DIS’s inclusive approach in engaging with artists with disabilities. Through two masterclasses, participants will uncover best practices in conducting visual arts sessions with persons with disabilities, and recognise how art-making can facilitate both mainstream and disabled communities to learn together.

Topics covered in Session 1:

  • Different profiles of persons with disabilities
  • Strategies to scaffold steps in art-making
  • Challenges faced by persons with disabilities in class
  • How to facilitate a student’s creative journey
  • Activities for this session include creating an artwork on canvas

Topics covered in Session 2:

  • Coping strategies of persons with disabilities
  • The importance of reviewing the art-making process
  • Tools to plan and create a project for persons with disabilities
  • Activities for this session include creating an artwork on canvas

Biographies of facilitators

Ranae Lee-Nasir is a Singapore-based visual arts educator with a Bachelor's degree in Printmaking (Fine Arts) and a Master of Education (Special Education). She has 20 years of facilitation experience, providing visual arts workshops and historical/ arts tours to mainstream and special needs participants aged 7 years old to adulthood.

As an educator, Ranae is an adjunct lecturer at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts’ Centre of Lifelong Education and Ngee Ann Polytechnic’s School of Humanities and Social Science. With her students being of varying needs, Ranae practices a mindfulness approach towards teaching and learning.

She is a mother of one and during their free time, they would frequently explore Singapore and its many gastronomic delights. Their dream is to one day embark on a foodie’s trip around the world.

Noah Tan is an exceptional young visual artist with autism, who took up visual arts training with ART:DIS (formerly known as Very Special Arts Singapore) when he was 7 years old. He has further trained at Rainbow Centre’s Talent Art Programme and graduated as valedictorian in 2019. He went on to pursue a Certificate in Visual Arts from Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts and earned a distinction in his studies.

Noah has an innate talent to match hues and shades. His understanding of colours results in vivid and harmonious imagery. When coupled with his distinctive painting style of clean lines, Noah’s artwork has earned him both national & international accolades and awards.

In 2016, he was one of the contributing artists for Rainbow Centre’s fundraising event, where he live-painted finishing touches on a Louis chair at ION Art Gallery together with the Guest of Honour, Miss Ho Ching. He went on to receive numerous commissions from corporates including SBS Transit Bus, EZ-link, Pilot Pen, UOL and GIC.

In 2020, two of Noah’s artwork designs were selected and printed onto Uniqlo t-shirts to help raise funds for the charities supported by the Community Chest. That following year, he created an artwork and presented it to President Halimah Yacob at the Inclusive Sport Conference 2021. Most recently, Noah was honoured as a recipient of the prestigious Goh Chok Tong Enable Awards (UBS Promise) 2021.

Discover how to reframe disability with thoughtful design and intent. Through two masterclasses, participants will understand how accessibility can be readily incorporated into art projects, and apply strategies that will help them embark confidently in areas commonly stereotyped as sensitive and tricky.

Topics covered in Session 1:

  • Terminologies, the social model of disability and the disability spectrum
  • Universal design and representation
  • How to design accessible experiences and learning environments
  • How to implement accessible design
  • Activities for this session include reviewing the accessibility of an exhibit/space and creating an accessible activity based on an exhibit/space

Topics covered in Session 2:

  • The importance of peer evaluation and reflection
  • Introduction to the non-speaking paradigm and visual-gestural communication
  • Culture and representation of the neurodivergent and deaf
  • Being an ally of persons with disabilities, understanding different perspectives and practising advocacy
  • Activities for this session include conducting a discussion using non-speaking communication modes and creating an action plan to implement accessible design

Biographies of facilitators

Dr. Dawn-Joy Leong is a researcher, multi-artist and TEDx speaker. She is a board member of the Disabled People’s Association, Singapore’s only disabled-led advocacy organisation, and co-founder and former director of K9 Assistance (Ltd), Singapore’s first and currently only charity organisation promoting the benefits of assistance dogs for the disabled.

As a specialist consultant in the areas of disability leadership, autism, neurodiversity, and multi-art applications, Dawn-joy conducts workshops and give talks about mental health and wellbeing, life skills, creative thinking, learning strategies, disability advocacy, and access and inclusion. In 2020, Dawn-joy was commissioned by the British Council to write the report – The Arts and Disability in Singapore: a journey of dynamic partnership between the United Kingdom and Singapore through the British Council.

Dawn-joy is autistic and her assistance dog, Lucy Like-a-Charm, provides mitigation support for Dawn’s sensory anxiety. She has an MPhil in music composition, and a PhD in Autism, Neurodiversity and Multi-Art Praxis, for which she was conferred the 2016 Dean’s Award for Excellence in Postgraduate Research from UNSW Art & Design, Australia.

Dawn-joy has published, performed and exhibited her transdisciplinary work in the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Australia, South Korea and Singapore, and was recently the recipient of the Goh Chok Tong Enable Awards (UBS Achievement) 2021.

Nix Sang is a changemaker who believes in equal opportunities and value inclusion. She has been involved in disability work for over a decade in various capacities such as advocacy, research, special education and disability arts.

Nix is the founder of Equal Dreams, a social business that provides consultancy and services for disability inclusion and accessibility, as well as creates platforms for disabled people to pursue passion projects. She has led her team at Equal Dreams to provide sign language interpretation and speech-to-text interpretation services for government public service announcements related to COVID-19 measures, the Singapore General Election 2020 and the Arts & Disability Forum 2020. The team has also partnered with local arts groups to provide consultancy in accessibility, including the M1 Singapore Fringe Festival 2021 & 2022.

Nix was also co-founder of Redeafination, Singapore’s first Deaf dance crew who has received numerous invitations to high-profile international arts festivals.

Experience ART:DIS’s inclusive theatre environment that sparks imagination and allows actors with different abilities to have creative ownership. Through two masterclasses, participants will discover methods to engage performers with disabilities in authentic performances and appreciate the complexities in establishing inclusive training spaces.

Topics covered in Session 1:

  • Archetypal Gestures

  • Quality of Movements

  • Character Archetypes

  • Training and rehearsal processes for a pan-disability project

  • Activities for this session include executing body-mind exercises with imagination and performing a solo piece based on a text with emotional connection

Topics covered in Session 2:

  • Imaginary Centres

  • Atmosphere

  • Performing training techniques

  • Strategies to work with performers in a pan-disability environment

  • Activities for this session include executing body-mind exercises with imagination and performing a solo piece based on a text with emotional connection

Biographies of facilitators

Peter Sau is a disability arts specialist, artist-educator, producer, stage director and performer. As a pioneer graduate from the Intercultural Theatre Institute, Peter holds a Professional Diploma in Intercultural Theatre (Acting) and a Master of Arts in Advanced Theatre Practice from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (UK). He has served as a theatre faculty staff for 7 years at the School of the Arts (SOTA) and has taught at NUS Centre for the Arts, Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts and LASALLE College of the Arts.

Peter is a recipient of the Young Artist Award in 2011 and was named ‘Best Actor’ during the Life! Theatre Awards 2015. As a director, some of his notable include A Madwoman’s Diary (2009, Esplanade) which he also wrote, K (Huayi Festival 2010) and Tell Me When To Laugh And When To Cry (2012, Esplanade).

In 2017, he founded the theatre collective, Project Tandem and worked with D/deaf and disabled artists to provide mentorship and performance-making collaborations. With a team of artists-mentors, he worked with 10 disabled artists to create Making A Stand, a project supported by the National Arts Council (Creation Grant) in 2018.

In 2020, he joined ART:DIS (formerly known as Very Special Arts Singapore) as Head of Artistic Development, Performing Arts. In that capacity, he has rolled out several initiatives to train emerging artists to present multi-disciplinary works on platforms such as Singapore Writers Festival, Singapore HeritageFest, Arts & Disability Forum and Welcome To My World.

Xu Hui started to sing along and imitate dance steps to weekly children’s talent TV shows at the age of four. Discovering her interest in performing, she developed her dance skills by joining the Chinese Dance Club in her primary school years. This gave her the opportunity to showcase her ability and represent her school in dance competitions. Xu Hui also actively performed in skits during her primary school’s Show and Tell, recitals and other celebrations such as Teachers’ Day, playing main and supporting characters. That was when she also discovered her love and passion for expressing different thoughts and emotions through drama. In secondary school, Xu Hui improved her body coordination and expression through rhythmic gymnastics. She also explored singing through the Choir Ensemble.

After becoming paralysed waist down at age 17, Xu Hui continues to pursue her passion in the performing arts. Fluent in Korean Language, Xu Hui underwent two rounds of the HallyuPopFest Global Audition 2018 in both singing and dance categories. She is also exploring writing song lyrics and aims to delve more into music composition. Xu Hui aspires to perform in the international arts scene, including Korea and Singapore, and advocate for people with disabilities through dance, music and acting.

Timothy Lee is an actor and dancer with Down Syndrome who has graduated from Northlight School. He was lead dancer with non-profit organisation D'Artistes and lead Cajon player with ART:DIS (formerly known as Very Special Arts Singapore). He also regularly performed in Singapore Fashion Runway’s social enterprise events.

From 2017-2019, he was an active member of Very Special Theatrics, a collaboration between Very Special Arts Singapore and Act 3 Theatrics. With the group he performed the lead character in Peter and the Wolf with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra at Victoria Concert Hall in 2017 Gateway Theatre in 2019.

In 2018, he was cast as a supporting actor in one of the longest-running Mediacorp television series, KIN, making him the first person with a disability to be seen on national television. In the same year, he performed Making A Stand at Centre 42 under Project Tandem, a Creation Grant project supported by the National Arts Council. In 2019, he participated in Singapore’s first disabled-led neurodivergent arts residency led by Dr Dawn-joy Leong, supported by the National Library Board. That same year, he was also a recipient of the inaugural Goh Chok Tong Enable Awards (UBS Promise Award).

In 2020, he was performer for Something About Home, Singapore’s first professional promenade theatre featuring a cast of artists with disabilities, for the Light to Night Festival. Since then, he has been a mentee in BEYOND DIS:PLAY and VS Dance, two professional development programmes supported by ART:DIS. He is closely mentored by Peter Sau in his acting career, and further receives mentorship in Puppetry from Tan Beng Tian, as well as in Hip Hop dance from Luqman B As’ad.

+ Inclusive Dance Making

Experience Diverse Abilities Dance Collective’s (DADC) methodologies in facilitating an inclusive dance class environment. Through two masterclass sessions, participants will gain insight into the sensitivities of communicating in an inclusive way and learn tools that can be applied in multiple settings.

Topics covered in Session 1:

  • The importance of warmup exercises
  • Adapting one’s movements and communication styles
  • Different learning settings for persons with diverse abilities
  • How to describe movements that are accessible to all persons
  • How to facilitate creative expression and open collaboration
  • The importance of open exploration and differences in interpretation
  • Activities for this session include executing basic movement sets and creating an improvised sequence of movements

Topics covered in Session 2:

  • How words can be used to inspire movement
  • How different interpretations can combine together
  • How prose can be used to inspire movement
  • The importance of peer learning and feedback
  • How poetry, dance, music and film can meld into a single work
  • Activities for this session include employing movement to create a scenario and responding to poems via movements

Biographies of facilitators

Kavitha Krishnan, artistic director of Maya Dance Theatre (MDT) founded the company with Imran Manaff, creative producer/company manager and associate director, Juraimy Abu Bakar in 2007. She is also the co-founder and creative director of Apsara Asia Pte Ltd an arts education service provider to schools for the past 18 years. As a dance artist, Kavitha was part of ASEAN Flagship Contemporary dance production Realizing Rama which toured internationally.

Kavitha's long experience in Classical Indian Dance (Bharathanatyam), Asian dance forms and modern contemporary dance brings a unique Asian contemporary dance expression to MDT. Over the years, Kavitha has created inter-disciplinary/trans-cultural dance-theatre works with social consciousness and has worked with international collaborators from Australia, USA, Asia and Europe.

Trained as an occupational therapist, Kavitha has also conducted arts outreach programmes for Esplanade’s Community Arts Engagement programmes reaching out to 5 nursing homes and 5 senior activity centres. In 2015, Kavitha worked with Assisted Integrated Care (AIC) to create and operate a pilot creative movement programme for the elderly from Jamiah Nursing Home. In 2018 and as part of MDT, Kavitha further founded Diverse Abilities Dance Collective (DADC) made up of performers with different abilities.

Subastian Tan is a graduate of Singapore Management University (SMU) with a degree in Social Sciences (Psychology). Since 2016, he has been a dancer at Maya Dance Theatre (MDT), performing for productions that address social issues through dance theatre such as Anwesha: Beyond The Darkness and Pancha: Flowers Don't Bloom All The Time.

He is also the programme supervisor of Diverse Abilities Dance Collective (DADC), a community initiative by MDT started in 2018 which provides a semi-professional platform for persons of all abilities. The team has since presented works locally and internationally, fostering empowerment and giving a voice to a diverse group of artists. Through his craft, Subastian aims to connect across cultures and abilities to reflect lived experiences and provide a safe space for conversation and introspection.

June Lin is one of the founding members of Diverse Abilities Dance Collective (DADC) since 2018. She has participated in many of the collective’s performances such as Mystique Charity Gala Dinner by Down Syndrome Association (DSA), Shantajali Festival of the Arts, gallery opening at National Gallery Singapore and some live media performances for Mediacorp.

Recently, June was a performer for Speaking With Hands, DADC’s first production featuring works by guest choreographer Liz Lea from Canberra, Australia. She was also part of Small Steps, a work choreographed by Shahrin Johry, which featured in 2013 in Release 2.0 by Maya Dance Theatre and in Bold Festival 2017 in Canberra, Australia. June has also danced for Saarang Festival 2020 in Chennai, India and was the assistant costume manager for the event. She was further one of the featured artists in SEEDS, DADC’s first digital production in 2021.

June is a regular co-facilitator for dance classes catered to preschool children. She has participated as a speaker for Our Lives, Our Voices 2018, and for Having a Say Conference 2018 in Geelong, Australia. Apart from performance, June is an avid bowler who represented Singapore in the Special Olympics in 2015, earning the nation a silver medal.

Arassi Rajkumar is one of the founding members of Diverse Abilities Dance Collective (DADC), a semi-professional dance collective started in 2018 by Maya Dance Theatre (MDT).

As a dancer, she has performed for events such as Shantajali Festival of the Arts, My Home Your Home, Down Syndrome Association’s Mystique charity gala dinner and more. She was also a performer for DADC’s Speaking With Hands, their first production which featured pieces by guest choreographer Liz Lea from Canberra, Australia. Arassi is also involved in DSA’s Fusion Dance team, under which she performed for Earth Hour 2009 and Purple Parade among other shows. She has also been a part of Bold Festival 2017 as a dancer for Small Steps, choreographed by Shahrin Johry.

As a member of DADC, Arassi also co-facilitates dance classes for children of the preschool level and manages the costumes for the team. Arassi also has experience in drums as well.

Jaspreet Kaur is a founding member of Diverse Abilities Dance Collective (DADC), having actively participated in performances with the group. She most recently was a dancer for Speaking With Hands, DADC’s first production, which had pieces choreographed by Liz Lea from Canberra, Australia.

As a dancer in Fusion Dance by Down Syndrome Association Singapore, Jaspreet has performed on numerous platforms such as their annual charity gala dinner and Purple Parade. Jaspreet was also a dancer for Small Steps, choreographed by Shahrin Johry, which was shown at Release 2.0 by Maya Dance Theatre in 2013 and at Bold Festival in Canberra, Australia, in 2017.

Recently, she danced in Saarang Festival 2020 in Chennai, India, while co-leading DADC for an exchange with Down Syndrome Federation of India. Jaspreet also co-choreographed for SEEDS, DADC’s first digital production and represented the team as a self-advocate for the panel discussion, Ethics in Collaboration. Other than performing, Jaspreet also has 16 years of work experience in a kindergarten, which she applies in her dance classes for children at The Artground and Pathlight.

+ Inclusive Music Making

Discover how digital technologies, such as BandLab and GarageBand, can enable and empower musicians to create, collaborate and release music. Through two masterclasses, participants will learn the intricacies of making music and working with persons with disabilities in an audio-rich environment.

Topics covered in Session 1:

  • The song-writing creative workflow
  • Melody-writing
  • The vocabulary of chords
  • Structuring and arranging songs
  • Midi programming
  • Activities for his session include creating a song on Garageband or Bandlab

Topics covered in Session 2:

  • Refining lyrics
  • Recording audio
  • Music mixing
  • Creating a music portfolio
  • Activities for his session include creating a song on Garageband or Bandlab
Biography of facilitators

Philip Tan is a multi-disciplinary creative and music director, with expertise as a composer, surround sound designer, visual artist and educator. His mastery of event direction is evident in his impressive portfolio spanning more than a decade, which includes national events such as the opening of the Singapore Sports Hub (2015) and international ones such as the SEA Games handover 2013 (Myanmar) and ASEAN Para Games in 2015.

Since 1997, Philip's passion for experimenting with new formats, technologies, concepts, music, arts installations and multi-media storytelling has been displayed in over 30 countries. He is a five-time winner of the Life-Theatre Music Awards and was National Arts Council’s Young Artist Awardee in 2007.

Philip Tan has developed innovative arts curricula and design workshops for teachers’ development, arts institutions, polytechnics, universities, special education schools, charitable and welfare organisations, museums and international arts festivals. He currently teaches orchestration and arrangement at Nanyang Technological University (NIE) and music at ACS International School.

Sky Shen began writing lyrics at the age of 13 and engaged with the online community through YouTube. During his time studying at Temasek Polytechnic, he took on the position of Vice-President of the Temasek Polytechnic Chorale and was trained as a countertenor/soprano under Singaporean conductor and composer Darius Lim. He graduated in 2014 as valedictorian and received multiple accolades in recognition of this excellent studentship.

Sky went on to pursue Pop Vocal Performance & Songwriting at the Lee Wei Song School of Music. His covers of anime theme songs have seen him amassed a steady following on YouTube, and he hopes to continue his reach by performing at local cafes and corporate events.

As a keen media communicator, Sky believes that everyone has a unique story to tell. He now dedicates his expertise in media production to YMCA, assisting the non-profit organisation in raising awareness about social issues. Beyond work, Sky is also regularly engaged as a freelance emcee. He especially enjoys hosting community service events for social service agencies.

+ Inclusive Visual Arts Making

Experience ART:DIS’s inclusive approach in engaging with artists with disabilities. Through two masterclasses, participants will uncover best practices in conducting visual arts sessions with persons with disabilities, and recognise how art-making can facilitate both mainstream and disabled communities to learn together.

Topics covered in Session 1:

  • Different profiles of persons with disabilities
  • Strategies to scaffold steps in art-making
  • Challenges faced by persons with disabilities in class
  • How to facilitate a student’s creative journey
  • Activities for this session include creating an artwork on canvas

Topics covered in Session 2:

  • Coping strategies of persons with disabilities
  • The importance of reviewing the art-making process
  • Tools to plan and create a project for persons with disabilities
  • Activities for this session include creating an artwork on canvas

Biographies of facilitators

Ranae Lee-Nasir is a Singapore-based visual arts educator with a Bachelor's degree in Printmaking (Fine Arts) and a Master of Education (Special Education). She has 20 years of facilitation experience, providing visual arts workshops and historical/ arts tours to mainstream and special needs participants aged 7 years old to adulthood.

As an educator, Ranae is an adjunct lecturer at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts’ Centre of Lifelong Education and Ngee Ann Polytechnic’s School of Humanities and Social Science. With her students being of varying needs, Ranae practices a mindfulness approach towards teaching and learning.

She is a mother of one and during their free time, they would frequently explore Singapore and its many gastronomic delights. Their dream is to one day embark on a foodie’s trip around the world.

Noah Tan is an exceptional young visual artist with autism, who took up visual arts training with ART:DIS (formerly known as Very Special Arts Singapore) when he was 7 years old. He has further trained at Rainbow Centre’s Talent Art Programme and graduated as valedictorian in 2019. He went on to pursue a Certificate in Visual Arts from Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts and earned a distinction in his studies.

Noah has an innate talent to match hues and shades. His understanding of colours results in vivid and harmonious imagery. When coupled with his distinctive painting style of clean lines, Noah’s artwork has earned him both national & international accolades and awards.

In 2016, he was one of the contributing artists for Rainbow Centre’s fundraising event, where he live-painted finishing touches on a Louis chair at ION Art Gallery together with the Guest of Honour, Miss Ho Ching. He went on to receive numerous commissions from corporates including SBS Transit Bus, EZ-link, Pilot Pen, UOL and GIC.

In 2020, two of Noah’s artwork designs were selected and printed onto Uniqlo t-shirts to help raise funds for the charities supported by the Community Chest. That following year, he created an artwork and presented it to President Halimah Yacob at the Inclusive Sport Conference 2021. Most recently, Noah was honoured as a recipient of the prestigious Goh Chok Tong Enable Awards (UBS Promise) 2021.

+ Accessibility & Inclusion

Discover how to reframe disability with thoughtful design and intent. Through two masterclasses, participants will understand how accessibility can be readily incorporated into art projects, and apply strategies that will help them embark confidently in areas commonly stereotyped as sensitive and tricky.

Topics covered in Session 1:

  • Terminologies, the social model of disability and the disability spectrum
  • Universal design and representation
  • How to design accessible experiences and learning environments
  • How to implement accessible design
  • Activities for this session include reviewing the accessibility of an exhibit/space and creating an accessible activity based on an exhibit/space

Topics covered in Session 2:

  • The importance of peer evaluation and reflection
  • Introduction to the non-speaking paradigm and visual-gestural communication
  • Culture and representation of the neurodivergent and deaf
  • Being an ally of persons with disabilities, understanding different perspectives and practising advocacy
  • Activities for this session include conducting a discussion using non-speaking communication modes and creating an action plan to implement accessible design

Biographies of facilitators

Dr. Dawn-Joy Leong is a researcher, multi-artist and TEDx speaker. She is a board member of the Disabled People’s Association, Singapore’s only disabled-led advocacy organisation, and co-founder and former director of K9 Assistance (Ltd), Singapore’s first and currently only charity organisation promoting the benefits of assistance dogs for the disabled.

As a specialist consultant in the areas of disability leadership, autism, neurodiversity, and multi-art applications, Dawn-joy conducts workshops and give talks about mental health and wellbeing, life skills, creative thinking, learning strategies, disability advocacy, and access and inclusion. In 2020, Dawn-joy was commissioned by the British Council to write the report – The Arts and Disability in Singapore: a journey of dynamic partnership between the United Kingdom and Singapore through the British Council.

Dawn-joy is autistic and her assistance dog, Lucy Like-a-Charm, provides mitigation support for Dawn’s sensory anxiety. She has an MPhil in music composition, and a PhD in Autism, Neurodiversity and Multi-Art Praxis, for which she was conferred the 2016 Dean’s Award for Excellence in Postgraduate Research from UNSW Art & Design, Australia.

Dawn-joy has published, performed and exhibited her transdisciplinary work in the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Australia, South Korea and Singapore, and was recently the recipient of the Goh Chok Tong Enable Awards (UBS Achievement) 2021.

Nix Sang is a changemaker who believes in equal opportunities and value inclusion. She has been involved in disability work for over a decade in various capacities such as advocacy, research, special education and disability arts.

Nix is the founder of Equal Dreams, a social business that provides consultancy and services for disability inclusion and accessibility, as well as creates platforms for disabled people to pursue passion projects. She has led her team at Equal Dreams to provide sign language interpretation and speech-to-text interpretation services for government public service announcements related to COVID-19 measures, the Singapore General Election 2020 and the Arts & Disability Forum 2020. The team has also partnered with local arts groups to provide consultancy in accessibility, including the M1 Singapore Fringe Festival 2021 & 2022.

Nix was also co-founder of Redeafination, Singapore’s first Deaf dance crew who has received numerous invitations to high-profile international arts festivals.

+ Inclusive Theatre Making

Experience ART:DIS’s inclusive theatre environment that sparks imagination and allows actors with different abilities to have creative ownership. Through two masterclasses, participants will discover methods to engage performers with disabilities in authentic performances and appreciate the complexities in establishing inclusive training spaces.

Topics covered in Session 1:

  • Archetypal Gestures

  • Quality of Movements

  • Character Archetypes

  • Training and rehearsal processes for a pan-disability project

  • Activities for this session include executing body-mind exercises with imagination and performing a solo piece based on a text with emotional connection

Topics covered in Session 2:

  • Imaginary Centres

  • Atmosphere

  • Performing training techniques

  • Strategies to work with performers in a pan-disability environment

  • Activities for this session include executing body-mind exercises with imagination and performing a solo piece based on a text with emotional connection

Biographies of facilitators

Peter Sau is a disability arts specialist, artist-educator, producer, stage director and performer. As a pioneer graduate from the Intercultural Theatre Institute, Peter holds a Professional Diploma in Intercultural Theatre (Acting) and a Master of Arts in Advanced Theatre Practice from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (UK). He has served as a theatre faculty staff for 7 years at the School of the Arts (SOTA) and has taught at NUS Centre for the Arts, Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts and LASALLE College of the Arts.

Peter is a recipient of the Young Artist Award in 2011 and was named ‘Best Actor’ during the Life! Theatre Awards 2015. As a director, some of his notable include A Madwoman’s Diary (2009, Esplanade) which he also wrote, K (Huayi Festival 2010) and Tell Me When To Laugh And When To Cry (2012, Esplanade).

In 2017, he founded the theatre collective, Project Tandem and worked with D/deaf and disabled artists to provide mentorship and performance-making collaborations. With a team of artists-mentors, he worked with 10 disabled artists to create Making A Stand, a project supported by the National Arts Council (Creation Grant) in 2018.

In 2020, he joined ART:DIS (formerly known as Very Special Arts Singapore) as Head of Artistic Development, Performing Arts. In that capacity, he has rolled out several initiatives to train emerging artists to present multi-disciplinary works on platforms such as Singapore Writers Festival, Singapore HeritageFest, Arts & Disability Forum and Welcome To My World.

Xu Hui started to sing along and imitate dance steps to weekly children’s talent TV shows at the age of four. Discovering her interest in performing, she developed her dance skills by joining the Chinese Dance Club in her primary school years. This gave her the opportunity to showcase her ability and represent her school in dance competitions. Xu Hui also actively performed in skits during her primary school’s Show and Tell, recitals and other celebrations such as Teachers’ Day, playing main and supporting characters. That was when she also discovered her love and passion for expressing different thoughts and emotions through drama. In secondary school, Xu Hui improved her body coordination and expression through rhythmic gymnastics. She also explored singing through the Choir Ensemble.

After becoming paralysed waist down at age 17, Xu Hui continues to pursue her passion in the performing arts. Fluent in Korean Language, Xu Hui underwent two rounds of the HallyuPopFest Global Audition 2018 in both singing and dance categories. She is also exploring writing song lyrics and aims to delve more into music composition. Xu Hui aspires to perform in the international arts scene, including Korea and Singapore, and advocate for people with disabilities through dance, music and acting.

Timothy Lee is an actor and dancer with Down Syndrome who has graduated from Northlight School. He was lead dancer with non-profit organisation D'Artistes and lead Cajon player with ART:DIS (formerly known as Very Special Arts Singapore). He also regularly performed in Singapore Fashion Runway’s social enterprise events.

From 2017-2019, he was an active member of Very Special Theatrics, a collaboration between Very Special Arts Singapore and Act 3 Theatrics. With the group he performed the lead character in Peter and the Wolf with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra at Victoria Concert Hall in 2017 Gateway Theatre in 2019.

In 2018, he was cast as a supporting actor in one of the longest-running Mediacorp television series, KIN, making him the first person with a disability to be seen on national television. In the same year, he performed Making A Stand at Centre 42 under Project Tandem, a Creation Grant project supported by the National Arts Council. In 2019, he participated in Singapore’s first disabled-led neurodivergent arts residency led by Dr Dawn-joy Leong, supported by the National Library Board. That same year, he was also a recipient of the inaugural Goh Chok Tong Enable Awards (UBS Promise Award).

In 2020, he was performer for Something About Home, Singapore’s first professional promenade theatre featuring a cast of artists with disabilities, for the Light to Night Festival. Since then, he has been a mentee in BEYOND DIS:PLAY and VS Dance, two professional development programmes supported by ART:DIS. He is closely mentored by Peter Sau in his acting career, and further receives mentorship in Puppetry from Tan Beng Tian, as well as in Hip Hop dance from Luqman B As’ad.