She was part of the pioneer batch that took drama as an ‘O’ level subject back in 2008. Seven years on, 22-year-old Millicent Wong now has a Diploma in Performance from LASALLE College of the Arts. She was one of about 700 students who graduated from the college on Wednesday (Sep 23).
Ms Wong was the college’s top performer and received the McNally Award for Excellence, an honour shared with the likes of filmmaker Boo Junfeng, who recently directed one of the films in anthology 7 Letters. Ms Wong has already secured a role in an upcoming play and a musical.
She admits that availability of jobs remains a big concern, but she is still optimistic.
“The arts scene is growing, but it’s still pretty limited,” she said. “But the one thing we always learn in LASALLE, and as an artist is, if you can’t find a job, create a job. So make it your own life, make whatever you want of it and enjoy the journey.”
Out of 941 students surveyed by LASALLE in 2014, 91 per cent of diploma graduates secured jobs, while the figure for degree holders was 93 per cent. That is an increase from 2013 when 81 per cent of diploma graduates secured jobs, while the figure for degree holders was 90 per cent.
According to the survey, median starting salaries had increased as well. With diploma holders raking in S$2,200, while degree holders earn S$2,500. This, compared to S$1,750 for diploma holders and S$2,300 for degree holders in the previous year.
Minister in Prime Minister’s Office Grace Fu, who attended Wednesday’s convocation, says it’s not surprising that the local arts scene is growing.
“It’s no accident that the art scene here is vibrant and booming,” she said. “Government funding for the arts and cultural sector increased significantly to more than S$600 million. More and more Singaporeans are embracing arts and culture as in integral part of their lifestyles, with visitorship to national museums and heritage institutions are exceeding S$3 million.”
LASALLE President Professor Steve Dixon agreed with Ms Fu saying the Government’s investment in building up the arts infrastructure has opened up a lot of doors.
“New companies are being established all the time,” he said. “New venues are happening for performing arts, new art galleries with the new National Gallery, of course will be opening soon. So there’s lots of jobs for artists, for people within different creative industries.”
news source & image credits: channelnewsasia.com