Deputy Director, Arts & Youth, National Arts Council (NAC), Singapore. Melissa has been involved in arts and cultural policy development in Singapore since 2005. As a policy officer in the Arts and Heritage Development Division of the then Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts (now the Ministry of Community, Culture and Youth), she was part of the team that conceptualised the Renaissance City Plan 3, a national cultural masterplan that injected new resources to support the creation of new distinctive arts content, and greater community engagement in Singapore. Prior to joining the NAC, Melissa was Assistant Head of the Lifestyle Programme Office at the Singapore Economic Development Board, which promoted the growth of arts businesses in Singapore, including the implementation of a new visual arts cluster for international galleries. At the NAC, Melissa has held various portfolios in the areas of strategic planning, research and community arts. Currently the Deputy Director of the Arts & Youth department, Melissa leads a team that works closely with the Ministry of Education to make quality arts education accessible to all students in Singapore, from pre-school to pre-tertiary levels, as well as Special Education.
It was after becoming a mother of two young children that Melissa personally experienced the value and magic of theatre for young audiences and got actively involved in NAC’s work supporting the Arts for Young Audiences scene in Singapore. Over the past two years, Melissa has supported the implementation of various new initiatives such as providing more professional development opportunities for practitioners, introducing a new theatre award to recognise excellence in productions for the young, and piloting a new children’s arts centre in Singapore.