Made a Pitch

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The idea of a social enterprise is a company that does good as it’s core activity while sustaining it as a business. In Singapore, we have an agency that supports SEs called raiSE.

Among other things, it runs an event called Leap for Good. This year, is the second run of it. Based on specific social needs, it is a call for ideas to vie for seed funding with a whole sleuth of supporting activities. This year, the focus was on two groups – Seniors and Caregivers.

I spent a weekend recently at the Hackathon – a chance to gather a team to help refine and create an initial pitch. Having read the initial research done about the needs of Seniors and Caregivers, and given my interest and experience in the use of the arts for better well-being, I went with my “Art and Stories on Wings” idea. My hope was to to see if this idea resonated with anyone and to learn more about the dimensions of a SE which I need to look into.

There were a few people who expressed interest in what could be done with creative arts but most had their own pitch and team. I was also able to quickly share about my use of TinyTap with seniors which resonated wth a few more people.

For the pitch I had in mind, I was honoured to walk through it with Giak Lang, Lay See and Rachel.

While there were quite a few things to look into regarding the facets of a SE, I must say that my idea remained more or less similar to what I had in mind at the start. (Was I too focused or just too stubborn? Haha) The concern has been whether there is really a potential market for this and perhaps how important it is to be very clear about the target group and the needs to be met (since the arts is often erroneously regarded as a good to have, rather than a necessity.  Preventive medicine is hard to sell.)

I also felt that the pairing of art with stories in picture books to be unique (and a selling point for positioning the product for a wider market), however, I was advised that perhaps picture books are too childish for seniors (which I beg to differ with). Since this was told to me ar a fairly late stage, in my 3-minute pitch, I have left that out.

The deadline for final submission is tomorrow but I would say I am not ready to go beyond this initial stage at this point. I am very glad to have learnt a few things through the process, met many wonderful people and potentially good collaborators too.

Hoping that someday soon “Art and Stories on Wings” will help inspirations take flight for a lot more people, no matter young or old.

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A Hundred Languages

I met this boy in one of my art tours and he was walking right in front of the queue with his class. While walking as a class, he got rather annoyed when his friend cut his queue. As he pouted away, his teacher indicated to me that this boy has behaviour problems.

Then an idea struck him and he came running to me to hold my hand. This way, no one would be ahead of him.

When the class started drawing the cactus-like sculpture they were looking at, he was one of the fastest to finish. I suggested that he could add his own nature-inspired pattern and so he added fire with smoke. I then pointed out the space around his drawing and told him to think of something to draw. He asked if he could draw a mosquito. Can you spot that? Since he was still among the faster ones, he had time and this time, he asked if he could add a very tall ladder.

When everyone was done with their drawing, they were told to write their name. I noticed the reversal in how he spelt. This got me wondering if this a learning challenge that is showing up as a behavioural problem.

In art, he certainly flourished and enjoyed expressing himself so creatively.

Indeed, all children, and perhaps all of us, do express ourselves in “a hundred languages”. It’s a pity when those who speak in the less popular ones are misunderstood or even neglected. Art does offer a wide range of ways to express ourselves, no matter how young or old we might be, and many more of us should have, or give ourselves, the chance to play with art. Agree?

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Sparks!

The wrap-up celebration of the pilot art residency at nursing homes – an exhibition at Raffles City which opened today. It was graced by President Halimah.

I am glad to meet Aunty Joan, Aunty Kwan, Mercy and Laurice again. Aunty Joan was very animated and interacted wonderfully with the guests.

The setup of our artwork was beautifully done. Pity though that the sound from the iPad way too soft, and links to their creations on QR codes were missing. Hopefully these will be corrected soon.

It was also great to finally see the fabulous artwork done at the other homes.

Here are photos of the team, including our curator Michael and the superb AIC reps Daniel and Charmaine. And a few of myself … haha!

The exhibition runs till 18 Mar.

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Nightingale

This is probably one of the fastest I have ever been in creating a new TinyTap resource. Here’s my retelling of the famous fairy tale Nightingale.

http://www.tinytap.it/activities/g2nts/play/nightingale

The text was written in rhyme (call me crazy) and then I created the illustrations (did re-purpose an earlier work) before stitching it all together on TinyTap.

There’s an upcoming Tell a Fairy Tale Day on 26 Feb and there will be a special playlist of fairy tale themed TinyTap games.

Come hear the nightingale sing and tell me what you think.

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Volunteers for Outings with Seniors

Imagine bespoke programs that will engage a senior with dementia or draw an isolated senior to be out engaging in the community.

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Empower Ageing, a registered charity, is prototyping personalized outings for seniors with dementia changing the way how outings are usually done.

Volunteers who are interested to co-develop this series of themed based outings  are needed. Training will be provided to help the volunteers relate better to seniors with dementia.

The volunteers will:

  • Brainstorm and come up with activities and programmes based on the theme.
  • Get to know the seniors and learn their history and interest.
  • Assist and care for the seniors during the outings
  • Facilitate small group sharing to draw out the stories
  • Observe how the seniors react to the various scenarios and activities
  • Feedback to lead so that a profile could be compiled for each seniors

Requirements:

Commitment : 1⁄2 day (4 hour) weekly for 12+3 wk (including training & modification of programme)

Age : 18 years and above

Energetic and passionate
Experience relating to seniors
Interest in arts, local history, culture or music
Able to speak Chinese dialects will be a great advantage
May be required to provide some assistance to seniors during the outings

Shortlisted volunteers will be contacted to attend an interview.

Contact:
Esther Yeo: 6841 9136

More details in the PDF documents in the link below:

Recruitment of volunteers for Dementia OutingWriteup – DM Fun Day Out for volunteer requirement

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Publishing on Kindle

Bobo is a picture book written a while back, and recently, an additional section that shows the recipe for Bobo Chacha was added. With it already in PDF format, I explored and successfully published it on Amazon for Kindle.

Bobo

(Unfortunately, Kindle books are not available for Singapore-registered Amazon accounts. Hopefully it will be soon. Only 13 Kindle stores for now, including US, UK and Japan.)

Here ‘s a quick run-down on the relatively simple process of creating this Kindle Picture Book:

  • Downloaded the Kindle Kids’ Book Creator
  • As I already had the book in PDF, it was really easy to upload.
  • Added the text pop-up for the text on each page.
  • Save for publishing.
  • Sign-in at Kindle Direct Publishing kdp.amazon.com
  • Set up account such as how payment will be made and fill-in tax-form.
  • Upload the .mobi file. (As my original page size is not the required cover page size, had to create that to upload.)
  • Done!

If you do get to read this book on Kindle, could you let me know how you felt?

If you are keen to work on a picture book for Kindle, do reach out to me too.

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Illustrated Recipe

I am working on a self-published digital picture book that has to do with the colourful dessert Bobo Chacha and wanted to include a recipe at the end of it. My friend Chris is a wonderful cook, so who better to get a recipe from.

As I wanted to illustrate this recipe for the book, I worked on it today. What better than using these illustrations for a TinyTap creation as well. So here it is:

http://www.tinytap.it/activities/g2lj3/bobo-chacha-recipe

And that’s a bowl of Bobo Chacha, aka Bubur Cha Cha, which Chris cooked as she wrote this recipe.

Did you know that sweet potatoes come in so many colours?

If you do try this out, send me a picture won’t you?

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