Amidst all the events that happened last weekend, a small group convened at Emily Hill to discuss plans for the possible selection of an “Arts” Nominated Member of Parliament.
Former Arts NMP Audrey Wong posted an update in the Arts NMP egroup.
Closing date for NMP applications is on Dec 8. There’s another meeting this Saturday, Nov 26, 2-4pm, at TheatreWorks 72-13.
“Thank you to those who attended the meeting at Emily Hill last Sat. It was a small group and we had an intense discussion about ‘what’s next’ for the NMP process. More detailed notes will be circulated, but in the meantime here’s a very brief recap.
Two items were discussed:
1. Does the arts community need to set up some kind of mechanism for arts advocacy? Where research can be collated, information shared, issues and causes discussed and promoted if necessary (capacity-building), and more importantly, serve as a bridge to ‘the public’ and government and other stakeholders. There is a need for the arts community/artists to communicate more effectively to the ‘wider public’ about all the many, many things that we do, all the good things we do, and to explain our position on certain issues when they occur (eg. the Censorship position paper of 2010). Such a mechanism or structure for advocacy can also support the work of the arts NMP but should be separate from the NMP and function even when there’s no NMP. Some of us were interested in working on this idea of a mechanism for advocacy.
2. How to proceed with ‘selection’ of an arts NMP? A few of us will be talking to a few people this week to suss out their interest. Anyone who is keen to apply but isn’t sure, can talk to me (Audrey Wong) directly to find out more about what it’s like – just email me.
In 2009, we held an ‘election’ to get two names with the most votes and those names were sent to the Arts Sector Co-ordinator for the NMP process, Edmund Cheng, chairman of NAC. He’s still our sector co-ordinator. I will contact him and inform him that we’re in the process of looking for someone from the arts to propose to him for NMP selection, and that we would send up a name or two (or more) to him in due course.
We recognised that it might be daunting for people to go through an ‘election’. So, rather than ask ‘candidates’ to give speeches in front of the community and put them to a vote on the spot, instead, if we get a few names who wish to be candidates from this community, the names will be posted to the arts community. Members of the arts community can write directly to a couple of designated individuals indicating who they support. The ‘candidates’ will also meet the community in a specially-arranged session but there is no voting at this session.
The community’s preferred choices will be sent up to the arts sector co-ordinator.
We need to act fast, obviously, as the closing date of applications is 8 Dec 2011.
Our next meeting is this Sat, 26 November, 2 – 4 pm at TheatreWorks. We will continue to discuss the NMP selection; hopefully by then, there will be one or two among our number who will have decided to stand. Hope to see you there.
In the meantime, a few questions to ponder over:
- What if nobody from the community wants to go for the post? Or if our choice(s) don’t get selected or we don’t have a proper ‘arts’ NMP in parliament?
- What are the crucial issues coming up in the next 18 months or so which the arts NMP can tackle on the parliamentary stage?”