Asia Pacific Festival of Artistes with Disabilities ～True Colours～
Thank you for joining us at the True Colours festival. I have been looking forward to this day with great excitement. Over the next three days, this festival will bring together many exceptional artists from the Asia Pacific region.
I would like to express my gratitude to UNESCO, Asia Pacific Development Center on Disability, Very Special Arts Singapore, and everyone for all their work in realizing this festival.
I believe that this festival spotlights the exceptional talents of each individual, not the particular disability of the artists and has created an occasion for us to enjoy and be moved by their performances.
This festival is part of many activities of The Nippon Foundation in achieving an inclusive society where all people support one another, without distinction between the disabled and the non-disabled. These efforts include, among others, establishment of scholarships for higher education to promote employment opportunities, as well as, to support the creation of legal frameworks to ensure the full participation of persons with disabilities in society.
Since 2006, we have organized and supported performing art festivals by artists with disabilities in Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Myanmar.
These festivals have provided artists with disabilities opportunities to perform and express themselves through art. They have also shown us the important role that a festival of the arts can play in realizing an inclusive society in which all people can participate and show their true colours.
I am very happy that we have come together here this year. As a society, Singapore has been historically committed to diversity and multiculturalism. As a venue, Singapore also has special significance as a central information hub of the Asia-Pacific region. This festival is sure to stimulate ever greater interest in the talents and expression of artists with disabilities and their cultural contribution.
I know that all the artists participating in this festival will amaze us and move us with their performances. Let’s enjoy their performances and celebrate this moment to the fullest.