National Heritage Board and Youth Panel Unveil Groundbreaking Youth Heritage Blueprint - Alvinology

National Heritage Board and Youth Panel Unveil Groundbreaking Youth Heritage Blueprint

The National Heritage Board (NHB) and its inaugural Youth Panel have launched Singapore’s first-ever Youth Heritage Blueprint. This innovative initiative aims to connect youths with heritage, capturing their perspectives and recommendations to enhance youth engagement in the heritage and museum sectors.

Celebrating Youth Culture with “My First Love” Exhibition

In conjunction with the blueprint’s release, NHB and the Youth Panel have introduced the “My First Love” travelling exhibition. This exhibition invites Singaporeans to share memories of their first love—whether a person, place, or activity—highlighting a creative approach to making heritage relevant to young people. Starting at Punggol Regional Library on May 29, 2024, the exhibition will tour various locations across Singapore.

Launch of the Youth Heritage Blueprint

Spearheaded by NHB’s Youth Panel, the Youth Heritage Blueprint is a significant step in bridging the gap between heritage and youth. It aims to foster a sense of ownership and connection to Singapore’s shared past among the younger generation.

National Heritage Board and Youth Panel Unveil Groundbreaking Youth Heritage Blueprint - Alvinology

The blueprint offers insights into the preferences of Singaporean youths and provides recommendations on how to sustain their interest in heritage and museums. It focuses on five key areas:

  • Museums and programs
  • Physical touchpoints and digital content
  • Marketing and communications
  • Access and participation
  • Collaborations and partnerships

The blueprint is based on an online survey and focus group discussions with over 1,000 youths. Key findings indicate that youths value:

  • Relevance: Experiences that they can relate to personally.
  • Authenticity: Offerings that present lesser-known histories and inspire community action.
  • Accessibility: Easy-to-access, affordable, and seamlessly integrated offerings.

Key Recommendations and Initiatives

Guided by these insights, the Youth Panel recommended various approaches, such as:

  • Social Experiences: Interactive exhibitions like the National Museum of Singapore’s “Off / On: Everyday Technology that Changed Our Lives, 1970s-2000s.”
  • Youth-Led Marketing: Initiatives like the “This is Not Your History Class” podcast.
  • Meaningful Volunteering: Involvement in projects documenting intangible cultural heritage.
  • Inter-generational Conversations: Programs like the Student Archivist Project.

In response to the survey findings, NHB, in collaboration with the National Youth Council, established the Young ChangeMakers – Youth Heritage Kickstarter Fund (YCM – YHKF) in October last year. This fund supports youth-led projects spotlighting Singapore’s heritage. To date, it has backed five projects, including heritage trails and galleries.

Moving Forward

The Youth Heritage Blueprint will guide NHB and other heritage organizations in developing youth-focused programs and outreach efforts. Museums can use the recommendations to evaluate and enhance existing initiatives or create new ones to better engage young people. NHB will review the Youth Panel’s recommendations and determine the best ways to implement them.

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