SYNC Singaproe Participants
SYNC Singaproe Participants ©

SYNC Singapore

Organised by Very Special Arts Singapore, British Council, Singapore International Foundation and National Arts Council and venue partner Mediacorp Enable Fund, Sync Singapore Programme is a training programme specially designed for artists and arts managers with disability wanting to make a difference in and through the arts.

In 2019, 18 to 21 July, the British Council partnered with Very Special Arts and Singapore International Foundation, and supported by the National Arts Council run SYNC Singapore Programme in Singapore at the Enabling Village. SYNC is the flagship leadership programme for disabled artists in the UK. For any nation wanting to develop diversity in arts and culture, the challenge is to develop a sector where disabled people are included and supported beyond individual flash moments so that they are not only put on show, but run the show. 

Feedback from participants:
Malaysian participant Anuar Lim: “I am grateful to be part of the SYNC Singapore Programme. I was able to meet with nine other Singaporean disabled artists for the first time, including blind and autistic people and I learnt a lot from their life experiences. I am inspired by Singapore’s efforts to support disabled artists to develop their leadership and hope to embark on new collaborations with artists here. The programme motivated me to transform myself from an artist to an art producer, and eventually to lead art for all!”

Singaporean participant Md Ammar: “I have always focused on the creative development but never on how to get funding and building relationships through networking. This programme has allowed me to be more confident and more aware with what resources is available for me.”

About SYNC Programme

What is Sync?
Sync is a development programme for disabled artists and arts managers who want to forge a fantastic career and a more fulfilling future as pioneers in the arts. We will make sure the programme is accessible to all our participants so they can get on with designing their pioneering pathway on our programme. Over 5 days in July 2019 in Singapore, Sync will share skills in how to develop your leadership skills through short lectures, group exercises and Sync Coaching. 

Sync Coaching
Sync Coaching is designed around disabled people’s individual experiences and challenges. Through face to face and online 1hr sessions, participants learn how to think and feel differently about themselves and their careers and move forward in exciting new ways.

Authentic Leadership
Sync believes in authentic leadership. Being authentic is being true to yourself, not trying to be something you are not, but building your career around your natural skills and talents and your lived experience.

When did it start?
Developed in the lead up to London 2012 by two disabled arts leader from the UK: 
Sarah Pickthall ( a coach, consultant and digital dance producer.
Jo Verrent ( also senior producer for Unlimited.

Sync has helped make it possible for disabled people to achieve great things in the arts. Through intensive face to face programmes led by Sarah and Jo, Sync has supported many of the leading disabled artists and arts managers in the UK, Australia and South Korea to progress their arts careers further than they thought possible.  

Society is often designed in a way that stops disabled people from being ambitious and achieving their potential.  Sync often talks about ‘breaking through the glass ceiling of possibility’.  

Working in disabled-only teams, Sync is a force for change and Sync has proven the difference it can make.  Over the last 10 years, 100s of disabled artists and managers have taken part in our 1 day, 2 day workshops and 5 day intensive programmes and have learned with us online. 

SYNC Participants-Profile

Stephanie Fam
Stephanie Esther Fam is an emerging artist with disability. Her forte lies in public speaking and poetry writing. More recently, she has been undergoing training in theatre-making in order to expand her professional portfolio. In 2018, she ventured into theatre-making. She performed a self-written monologue ‘MUM’ at Centre 42 as part of Project Tandem’s Making a Stand, and was cast in And Suddenly I Disappear: The Singapore ‘d’ Monologues, the first disability-led theatre collaboration between Singapore and UK. Most recently, she was a writer-performer for What If as part of the M1 Peer Pleasure Youth Theatre Festival 2020 presented online. In 2021 Stephanie published her first book SHADES... a collection of 51 poems she kept in the dark and she is finally ready to share this with the world outside.

Lily Goh is a multi-award-winning Deaf advocate and Director & Founder of ExtraOrdinary.Horizons (Deaf Singapore). She is currently working on her research work, ‘Deaf Music: Reclaiming Song-Signing’.

“SYNC has taught me many things, especially coaching. The SYNC training brings positive change in the artists and their works. It also helps realise their potential in their works.”

Dr. Dawn-joy Leong is a researcher, multi-artist, TEDx speaker and board member of the Disabled People’s Association, Singapore. Her lived-experience as an Autistic person adds depth and perspective to her research and material practice which focuses on sensory idiosyncrasy and alternative empathic connectivity. Dawn-joy's work has been presented and exhibited in the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Australia and more recently in Singapore and South Korea.
“I was struggling with mental, emotional and physical burn-out, SYNC was like a life-line for me and spending constructive time with other creatives was a much-needed breath of fresh air. The SYNC programme provided a stabilising framework for important core values that had become fragmented and disconnected and helped to re-centre me within my own Clement Space and my sense of Being as an artist.”

Lim Lee Lee holds a B.A in English Language and Literature from the Open University Degree Programme of Singapore Institute of Management. She has a strong corporate track record - she was a senior guide & trainer in ‘Dialogue in the Dark’; Aljunied Town Council’s PR & Marketing executive; guide dog advocate, motivational speaker & song lyric writer. In 2017, she was Assistant Director for The Necessary Stage’s double bill, Family Secrets. As a mentee in Project Tandem, she made her first stage appearance in And Suddenly I Disappear: The Singapore ‘d’ Monologues in May 2018.

SYNC Participants-Profile

Anuar LIm is known as a deaf artist, illustrator and designer who has vast experiences in arts and design projects and represented Malaya’s disabled community in numerous exhibitions.
“SYNC impacted my thoughts / work especially in action planning. It is very helpful to enhance my career as an art producer and artist in the planning, execution, action and success of art projects such as art exhibition and promotion. It can guide me on how to manage time and finances to create a successful art project that works well. I'm still working on improving my action planning skills.”

RuiYi is a visual arts artist, her work aims to have a positive social impact on the community or the society at large.
“SYNC has given me really good tips on how I can reinforce myself mentally whether it’s on a daily basis or when the going gets tough and also in understanding that my voice matters.”
More information on her work:

SYNC Alunmi update: Following the other recent successes of the SYNC alumni (short award-winning film and poetry book launch by Stephanie Fam in January 2022), 4 SYNC graduates again came together to make a new short film, Teh Tarik Kakis. The disability-led work is a digital narrative and exploration of life as Singaporean creators with disabilities. The film also includes 3 disabled musicians and a blind makeup artist. The producer Lee Lee Lim, credits this achievement largely to the support of the British Council via our various programmes over recent years, in particular SYNC.