Nurturing "Cultural Capital" - Singapore's Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay (A & B)

The concept of "cultural capital" has captured the imagination of many Singaporeans in recent years. But proponents of the ambitious Esplanade-Theatres on the Bay arts and entertainment complex realised from the outset that they needed to make their pitch mainly on economic grounds. The Henry Grunfeld Professor of Investment Banking Gabriel Hawawini and co-author Marci Garber Hawawini describe how the Esplanade's overseers showed appreciation for the dual needs of creating brand awareness and building a collective sense of affinity amongst their likely clientele base.

by Gabriel Hawawini, Marci Hawawini

"Singapore has long been regarded as a commercial success, but a cultural desert."

Choo Thiam Siew, National Arts Council of Singapore

In recent years, the Singaporean government has come to appreciate the economic value of the arts. The Ministry of Information, Communication and the Arts has argued - with a good degree of success in policy-forming circles - that "cultural capital" could be systematically exploited in "creative clusters", for the long-term objective of helping in the transformation of the country into a "creative economy".

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