SUPERHERO ME is a ground-up inclusive arts movement that harnesses the power of creativity through the arts to empower children from less privileged backgrounds and special needs communities. We focus on inclusive programming, creative advocacy and strategic cross-sector partnerships to shape the narrative of inclusion in Singapore.
From its birth in 2014 as part an early childhood development programme by Lien Foundation, Superhero Me has reached out to more than 18,000 people through a myriad of outreach efforts. Superhero Me Ltd is now a registered non-profit arts company and is a recipient of the National Arts Council’s Seed Grant for the period from 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2020.
The arts is bursting with potential to ignite social change when bringing children of different social backgrounds together. It is a language that has the power to unite others despite their differences and to be that space for all parties involved to build creative confidence and turn diversity to strength.
Our vision is to make the arts accessible for children from less privileged and special needs communities and push its potential as a great levelling tool. Exposing children to various art forms through partnerships with artists allows them to experience the transformative power of creativity and empowers them with opportunities that foster inclusion and resilience.
From 2017 to 2020, we aspire to:
Inclusion is counter-intuitive. We tend to prefer people who “get” us easily. The idea of reaching out to someone who is “not like us” requires more effort.
Studies have shown that a key cause for apprehension or low acceptance of children with special needs is the general lack of interaction between the public and such children. In our journey working alongside children with and without special needs, we have learnt that inclusion has no fixed formula. It is rooted in practice rather than rhetoric, and it requires effort, dare we say even a persistent courage to reach out to others seemingly different from us.
Inclusion is, ultimately, a wildly creative act.
Practising inclusion can enrich the learning experiences of all members of a community and broaden the mind and repertoire of the human experience for those involved. Often, the opposite is exclusivity and even segregation, as children are shuffled into silos based on their intelligence and medical diagnosis. The arts, with its emphasis on creative expression, provides natural opportunities for children to learn and interact through play. In fact, it offers opportunities to practice cognitive, language, socio-emotional and motor skills without feeling anxious over failure.