The Malay Heritage Foundation

SIP(+) Speakers - 28 JANUARY 2023

Jamal Mohamad

Jamal Mohamad is Senior Manager (Programmes) at the National Heritage Board’s Malay Heritage Centre. He develops and implements various activities targeting different audience segments, including underserved communities such as the elderly and youth-at-risk. Jamal was also the former Artistic Director of Teater Ekamatra and had a background in theatre and film productions.

He is a recipient of the Erasmus Mundus Scholarship (2008), the Goh Chok Tong Youth Promise Award, and the National Arts Council Overseas Bursary. Jamal strongly believes that Star Wars and Star Trek fans should really try to get along.

Lecture Title: Nurturing a Heritage Ecosystem

Menaka Gopalan

Menaka is a multi-disciplinary international artist, artistic director and curator in the visual and performing arts, film and design. With 16 years of study and work experience in the U.S.A, she has pursued her passion for the Arts in Singapore’s government, museum, culture, heritage, education and community sectors for the last seven years.

As a leader in the arts industry, she has created initiatives and programs to enhance learning, build an audience for the Arts, develop platforms for artists, and establish integration opportunities for institutions, arts organisations and the community. As a practitioner, her artworks and commissioned projects are featured in museums and galleries, theatre, music and dance and film productions, and at nationally reputed festivals in Singapore.

Lecture Title: Outside Looking In: Journey into Discovering Identity and Unearthing Shared Narratives

Michelle Loh Wen Han

Michelle Loh is a Lecturer at the School of Creative Industries, University of the Arts Singapore. She is awarded a LASALLE AQF full academic scholarship for the PhD studies on “Evolution of Multiculturalism and Cultural Policies in Singapore”. She is a bilingual arts manager and researcher in arts management, cultural policy, diversity, audiences, music and the traditional arts. Her recent publications include ‘Superdiversity and Cultural Policies in Post-Pandemic Singapore’ in ENCATC Cultural Policy Tracker (2022), ‘Language: Audiences for Singapore’s Poetry Festival’ in Routledge Companion to Audiences and the Performing Arts (2022) and Traditional Chinese Music in Contemporary Singapore (2020).

Michelle serves on the executive committee of the Poetry Festival Singapore and the organising committee of the biennial Singapore Literature Conference. Prior to joining LASALLE, Michelle has a music education in classical piano and Chinese pipa. She taught and performed in both instruments, and organised music performances and international music tours. She worked overseas at London’s Tate Britain and International Intelligence on Culture. Her project with Late Nights @ Tate Series brought in new audiences and visitors through a variety of music events. She was also a researcher with the International Intelligence on Culture in the areas of cultural policy and cultural indicators in European countries.

Michelle played a key role in the establishment, inception and management of Singapore’s leading Chinese music grading system with the NUS Centre For the Arts Chinese Instrumental Examination. She managed numerous performances at the annual NUS Arts Festival and also organised international concert tours to the UK, Switzerland and Malaysia. Michelle has MA (Arts Management) from City University London and BSc. (Real Estate) from the National University of Singapore.

Lecture Title: Superdiversity as a New Lens for Singapore’s Diversities and Heritage

Ms. Shaza Ishak


Shaza Ishak is the managing director of Teater Ekamatra, an ethnic minority theatre company in Singapore established in 1988. She leads the company in its strategy and vision, programming and producing the company’s artistic works. Shaza believes in effecting social change through the art of storytelling on stage and is committed to forging progress for the ethnic minority arts scene and communities in Singapore and beyond.

In 2019, she graduated from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (UK) with an MA in Creative Producing with the support of the National Arts Council Arts Postgraduate Scholarship, the Goh Chok Tong Youth Promise Award, and the Li Siong Tay Postgraduate Scholarship; as well as the BinjaiTree Foundation and the Trailblazer Foundation. For the last three years, Shaza has been a fellow of the Singapore International Foundation’s Arts for Good Fellowship and the International Society for the Performing Arts (USA). Most recently, she was the youngest fellow in the 68-year history of The Eisenhower Fellowship (USA). In November 2021, Shaza was conferred the inaugural Tunas Warisan (Special Mention Award) by the Malay Heritage Foundation to acknowledge her work in the Malay Arts and Heritage sector. She is also currently pursuing the Global Cultures MA at King’s College London. Shaza is also an adjunct lecturer at Lasalle College of the Arts (BA in Arts Management).

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