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Johor Society For The Performing Arts (JSPA)

Art is everywhere. One can find creative ways to dress or express themselves. When we think out of the box, we find new ways of solving problems. When we become aware of our surroundings, we notice little creative quirks in everything we see. Try indulging in a person’s creative mind, and you can feel your own creative juices activating and flowing.

It is this sense of creativity that the Johor Society for the Performing Arts (JSPA) tries to project through its activities on a regular basis. JSPA is a non-commercial society that was registered in February 2000 under the Societies Act 1968. The projects and events are curated experiences across a diverse range of interests, art-forms, and genres for people from all walks of life. They believe that art is not only for entertainment, but it is an invaluable platform to educate, engage, and empower.

One of Malaysia’s longest-running arts festival – the Johor Arts Festival is organised by JSPA. It completed its 15th consecutive year in 2018.

Other than the Johor Arts Festival, JSPA also organises the annual Johor Classical Music Festival, Jazz Festival, several Film Festivals, Writers and Readers Festivals, Indigenous Festivals, and is also actively involved in organising and coordinating satellite projects and events in partnership with embassies or cultural institutes who wish to bring their artistes/performing groups on tour to Johor Bahru.

The late Yap Siong Cheng, who was the founder for JSPA accompanied by his wife, the late Suzie Yap who was the Festival Director, shared that the JB Arts Festival was founded by JSPA based on four principles. “Our vision for the festival was to always have a local component, serve as a platform for local talents, it should be educational with workshops being part of the festival and that it should always carry an interactive element encouraging local participation. We want people to ‘live the arts’ and keep the movement alive.”

Since the inaugural Johor Arts Festival in 2004, they have hosted over 1200 events, featuring upwards of 10,000 local and international artists, attracting more than 14 million attendees.

All profits from the events or activities organized by JSPA are channeled back into the society for the development of arts in our region; with an aim to encourage locals to see the relevance of arts in daily life. To JSPA, arts bring people together, broaden perspectives, and enrich lives.