No, this isn’t about music from Motown or WOMAD.

It’s about Singapore’s tenacious community of artists, with practices across different genres, including music.

Just as surely as Singapore, Inc. continues to push ahead with cries for higher productivity and population growth, the city’s artists strengthen their contributions to nourishing their compatriots’ souls with celebrations of expression.

Into its fifth year, Lit Up’s theme for 2013 is “Progression”. Explaining why he decided on this theme, Marc Nair, poet/photographer and Artistic Director of Lit Up 2013, told me, “Progression seems to be the byword of Singapore. Our very streets and heartbeats resonate with this incessant urge to reach for more, to build upwards towards some economic holy land. And for those among us who are artists, what does this mean? How are these concerns reflected in our work?”

From now until Lit Up opens on Friday 19 July, I’ll be giving you sneak peeks into how the festival’s participating artists will be expressing their ideas of “Progression”.

To kick things off, here’s a trailer video that summarises the heart and soul of the festival. Next up will be a quick chat with Nabilah Husna, one of seven Singaporean and Malaysian poets who are putting up an all-female spoken word performance, “She Walks Like a Free Country”.

Lit Up 2013 festival details:
19 to 21 July 2013
Opens at 7pm on Friday 19 July
Aliwal Arts Centre, 28 Aliwal Street Singapore 199918.

Ticket prices for certain performances and workshops range from zero to $20. There is no festival entry fee.

The Lit Up visual arts gallery runs from 19-23 July. Free admission.
Opening hours:
7 to 10pm (19 July)
10am to 10pm (20 to 23 July)

For the full programme and more information: