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More support for the arts and culture sector

Additional measures announced on 21 Aug 2020 to protect livelihoods, grow opportunities and encourage longer-term capability development for arts and culture practitioners to emerge stronger after COVID-19.

  1. The Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) will introduce additional measures to preserve the strengths of our arts and culture ecosystem.
  2. These additional measures complement the broad-based Government schemes and support given under the Arts and Culture Resilience Package (ACRP) since April 2020. Collectively, they seek to protect livelihoods of arts and culture practitioners, grow more opportunities for them, and encourage longer-term capability development to emerge stronger after COVID-19.
  3. Edwin Tong, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, and Second Minister for Law, said, “Since April 2020, many cultural practitioners have drawn support from broad-based relief measures for all sectors, as well as additional support drawn from the Arts and Culture Resilience Package (ACRP). These measures have sustained livelihoods, encouraged upskilling and facilitated digitalisation efforts so that our artists and arts groups continue to offer innovative experiences to local and international audiences. But we recognise the significant challenges that the arts and culture community continue to face, particularly with the impact of safe distancing on live performances. We will be providing additional support to strengthen the resilience of the community over the next few months. Singapore’s arts and culture landscape has blossomed over time, and we must continue to nurture it, so that we can weather the pandemic to emerge stronger together.”

    Pilots for live performances

  4. Live performances add a buzz to our community. MCCY and NAC will work closely with key stakeholders to explore commissioning and/or programming pilots of small-scale performances. We will ensure a range of performances for all communities that reflects Singapore’s multi-cultural character, to cater to Singaporeans who have not been able to attend a show or concert over the last few months.
  5. With the safety of artists, crews and audiences as a priority, the pilots will incorporate Safe Management Measures based on prevailing guidelines. They will serve as trials for the progressive resumption of live performances on a broader scale and help identify new models and best practices for these live performances to be conducted safely, and in a sustainable manner, going forward.
  6. More information on the pilots will be made available by the National Arts Council (NAC).

    ACRP Operating Grant

  7. Even as we initiate pilots towards safe reopening, it may be some time before arts and culture activities can resume more fully. To preserve core capabilities in our arts and culture ecosystem during this period, MCCY will provide an additional Operating Grant as part of the $55 million ACRP. This will support operating costs for arts and culture organisations, and those in closely-related sectors such as media and design, which contribute key capabilities for our ecosystem.
  8. The new ACRP Operating Grant seeks to preserve core capabilities in our arts and culture ecosystem, which will be difficult to recover if lost. These capabilities are also critical to sustain the value chain of creative work, in areas such as the production and distribution of cultural content. The Operating Grant will help ensure that cultural and creative practitioners can be better positioned to seize opportunities and ensure renewed vibrancy of Singapore’s arts and culture landscape, in future.
  9. NAC and relevant agencies will be engaging organisations eligible for the ACRP Operating Grant directly. More information will also be published on NAC’s website.

    Enhanced support for arts freelancers

  10. Arts and culture freelancers are diverse, and they contribute richly to the ecosystem. They have received support from national schemes like the Self-Employed Persons Income Relief Scheme (SIRS) and the COVID-19 Support Grant (CSG). ACRP-funded initiatives have also provided around 2,500 work and training opportunities for cultural freelancers. NAC will continue to explore commissioning more projects, training courses and digital performances to provide additional opportunities for arts and culture practitioners, including freelancers, and provide more opportunities for Singaporeans to enjoy our local arts and culture.
  11. In November 2019, NAC established the Arts Resource Hub (ARH) to provide creative freelancers resources to sustainably continue their practice, unlock new opportunities, and grow meaningful careers. There are currently close to 5000 subscribers to the ARH.  Over 800 freelancers have benefitted from its programmes to date. The ARH will enhance its support for arts and culture freelancers:
     
    a) Co-working spaces at Goodman Arts Centre and Stamford Arts Centre will be reopened over the coming weeks, with the necessary Safe Management Measures in place; 

    b) Arts freelancers can access these co-working spaces for free, and attend programmes and webinars organised by ARH. This includes clinics conducted by experienced freelancers on how they can tap on available Government support schemes; 

    c) ARH subscribers will continue to benefit from aggregated and updated freelancer roles and job opportunities across the arts and culture and adjacent sectors; 

    d) NAC will progressively roll out new ARH initiatives to better support freelancers in jobs, training opportunities and other measures. 
  12. Arts and culture freelancers continue to be eligible for the ACRP’s Capability Development Scheme for the Arts (CDSA) and Digital Presentation Grant for the Arts (DPG). The application window for both grants has been extended to 14 September 2020 to support training or projects until 31 March 2021. After 14 September 2020, freelancers can apply for NAC’s regular project grants, some of which have been enhanced to offer a higher funding quantum for projects planned to take place in FY2021. Project grants support art creation, presentation, market and audience development, capability development and research.
     

    Conclusion

  13. MCCY has been closely monitoring the needs of the arts and culture community as the COVID-19 situation evolves.  Through the ACRP and other means, MCCY and its agencies will continue to offer support to arts and culture organisations and practitioners in the months ahead, and direct resources to areas with greater demand from our community.

 

Last updated on 21 August 2020