New Support Package for Arts Freelancers and Survey on Impact of COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting all of Singapore, including the arts and culture scene. The National Arts Council has engaged many Singaporean arts practitioners over the past 2 months. We know many have been affected, and as an initial response, NAC had introduced the first tranche of measures on 16 March 2020 to support Self-Employed Persons*(SEP) in the arts. The information on these support measures was shared in our Latest Announcements.
On March 26, a second support package was announced by DPM Heng Swee Keat, including measures intended to bring some relief to Singaporean SEPs across all industries. The SEP Income Relief Scheme will provide eligible SEPs with S$1,000 a month for nine months. The SEP Training Support Scheme will be extended to December and its hourly training allowance raised from S$7.50 to S$10 from May 1 onwards.
Specific to arts freelancers, MCCY will announce further extensions to the Capability Development Scheme for the Arts (CDSA) and new initiatives to enable the digital presentation of our Singaporean artistic talents. More details will be released at a later date. We know the heightened distancing measures taking effect from today (March 26) mean additional challenges for everyone, so we hope all these new initiatives will help address concerns in the arts community.
As Singapore continues to adapt and innovate in the face of this unprecedented situation, we do need better data on the arts freelancer landscape. To stay in touch with your needs, ARH invites you to participate in this short survey to help us better understand the profile of arts freelancers in Singapore, and the impact of COVID-19 on your work. The survey closes on 5 April 2020 (Sunday), 5pm, and its findings will help us to better address concerns and come up with measures designed to meet the needs of arts freelancers. Existing ARH subscribers, please also take part in this survey.
*Self-Employed Persons, commonly referred to as freelancers, are persons who operate their own trade or business. They are not casual, temporary, or term contract employees who are on employment contracts for fixed periods of time.
ARH Drop-In Chats with Tay Tong
If you are an arts freelancer looking for ideas or in need of advice, in light of the current COVID-19 situation, please join us at the ARH for drop-in chat sessions with Tay Tong, Director of Sector Development (Visual Arts) at the National Arts Council NAC. This is part of the ARH’s ongoing efforts to be a resource to arts freelancers.
You can sign-up to drop-in for a face-to-face chat at the ARH@GAC space or on Zoom. More information can be found on the events listings here.
Guidelines for Artists and Arts Groups Organising Arts & Culture Events
The National Arts Council has recently shared the Guidelines for Artists and Arts Groups who are organising arts and culture events, in line with the Ministry of Health’s latest advisory. These guidelines highlight the enhanced social distancing measures and further reiterate the importance of contact tracing and having adequate and proper screening measures. Read more about these guidelines here.
[Updated 16 Mar 2020] Launch of National Arts Council's Capability Development Scheme for the Arts (CDSA) - New Measures to Support Arts Community during COVID-19
Budget 2020 introduced a number of measures to help Singaporean workers overcome current challenges in light of the COVID-outbreak. Self-Employed Persons (SEPs) in the arts make up about half of the arts and culture sector. We are pleased to share that arts SEPs can access a range of support schemes, including greater training support that was previously announced, as well as the Capability Development Scheme for the Arts (CDSA), launched by the National Arts Council (NAC) on 16 March 2020.
|Next Bound of SkillsFuture |
$500 SkillsFuture Credit top-up for adult Singaporeans aged 25 and above
|SkillsFuture Mid-Career Support Package|
Special $500 SkillsFuture Credit top-up for Singaporeans aged 40 to 60
|NTUC Training Fund (SEPS)|
All SEPs will be entitled to $7.50/hour of training allowance for SkillsFuture series courses and selected sector-specific training programmes. This will be increased to $10/hour from May 1 onwards.
More information is available here.
|NAC’s Capability Development Scheme for the Arts (CDSA)|
This is a one-time grant for eligible arts SEPs to take up training to enhance their practice or professional skills. Eligible individuals may apply for the grant to support their course fees for local courses and programmes.
Applications are now open 16 March 2020 to 15 June 2020, 5pm via the NAC website. This CDSA is also open to NAC's Major Companies and Seed Grant Companies (MCSGs), and non-MCSG arts organisations and companies.
For more information on training and courses, please click here.
Venue Hire Subsidy
Additionally, we are also pleased to share that a 30% subsidy for venue rental and associated costs will be offered for venues with a capacity of less than 1000, to run your programmes.
The subsidy is applicable at national cultural institutions for arts and culture activities, including productions, workshops and masterclasses taking place from 7 March to 30 June 2020. These institutions include:
- The Esplanade
- National Gallery Singapore
- Venues managed by Arts House Limited (i.e. Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall, Drama Centre, Goodman Arts Centre, Aliwal Arts Centre)
- Stamford Arts Centre
- Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre
- Singapore Conference Hall and
- National Heritage Board Museums
For more information on this subsidy, you can get in touch with the respective venues.
We encourage you to continue to run your programmes, and take advantage of the schemes during this period to upgrade your skills and competencies. Do contact the Arts Resource Hub at email: firstname.lastname@example.org if you have further enquiries on the schemes.
Advisory on COVID-19
We urge members of the public to remain vigilant and to adopt good personal hygiene practices.
Further Update on Arts Resource Hub @ 42 Waterloo Street
(published on 6th February 2020, 1700h)
Following Arts Resource Hub’s last announcement on (ARH) @ 42 Waterloo Street (42WS) on 29 Jan, there have been more developments to share.
- 42WS renovations will take place until the end of 2020/ early 2021.
- The current spaces (i.e. black box, rehearsal studio, library, meeting room) will be renovated with structural improvements and disability access.
- After renovations, the theatre intermediary C42 will return to its office in the annexe building. C42 will continue to have access to the spaces for its core work in supporting artists, practitioners and new work creation.
- Spaces will remain available for all arts freelancers/independent practitioners to use at similar rates.
- The ARH will continue to work on programmes to support independent practitioners. All practitioners will have access to these spaces, as well as co-working and hot-desking facilities at GAC and SAC for meetings and administrative work.
- As the ARH maps out the upgrade of 42WS, NAC will also continue to gather feedback together with the C42 team on the improvements to be made to the spaces.
Update on Arts Resource Hub @ 42 Waterloo Street
(published on 29th January 2020, 2015h)
The Arts Resource Hub (ARH) is an initiative by the National Arts Council (NAC) to support freelancers in the arts, who make up almost half of the practitioners in the community. Following the launch of the web portal in September 2019 and a series of talks focusing on self-sustainability since November 2019, NAC also launched two spaces at Goodman Arts Centre (GAC) and Stamford Arts Centre (SAC) at the start of the year.
As part of the freelancer support, the pre-war bungalow at 42 Waterloo Street (42WS) was identified as the main site for the ARH as it is in a central location and will better serve the larger arts community. NAC is committed to an ARH with spaces available for the whole community - for rehearsals, discussions and presentations – and support artists and writers in the performing arts, visual arts and literary arts.
In refurbishing the new ARH at 42WS, NAC has been in conversations with the current tenant Centre 42 (C42) since 2018 to understand their needs as they are invited to return to the ARH as a tenant after the refurbishment. NAC is confident C42 can continue to play its intermediary role in the theatre scene in the 42WS premises after the renovation.
Background of 42WS and C42
In 2013, to address the needs of the performing arts landscape, NAC identified the necessity to have an incubation space for the development of multilingual works, playwriting and directing talents for Singapore theatre. The space could also be a centre for research, documentation and discourse, enabling theatre practitioners and the larger community to examine how Singapore theatre has evolved historically and will continue to grow.
C42 was established through an open call in July 2013 conducted by NAC. The intent was to establish a centre for the development of text-based works for Singapore theatre, with the aim to nurture and develop our creative talents in producing distinctive content. Over the last six years, NAC has supported the company with both subsidised spaces and organisational funding.
After the six-month renovation of 42 Waterloo Street, which will incorporate structural improvements and disability access, the new facilities will be more inclusive and benefit a wide group of practitioners. NAC will work with C42 to ensure that they will continue to serve the theatre community in their role as a valued intermediary. NAC has therefore renewed its partnership with C42 for another three years.
While the co-working spaces at GAC and SAC can be used by arts freelancers for their meetings and administrative work, the ARH at 42WS will serve a different function for the wider arts community as a multi-disciplinary space. 90% of this 512 square metre compound will continue to serve the needs of arts practitioners as creation, rehearsal and presentation-related spaces, while the remaining 10% will be shared between the ARH team and C42 as administration space. Parts of the current site will also be enhanced with amenities such as air-conditioning for comfort, and a chair-lift to improve wheelchair accessibility to the space.
We appreciate the feedback from the community about our support for the freelance community and the future of 42WS. We are also heartened to have heard from visual artists and literary writers who are looking forward to the new ARH at 42WS. Together, let us make this space better equipped for the future of Singapore’s arts scene and inclusive for the whole arts sector.
ARH@GAC and ARH@SAC are now open!
We are happy to announce that the co-working spaces for arts freelancers at ARH@SAC (Room #03-03) and ARH@GAC (Blk K, Room #01-45) are now open! They will be available for ARH subscribers for a trial period until Mar 2020 via PIN access. These spaces will provide facilities for arts freelancers to hot-desk, hold meetings, network and share collaboration opportunities with one another.
Feel free to share this news with your freelance arts stakeholders who may find the facilities useful for their work! Arts freelancers will have to sign up as an ARH subscriber before gaining the free trial usage of the spaces.
Feel free to approach the ARH team if you have any questions on ARH and the co-working spaces!