Minister for Culture, Community, and Youth Grace Fu launched Our SG Arts Plan (2018–2022), which detailed the focus areas for Singapore’s literary, performing and visual arts sectors over the next five years.
It will serve as the blueprint for policies and initiatives over the next five years that will continue nurturing Singapore’s diverse and distinctive arts scene.
For one, the National Arts Council (NAC) will be looking into improving the quality of both free and ticketed events, while sustaining their quantity.
To expand the reach of arts events, more public spaces will also be freed up for the arts. The spaces will also include the heartland areas, Todayonline said in a report
Driving audience growth will be one of the key priorities for the next five years, said Mrs Rosa Daniel, Chief Executive Officer of NAC. "What we want to do is ensure that the audiences are there. So basically, to raise the demand to meet the supply. Rather than a strategy where you prune back supply, which isn't going to help us to grow the arts scene."
A new resource centre will also be set up next year — both online and a physical centre — to support the needs of freelance arts professionals. About half of those who work mainly in the arts do so on a freelance basis, according to a survey in 2016.
"Freelance arts workers contribute significantly to the arts sector in myriad ways, and in the age of the gig economy, their numbers will grow... There is concern that freelance arts workers may not have sufficient support to protect their interests in matters concerning contracts, long-term financial planning, and so on," the NAC noted.
"Through this centre, we will enhance access to shared services and information, as well as provide learning and development opportunities."
The report added that the council will also encourage employers in the arts sector to adopt the tripartite standard on contracting self-employed persons when engaging freelance workers. The standard, which was developed by the Ministry of Manpower, the National Trades Union Congress, and the Singapore National Employers Federation, aims to foster fair and progressive employment conditions for freelancers.
“Our SG Arts Plan is an important roadmap that will help us navigate the future and raise the profile of our art community locally and internationally," Ms Fu said at the launch of Our SG Arts Plan (2018-2022) at Our Tampines Hub.
"There is tremendous potential for the arts to bring people together, look past our differences, and project our common identity to the world. The Plan will see us provide better support for our arts professionals and make the arts more accessible to all. Let’s make the arts an integral part of the lives of all Singaporeans.”
The Plan was developed in close consultation with the arts community and other stakeholders through more than 40 engagement sessions.
From February to September 2018, NAC had reached out to over 700 people from diverse backgrounds – including arts practitioners, intermediaries and institutions, educators, volunteers, and representatives from the public and private sectors.
Their insights contributed towards the formulation of the draft Plan. Views from the wider public were also sought over a three-week period of public consultation in September 2018.