The National Arts Council announced on Saturday, 6 October, that eight arts organisations will receive funding support through the inaugural NAC Seed Grant. The NAC has committed a sum of SGD350,000 to the organisations until the end of the financial year, as part of a pledge to support them with a whopping sum of SGD2.42 million over three years.
It is common opinion that governmental support of the arts in the past has not always been so forthcoming but since June of this year, the National Arts Council has certainly taken efforts to dispel such doubts.
“Even as we support the more established arts groups, the next generation of new and emerging companies needs to be nourished as well, to ensure the diversity and longer-term sustainability of our arts and culture scene.”
The Seed Grant scheme is an initiative designed to fund and support Arts organisations with budding potential, to kick-start their programmes and projects and formalise their operations. It has attracted over 30 applicants since its launch in June this year. Benson Puah, CEO, NAC said, “These organisational-level grants are part of NAC’s broader support framework to ensure that our artists and arts groups receive assistance based on their different stages of development. Even as we support the more established arts groups, the next generation of new and emerging companies needs to be nourished as well, to ensure the diversity and longer-term sustainability of our arts and culture scene.”
Amongst the eight organisations granted funds from the new initiative, there was only one whose efforts are focused on contemporary music, the Singapore Music Society (SGMUSO), who received a grant of SGD 50,000. The external panel that assessed the proposals noted that SGMUSO “plugs a key gap in the current Singapore music scene, by serving as a collective voice for local independent musicians” and that “they had managed to secure a wide base of members in a short time, as well as the leadership of key names in Singapore’s independent music scene” which includes the support of labels such as Syndicate, KittyWu Records and Kamco Music.
The Seed Grant will assist SGMUSO in training and marketing local musicians for export as well as supporting training and advocacy programmes and its long-term capacity to run such programmes.
By Melissa Yong
Applications for the next batch of Seed Grants will commence from mid-November this year. For more information, click here.