National Arts Council to launch new five-year roadmap to help arts sector grow

The SG Arts Plan from 2023 to 2027 will place greater focus on the creative economy.

Farhana Subuhan

Published: 6 March 2023, 7:41 PM

There will be greater focus placed on the creative economy in the next five years under the SG Arts Plan, Minister Edwin Tong said at the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth’s (MCCY) Committee of Supply Debate on Monday (Mar 6).

The National Arts Council (NAC)’s five-year roadmap will build on the gains from the previous iteration of the plan that took place from 2018 to 2022, where it increased its touchpoints for communities to encounter the arts in public spaces.

Titled “Our SG Arts Plan”, the latest plan will be built on three main pillars — A Connected Society, a Distinctive City and a Creative Economy.

As part of the five-year roadmap, the NAC will embed the arts in key life areas such as education, work, leisure and well-being across ages. Mr Tong shared that it will also “deepen engagements with schools” to ensure greater access to quality arts learning experiences for all students.

More activities in civic areas such as parks, malls and lifestyle spaces will also be offered to provide citizens the opportunity to connect with one another through the arts.

Additionally, the NAC will build on partnerships with agencies such as the People’s Association (PA), National Library Board (NLB) and National Parks Board (NParks) to expand its current Arts & Culture Nodes.

Currently, there are 20 Nodes ranging from public libraries, community centres, recreational spaces to integrated community lifestyle hubs and educational institutions.

Mr Tong said that the NAC will “foster the appreciation of the social impact of the arts” amongst the people, public and private sectors and “encourage contribution to the arts” through volunteerism and donations.

Access to affordable public and private arts spaces will also be increased, with the arts being integrated in more spaces that are nearer to where people live, work and play across the island. To achieve this, the NAC will work with other government agencies to diversify arts spaces.

In his speech, Mr Tong added that NAC will work with various partners “invigorate neighbourhoods using public artworks and exhibitions.”

“NAC will onboard private stakeholders such as malls and business owners to invigorate more public spaces and neighbourhoods with public artworks which will contribute to their unique identities.”

It will also work closely with industry leaders in the arts and technology sectors through an Alliance-for-Action (AfA) for Project Arts Metaverse, to explore opportunities in the metaverse for audience development, monetisation and showcase innovation.

Mr Tong shared that the NAC will facilitate the creation of new business models to improve the sustainability of the arts and culture sector.

“This will address common needs and allow the arts community to tap economies of scale.”

To provide pathways for career progression and skills development, the NAC will collaborate with institutes of higher learning (IHL) and industry partners. This will ensure that the digital training gaps are addressed within the existing workforce.

With the upcoming University of the Arts, students will benefit from existing as well as new programmes offered by LASALLE and NAFA to meet the needs of the creative economy.

Mr Tong also said that NAC will focus on aiding local arts practitioners to reach international audiences and gain recognition overseas.

“It will be looking at new focus areas such as intellectual property rights, new business models, and digital adoption to help artists and arts groups achieve greater growth and success.”

As part of its engagement efforts, the NAC reached out to more than 1,300 stakeholders from the arts community and beyond, such as representatives from the retail, real estate and technology sectors from June 2021 to September 2022.

It also reached out to over 15,000 members of the public in its public engagement from November 2022 to February 2023, through on-ground roadshows at The Arts House and One Punggol as well as listening points targeting youths in partnership with REACH.

Through these engagements, Mr Tong said that they were able to identify a cross-pollination between the arts and different adjacent creative sectors, enabling Singapore artists to reach wider audiences locally and internationally.

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