New NAC framework to address extreme demand for arts housing

The National Arts Council’s new Framework for Arts Spaces will address the "extreme" demand for arts housing in Singapore, says CEO, Benson Phua. 

The Framework will also see more targeted housing criteria and support artists with different needs. 

More than 520 new arts groups were formed in the last decade, driving a growing and changing Singapore arts landscape. 

Currently, there are only 96 art spaces available for rent under the 25-year-old Arts Housing Scheme. 

Launched in 1985, it provides subsidised rental spaces for artists to work and develop their activities. 

But things are set to change in April next year with the opening of the Goodman Arts Centre in Mountbatten. 

For one, it will offer 49 new spaces for artists to set up shop, and a range of performance and workshop spaces for ad hoc rental. 

Goodman will also be the testing ground for the new Framework for Arts Spaces. 

The new framework is more comprehensive and provides targeted housing support, especially for new and emerging young artists. 

Applicants will be assessed on different criteria and given rental subsidies and tenures based on their artistic needs. 

Artists MediaCorp spoke to are generally optimistic about the changes. 

Odyssey Dance Theatre's Artistic Director Danny Tan is one of them. 

"I'm looking forward, it's clearer indication that it's no longer like what it used to be that one scheme fits all, now it seems to me there are three types of schemes, so certainly I think it will actually serve more people in terms of their functions or different skills and perhaps, artist developments. But I think the real challenge is about the implementation. Who are the right artists to be supported for that scheme."

This report was filed by Qiuyi Tan.