More funding for arts groups under National Arts Council's Major and Seed Grant schemes

Nine Years Theatre’s Mandarin production of Red Demon. It is one of the eight arts groups previously awarded Seed Grants to be awarded Major Grants in 2016.
Nine Years Theatre’s Mandarin production of Red Demon. It is one of the eight arts groups previously awarded Seed Grants to be awarded Major Grants in 2016.PHOTO: NINE YEARS THEATRE

SINGAPORE - The National Arts Council is giving out $16.2 million in funding to arts groups under its Major and Seed Grant schemes. This marks an increase of about $1 million from its funding in the last financial year.

Recipients getting a sizable bump in funding include dance group Bhaskar's Arts Academy and Chinese music group Ding Yi Music Company, which received Major Grants of $260,000 and $330,000 respectively. Both received a $100,000 increase from 2014.

Eight arts groups, which previously received Seed Grants, have been awarded Major Grants this year. These include theatre company Nine Years Theatre ($250,000), percussion group Nadi Singapura ($170,000) and contemporary dance group Raw Moves ($280,000).

Yet, while most arts companies received more funding, one outlier was theatre company Teater Ekamatra, which had its funding cut by $15,000 to $165,000.

A total of 44 companies will receive the Major Grant, a three-year funding scheme that supports long-term development needs of arts groups here.

There were five first-time recipients for the Council's Seed Grant, which is awarded to emerging arts organisations.

They are visual arts group Objectifs Centre ($150,000), youth theatre company the Young People's Performing Arts Ensemble ($100,000), musical group SAtheCollective, Sing Lit Station and the National Poetry Festival ($50,000 each) respectively.

In a press statement on March 22, the council's chief executive Kathy Lai said: "Given the uncertain economic climate ahead, we also hope paying audiences, patrons and corporations continue to support these companies, which represent the best of our nation's creative talents."

The council will also fine-tune the Major Grants framework to "improve the long-term sustanability of arts groups, diversify their income streams and develop new audiences", she added.

jianxuan@sph.com.sg