Substation board invites proposals to save venue but will still wind up operations

The board announced on March 2 that the Substation will close permanently.
The board announced on March 2 that the Substation will close permanently.ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

SINGAPORE - The Substation board on Thursday (March 18) called for proposals to save the arts venue, but will still be winding up operations to hand the premises over to the National Arts Council.

The board issued a statement inviting members of the arts community to submit their proposals to by April 20. 

It said: "We are open to receiving proposals from the arts community, in the spirit of community engagement and our genuine desire to consider and evaluate credible, substantial and sustainable proposals for the continuation of The Substation."

It added that the proposals should be "true to the values of The Substation: to be a safe, creative, non-judgmental space for artistic experimentation and challenging perspectives, open to all".

In the meantime, the statement added, the board will "wind down operations and turn the page on 30 years of The Substation's history".

The statement is a response to a virtual townhall meeting convened by the board on March 6, which was attended by almost 300 members of the arts community.

During the townhall, there were calls for the board to step aside and suggestions for new models for the arts centre.

The Substation's historic premises at 45 Armenian Street are due to be handed back to the NAC in July for renovations.

The board announced on March 2 that The Substation will close permanently as it will not be able to return to the building in its entirety.

The NAC has said The Substation can return as a co-tenant under the Framework for Arts Spaces scheme, but will have to share the space with other arts groups.