SINGAPORE - The Artground - A Curious Place To Be reopened last Wednesday after being closed for 10 months.
The popular arts-based playground at Goodman Arts Centre in Mountbatten, which had closed temporarily for an exhibition changeover on March 23 last year, found itself shuttered for an extended period because of pandemic measures. Run by The Ground Co, a registered arts charity, since 2017, The Artground caters to children from newborns up to age nine.
During its closure, several other popular play spaces for children shut down, most notably Kidzania Singapore in June last year. Arts charity Playeum folded its Children's Centre for Creativity in Gillman Barracks in August and went fully digital, while mega indoor playground SuperPark Singapore exited in October.
The Artground's new exhibition is titled Deep Sea by @wu.yanrong, an immersive experience into imaginary deep waters. Because of social distancing measures, the venue now limits admission to six tickets per session, with one ticket admitting two to five individuals, including babies. This is about a third of its previous capacity.
It has two sessions from Wednesdays to Fridays, three on weekends, and is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Admission is free but families must book in advance on the Peatix platform with a $15 refundable deposit to secure their slot. It does not accept walk-ins, and no-shows forfeit their deposits. Visitors must wear non-slip grip socks, or buy them there.
Parents have been eagerly snapping up tickets as soon as The Artground announces them on social media, with weekend tickets selling out within an hour typically, it reports.
Next month, it will launch a series of ticketed programmes in its WhiteBox space, ranging from storytelling and arts and craft sessions, to performances. First up is When Sadness Comes To Call, a performance that helps children aged four and up learn to cope with the emotion creatively.
It will offer In Search of You by The Kueh Tutus, a multi-sensory experience for babies and toddlers from six months to three years, and their carers.
Ms Luanne Poh, director of The Artground, says she is heartened by the positive response to its reopening.
"We are excited to bring everyone a new TAG experience as we challenge ourselves and artists to design novel and age-appropropriate content in the current times. With the smaller capacity, we hope that it would translate into a better user experience for each family as well as encourage families to deepen their arts engagement by attending the various Programmes in the WhiteBox while they are here."