SINGAPORE - Two new arts training centres will open in the north of Singapore.
The Little Arts Academy (LAA), which provides free training in the arts, opened the first of these two centres on Saturday (Nov 11), at Northpoint City.
The second is slated to open in March 2018 in the same mall.
The Little Arts Academy was founded in 2008 to provide training in music, dance, theatre and visual arts for free, for the beneficiaries of The Business Times Budding Artists Fund.
Its centre is currently located at PoMo in Selegie Road.
Head of Arts and Community at The Rice Company Aminah Hussien said: "This marks the first of our efforts to be more accessible to families so that they do not need to spend more time travelling to town area as we will be located in their neighbourhood."
The Rice Company, a non-profit arts organisation, manages LAA.
Ms Aminah added that the new campus in the north will have a new logo - a leaf that symbolises growth and the coming-of-age of LAA.
"The new space sports a clean and fresh look with a green wall, more natural lighting as well as studio spaces that are adaptable in size. It is a perfect environment for our children to conceptualise and create new works," she added.
LAA offers arts training for children aged from six to 12.
It currently accommodates up to 500 students annually. With the two new centres, it will expand the capacity to up to 800 students.
Said Mr Alvin Tay, managing editor of Singapore Press Holdings' English, Malay and Tamil Media Group: "It has been fulfilling to see how our beneficiaries have benefited from a conducive environment and systematic arts curriculum which LAA has provided over the years.
"The impact the arts has on our beneficiaries is evident in how some of them have furthered their education in arts institutions while others have joined the arts industry by setting up show production companies. These two centres in Yishun will mark a new chapter in our growth and will allow us to reach out to even more children who have interest in the arts."
The alumni of LAA have furthered their education in places such as the School of the Arts Singapore, Laselle College of the Arts and Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts.
Said Muhammad Shah Zamani Esham, 13, a beneficiary of The Business Times Budding Artists Fund: "The programme has helped me find my passion for dance. Before I enrolled in LAA, I did not know that I could dance and it has helped me to discover my talent."
He has been with LAA for three years and has a small dance group called the Sugar Rush Crew.
"I'm grateful that through LAA, I have found a group of new and like-minded friends, such as my dance crew, who are like family to me. We share a common passion and interest in dance," he added.