Two new arts training centres are opening in the north of Singapore.
The Little Arts Academy (LAA), which provides free training in the arts, opened the first of these two centres yesterday at Northpoint City. The second is slated to open in March next year in the same mall.
The LAA 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 the town area."
The Rice Company, a non-profit arts organisation, manages LAA, which offers arts training for children aged six to 12.
It currently accommodates up to 500 students annually. With the two new centres, it will expand its 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."
Muhammad Shah Zamani Esham, 13, a beneficiary of The Business Times' Budding Artists Fund, said: "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 found a group of new and like-minded friends, such as my dance crew, who are like family to me," he said.