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National Arts Council invites all to join the making of Singapore’s future arts scene with the launch of Our SG Arts Plan (2023 - 2027)

05 Sep 2023

  • Our SG Arts Plan (2023 - 2027) reiterates the Council’s commitment to championing artistic excellence and growing audiences for a sustainable and thriving arts ecosystem.
  • The National Arts Council announces eight initiatives that will build a connected society, and inspire a distinctive city, powered by a creative economy. 

SINGAPORE, 5 September 2023 –
The National Arts Council (NAC) launched Our SG Arts Plan (2023 - 2027) today, inviting artists, audiences and stakeholders to play their part and join the development of the arts scene in Singapore. Officiated by Mr Edwin Tong, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth & Second Minister for Law, the launch of Our SG Arts Plan (2023 - 2027) is a culmination of engagements with more than 16,500 stakeholders on their hope for the arts scene in Singapore.

Guided by insights derived from close consultations with industry partners, various artists and creatives, as well as public feedback since July 2021, Our SG Arts Plan (2023 - 2027) sets out the masterplan for the arts and culture in Singapore for the next five years. The plan is centred on three strategic thrusts that will guide the future of the Singapore arts scene - to build A Connected Society where our community is anchored by the shared arts and culture, A Distinctive City where spaces are invigorated by the arts, making Singapore an endearing home and attractive destination, and A Creative Economy where the arts sector is powered by excellence, innovation and close collaboration with the larger creative industry, through partnerships, data and insights, as well as technology and innovation. Eight initiatives will be rolled out as a start across the arts, lifestyle, community, and technology sectors, among others, exemplifying how everyone has a part to play in the future of Singapore’s arts scene, and its progress over the next five years.

Mr Edwin Tong, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth & Second Minister for Law, said, “The arts have an important role in forging a connected society and enhancing the dynamism and vibrancy of Singapore – it has the power to unite our communities, and anchor us to our core Singaporean identity. We will continue to encourage collaboration within the arts sector, and across, with adjacent industries, so the flow of ideas and talent can uplift our society as a whole. We hope that the arts can continue to flourish with new ideas, themes, and aesthetic forms, and that these works can collectively inspire and enrich us as a society. Our SG Arts Plan (2023 -2027) is more than a policy blueprint for what we hope to achieve. It is a statement of belief in the power of the arts to foster creativity, inculcate a sense of belonging, bond people together and distinguish Singapore globally.”

Mr Low Eng Teong, Chief Executive Officer of the NAC added, “Over the years, we have seen new possibilities and growth within the arts sector. Beyond investing resources in industry and audience development, NAC remains committed to developing our artistic talents and will work with stakeholders across the public, private and people sector through partnerships and technology, to enable artists, and arts organisations to drive artistic excellence and bring Singapore’s arts to local and international audiences. Since July 2021, more than 16,500 stakeholders across the various sectors and members of the public have been part of this Our SG Arts Plan (2023 - 2027) journey and shared their hopes and aspirations for Singapore’s arts scene. As we carry out the plans for the next five years, we are excited for more to join us in the making of Singapore’s vibrant and sustainable arts scene.”

Growing engaged audiences to build a Connected Society

Singaporeans of all ages, backgrounds and abilities can look forward to more accessible and quality arts initiatives that foster closer bonds to build A Connected Society. According to NAC’s 2022 Population Survey on the Arts, the public’s interest in the arts and overall arts engagement is on the rise. Physical arts attendance rose to 59% in 2022 from 43% in 2021, returning close to pre-pandemic attendance levels in 2019. Importantly, arts attendance has improved across different audience profiles. Besides attending arts events, more Singaporeans are also participating in arts and culture activities such as workshops and classes.

To ride on this positive momentum and further boost the public’s attendance in the arts, NAC has worked with the National Heritage Board (NHB), Arts House Limited (AHL), National Gallery Singapore (NGS), and Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay (Esplanade) to develop Catch, a one-stop digital platform for arts and culture content. Catch features events and programmes and allows Singaporeans and visitors to browse and book tickets for arts and culture events. The platform also provides smaller arts groups with an accessible platform to promote their initiatives free of charge and reach new and diverse audiences. The public can sign up as a platform member to gain access to events, previews and personalised recommendations.

The 2022 Population Survey of the Arts continued to show that engagement with, and interest in the arts, was higher among those who had exposure to the arts in their childhood. This affirms the importance of developing core learning experiences through the continued partnership between NAC and the Ministry of Education (MOE) to offer students access to more arts and culture experiences. This includes artist-led programmes at professional arts venues such as museums and concert halls that bring to life the curriculum taught in classrooms. Beyond encouraging students to continue engaging with the arts in adulthood, research has shown that these arts experiences can nurture students’ social and emotional well-being, and develop their 21st Century Competencies to thrive in a changing world.

Transforming Singapore into a Distinctive City for the arts

Spaces across the island will be invigorated by the arts, transforming Singapore into an endearing home and A Distinctive City that inspires.

To achieve this, NAC will collaborate with the Urban Redevelopment Authority and the Housing & Development Board’s Lively Places Programme over the next three years, to encourage and support communities to co-create arts-based initiatives, projects and experiences at everyday spaces such as housing estates and places of commute. This initiative aims to enliven public spaces, bring the arts closer to where we live, work and play, strengthen bonds between members of the community, and create a more loveable city. The public can look forward to participating in arts-based community projects across the island. Upcoming projects include A Place I Call Home by artist Clarence Ho in Pasir Ris, and A Particular Place by Leonard Yang, Leow Wei Li and Akai Chew in Kampong Glam.

On 30 August, NAC and SMRT Trains Ltd signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to enliven spaces of commute through music, poetry and busking to broaden exposure to Singapore’s arts in public spaces. This opens up more avenues where locals and visitors to Singapore alike can enjoy and experience Singapore’s unique arts and culture even in unexpected places. The partnership will kick off with a nationwide roll-out of the year-long Hear65’s ‘I Play SG Music’ campaign with SMRT - a landmark partnership that celebrates local music and bringing it closer to over 3 million commuters, enabling commuters to discover local music and artists daily as they are broadcast across 125 MRT, LRT and bus interchanges for the first time.

Extending into the virtual space, NAC will be launching an industry-led Alliance for Action (AfA) comprising key stakeholders from the arts and culture community to develop pilots for projects in the metaverse. Project Arts Metaverse will provide a supportive environment for our arts organisations to innovate, experiment and test-and-learn to remain agile and confident in the face of future technology disruption. The AfA also encourages cross-sector collaboration as the arts and culture sector is provided with the capabilities and networks to clinch opportunities that could present themselves in these new virtual worlds, and expand the playing field for arts creation and presentation. Project Arts Metaverse is focused on creating novel arts experiences in the metaverse such as virtual concerts, exhibitions and festivals to reach and engage our audiences of tomorrow, with pilots to be developed by the end of 2024.

Developing a strong and skilled arts workforce to support the Creative Economy

NAC is committed to developing a strong Creative Economy with an arts sector defined by excellence and close collaboration with the larger industry. NAC recognises that arts practitioners are the key drivers of artistic excellence, growth in the arts sector and contributors of creative capital to the larger creative economy.

To build a future-ready workforce, NAC will elevate artistic excellence and skills development through the Skills Framework for Arts and enhanced development support. This includes nurturing a strong talent core through diversifying development opportunities and a greater emphasis on skills applicability through hands-on components such as apprenticeships and workplace-based learning.

In line with the evolving work opportunities for arts education, as well as the growing arts, entertainment and recreation scene, the Skills Framework for Arts (Arts Education and Technical Theatre & Production) promotes skills mastery and career progression to support the development of a strong core of practitioners in these fields who are central to the arts sector. This also includes Self-Employed Persons, as many working in the arts choose to take on freelance or gig work. Jointly developed by NAC, SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG), industry partners and Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs), the framework contains key sector information, career pathways, job roles, and existing and emerging skills.

In recent years, technology has changed how artists create and audiences consume and engage with the arts. To further encourage arts practitioners to explore the possibilities of integrating technology into their practice, NAC has partnered Esplanade for the Performing Arts x Tech Lab, the 2023 edition of the Arts x Tech Lab, which champions innovation and experimentation through seeding collaboration between the fields of performing arts and technology. This will allow performing arts companies to explore, innovate and integrate technology into their creation process. For this nine-month long initiative, NAC is also continuing its partnership with technology partner the Keio-NUS CUTE Center to provide technology consultancy to the Lab’s participants as they did with the previous edition. Participants can also benefit from professional workshops curated along the themes of performing arts, technology and user design, that can further add value to their lab experience.

Expanding opportunities for Singapore arts through partnerships

NAC will continue to work closely with corporate partners from adjacent industries to provide new opportunities to showcase and profile Singapore arts globally, elevating Singapore arts in the international arts landscape.

Finding intersections between the arts and media, NAC will be partnering Mediacorp to celebrate and amplify arts and culture content by providing greater exposure and support for local artists and arts groups across all Mediacorp platforms for the masses, as well as foster the development of cross industry connections and new opportunities for arts professions. This will be done through three key areas – arts advocacy, cross-sector interactions, and content creation.

The Council has also embarked on a multi-year partnership with Marina Bay Sands to tap on their industry expertise and networks to bring added value to the wider arts sector and the creative economy, especially in the areas of arts thought leadership and arts showcase. Beyond this, local and international visitors to Marina Bay Sands can experience Singapore’s vibrant arts scene through marquee arts events, recorded and live music by homegrown artists as well as an enhanced art programming at the integrated resort. 

NAC will also be partnering with Singapore Airlines (SIA) to bring Singapore’s arts to global audiences. Singapore’s arts and culture scene will be promoted to SIA’s passengers and KrisFlyer members, through direct channels such as the KrisWorld digital in-flight magazine and SilverKris website, and on SIA’s in-flight entertainment system, KrisWorld.

NAC invites all to join us on this journey to develop our arts and culture scene further. The public can envision the journey towards this possible future through a commissioned brand film published on NAC’s YouTube page, read more about Our SG Arts Plan via and #JoinTheMaking of Singapore’s future arts scene. For more details on Our SG Arts Plan (2023 - 2027) and the eight initiatives, please refer to the Annex.

All materials and high-resolution images related to Our SG Arts Plan (2023 – 2027) can be found in this Digital Media Kit:

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For media queries, please contact:

Leck Choon Ling

Senior Manager

Tate Anzur

+65 8288 3592

Faith Leong

Manager, Communications & Marketing

National Arts Council

+65 9173 0246



1. Catch

Catch is a one-stop digital platform that aggregates all arts and culture content in Singapore, enhancing visibility, discoverability, and accessibility of Singapore’s arts. This initiative is led by the National Arts Council (NAC), together with National Heritage Board (NHB), Arts House Limited (AHL), National Gallery Singapore (NGS), and Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay. Through data-driven audience outreach efforts, Catch is a catalyst for the vibrant arts and culture scene in Singapore, inspiring more people to appreciate and participate in a diverse range of arts and culture offerings.

With over 150 event listings, members of public can view upcoming arts and culture experiences at a glance, and search and filter through events of their choice. They can also sign up as a platform member to receive personalised content recommendations, purchase tickets seamlessly on the site, and enjoy exclusive perks such as discounts and access to events, previews and meet-and-greet sessions.

Catch will also collect audience insights which would be shared with culture sector stakeholders to better understand, engage and grow audiences. Smaller arts groups and artists can promote their initiatives free of charge on Catch.

2. Lively Places Programme

NAC has partnered with Housing & Development Board (HDB) and Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) on the Lively Places Programme to support community-led efforts in enlivening Singapore’s public spaces. Over the next three years, arts-based community projects will be supported under this programme, which will encourage co-creation between artists and community stakeholders, and build strong bonds among diverse communities.

Since the pilot was launched in 2021, NAC has supported two completed projects, an AR visual arts experience in Pasir Ris reflecting the heritage of the town by artist Clarence Ho and a staircase mural by graphic designer Muhammad Izdi at Upper Thomson Road, where residents proposed ideas linked to the history of the neighbourhood which in turn inspired his design.

Two other arts-based community projects will be rolled out by the end of 2023, such as A Place I Call Home by artist Clarence Ho at Block 104, Pasir Ris, Street 12, and A Particular Place by Leonard Yang, Leow Wei Li and Akai Chew at Sultan Gate.

3. NAC – SMRT Partnership

NAC and SMRT Trains Ltd. have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to profile Singapore’s arts in our daily spaces of commute over the next year.

This landmark collaboration is anchored by the launch of the ‘I Play SG Music’ campaign that is part of Hear65, a national music movement by NAC and produced by Bandwagon. Launched on 30 August 2023, Hear65’s ‘I Play SG Music’ campaign with SMRT brings Singaporean music to 125 MRT, LRT stations and bus interchanges for the first time in the nation, enhancing the experience of 3 million daily commuters as they journey to spaces where they live, work and play. Music by homegrown artists will be played during daily peak hours, complemented by eye-catching visual activations that invite passers-by to discover more. Working closely with local artists, major and independent music labels (such as Universal Music Singapore, Warner Music Singapore, Sony Music Singapore, Cross Ratio Entertainment, Where Are The Fruits and Ocean Butterflies), and performance rights organisations (PROs), the campaign aims to grow exposure, awareness and love for homegrown music.

Commuters can enjoy snippets of poetry and prose in trains as they go about their daily commute and be inspired by the beauty of local literature. Also in the works is a collaboration with ART:DIS Singapore to provide buskers with disabilities accessible platforms to showcase their musical talents at train stations across the island.

This collaboration with NAC is part of SMRT’s Communities in Station programme that aims to strengthen affinity with communities around SMRT’s network and enhance commuters’ experience. Other SMRT Communities in Station initiatives include Comic Connect – a collaboration between Singapore’s pioneer rail operator and members of the local art community to install heritage-themed comic wall murals across 35 SMRT-operated MRT stations island-wide. This year, SMRT Trains has also launched community pianos at MRT stations to enhance vibrancy and commuter experience in their transit spaces.

4. Alliance for Action: Project Arts Metaverse

The Alliance for Action (AfA) will unlock new opportunities in the metaverse for audience development and cross-sector collaboration. Through the development of new, engaging and interesting arts experiences in this emerging space for our audiences of tomorrow, the AfA will play an important role in fostering artistic excellence and growth as the arts sector leverages new technologies to expand the playing field for arts creation and presentation. Members from the AfA so far include cultural institutions and arts groups that champion innovation such as National Gallery Singapore, Singapore Art Museum, Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay, Singapore Repertory Theatre, Bandwagon and Spang and Lei as a start, and will look to involve more stakeholders who have interest, experience and resources to come in to co-create this project.

Project Arts Metaverse hopes to provide a supportive environment for our arts organisations to innovate, experiment and test-and-learn so as to remain agile and confident in the face of future technology disruption. The AfA will kick off with a series of workshops to help stakeholders better understand the opportunities, risks, different platforms and formats, while collectively imagining the potential of this medium and potential use cases. Up to five project teams will be supported to develop Minimum Viable Products (MVPs) of pilot metaverse projects by the end of 2024. The pilot projects aim to showcase Singapore as a distinctive city of the arts in the virtual realm, exploring ideas such as a digital twinning of Singapore’s arts and culture Civic District, as well as alternative event experiences for audiences in the metaverse such as concerts, exhibitions and festivals. Project Arts Metaverse will take place from October 2023 to December 2024.

5. Skills Framework for Arts and enhanced development support

I) Developing a strong talent core through skills mastery and professionalisation

The Skills Framework for Arts (Arts Education and Technical Theatre & Production) is aimed at supporting holistic artistic and professional development of our local arts practitioners to help them build capabilities and develop pathways for sustainable employment. These efforts coupled with other capability development programmes will set the foundation of a strong talent core to catalyse growth in the arts sector, and provide benchmarks to allow individuals to better plan for skills and career development in areas that are in-demand or emerging in the sector.

The Skills Framework for Arts covers 41 job roles across five tracks – Educator and Researcher tracks for Arts Education, and Creative, Technical and Production tracks for Technical Theatre & Production. The Skills Framework includes 16 core skills as well as 77 technical skills and competencies, such as arts curriculum design, arts for social & cultural development, performing arts production operations and production quality management. It also includes 5 Self-Employed Persons (SEP) competencies which are a basket of skills needed for SEPs to capitalise on work opportunities, to thrive, and build meaningful careers in the arts. This information is relevant for arts practitioners who want to deepen and broaden their skillsets, and individuals who want to enter the industry. It will be complemented by a suite of learning and development resources that is available on NAC’s website.

II) Dedicated support for Self-Employed Persons (SEP)

SEPs will also receive enhanced support to meet the unique challenges of the gig economy, such as support for training, and networking opportunities for continuous skills acquisition and career development. NAC will look to work with key industry partners to provide greater support for employment conditions and welfare.

NAC has worked with partners such as the Esplanade Academy and National Instructors and Coaches Association to provide enhanced training support for SEPs. NAC has worked with The Backstage Affair on their Apprenticeship Programme (BAAP) and will continue to work with industry partners to provide workplace-based training for SEPs as well as peer-to-peer learning opportunities under the Arts Resource Hub.

III) Diversification of training pathways to nurture artistic growth and progression

Pre-Employment Training (PET) institutions such as Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs) and Autonomous Universities (AUs) will continue to remain key partners in providing development pathways and training for the arts workforce. To nurture a strong talent core, and help arts practitioners meet the evolving needs of work and learning, emphasis will be placed on deepening industry exposure and widening opportunities for skills applicability. NAC will work closely with IHLs and industry partners on this in their PET and Continuous Education and Training (CET) through hands-on components such as structured mentorships, industry/apprenticeship programmes and on-job-training.

Separately, NAC and University of the Arts Singapore (UAS) recently established a joint scholarship for students pursuing arts degrees programmes at UAS to support the development of leadership and talent locally.

6. Performing Arts x Tech Lab

NAC in partnership with Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay (Esplanade) launched the Performing Arts x Tech Lab 2023, which will enable innovation and experimentation between arts and technology fields. The Lab is a joint initiative with Esplanade, and with Keio-NUS CUTE Center as the Technology Partner. It aims to bring artists and technologists together to transform artistic creation, enrich artistic practice and explore new forms of expression.

The Lab supports practitioners who work in the performing arts or with performance in general, who wish to work with technologists for the purposes of experimentation, prototyping or research and development. Beginning in August 2023, the nine-month incubator programme will culminate in an industry sharing in April 2024. The participants of this enhanced edition of the Arts x Tech Lab will benefit from consultations with an esteemed local and international advisory panel of experts in performance, arts and technology. The advisory panel includes Toby Coffey, from the Immersive Storytelling Studio at the National Theatre (United Kingdom), Clarence Ng, Akiko Takeshita and Mitsuru Tokisato from Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media (Japan), Danny Ying from Zuni Icosahedron (Hong Kong), Ho Tzu Nyen (Singapore), as well as the technologists from Keio-NUS CUTE Center.

7. NAC – Mediacorp Partnership

NAC and Mediacorp have entered into a partnership and signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) from 2023 to 2026. Over the next three years, both organisations will leverage their strengths to cultivate new audiences for both the arts and media sectors.

NAC and Mediacorp will work together to develop these three key areas:

  1. Arts Advocacy through the amplification of arts activities and profiling of homegrown artists on suitable Mediacorp platforms. Specifically this September, Mediacorp will be organising The Sound of Home Gig at Clarke Quay!, a concert with an amazing line-up of local acts during the Singapore F1 Grand Prix season;
  2. Cross-Sector Interactions between arts and media professionals through existing and new platforms to foster stronger professional relationships, build synergies between the arts and media industries, and set the foundation for new collaborations to bloom in the future;
  3. Content Creation through adapting existing and co-creating new arts content that are relatable to mass media audiences. For example, NAC and Mediacorp will work with theatrical groups to record stage performances into video content that will help extend the content to a wider audience, such as the Kwa Geok Choo musical that was recorded and made available on mewatch. NAC and Mediacorp will also explore adapting literary arts content for kids into audio books.

8. NAC – Marina Bay Sands Partnership

NAC and Marina Bay Sands have entered a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), marking a significant multi-year partnership from 2023 to 2026. This collaboration aims to leverage the strengths and benefits of both entities, providing strong support to Singapore’s arts ecosystem while elevating the leisure and business visitor experience at Marina Bay Sands.

The partnership will explore the intersection between the arts and Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions (MICE) sector, with the goal of unlocking strategic opportunities for Singapore’s art communities. This encompasses the introduction and incorporation of local arts and performances into event programming and activities for MICE delegates. By expanding collaborations across key events such as ArtSG, Marina Bay Sands’ Arts Festival as well as theatre and concert experiences, NAC and the integrated resort aim to offer broader domestic and international audiences more platforms to appreciate local arts. Through this partnership, NAC will work closely with Marina Bay Sands to anchor and develop more arts-related events, bringing together key stakeholders and thought leaders. The integrated resort’s extensive global networks and MICE expertise will be instrumental in establishing Singapore as a pivotal arts and culture capital.

As home to ArtScience Museum and some of Singapore’s most iconic public art installations through its Art Path programme, Marina Bay Sands promotes greater accessibility to arts by showcasing multidisciplinary art and performances on property. As part of the partnership, visitors can experience Singapore’s vibrant arts scene through various mediums and formats, including public art installations, exhibitions, and local music within the integrated resort. Additionally, there will be a heightened focus on arts advocacy and outreach efforts to cultivate and expand new audiences. This will be done through cross-marketing and content production initiatives, such as those facilitated by NAC’s digital platform, Catch.



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