2012 NAC Arts Scholars’ Diverse Fields of Study Reflect Increasingly Vibrant Arts Scene


26 outstanding individuals were awarded the prestigious National Arts Council (NAC) Scholarships today by Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts (MICA) Dr Yaacob Ibrahim at the 2012 MICA Scholarships Award Ceremony. For the first time, the NAC Arts Scholarships were awarded in the areas of Beijing Opera and piano accompaniment for dance. Scholarships were also awarded for other less commonly undertaken disciplines such as playwriting, curating, creative writing, and applied arts research.


NAC will be investing $1.88 million in scholarships in 2012 as part of NAC's ongoing capability development efforts in the arts. The NAC Scholarships aim to nurture artistic talents and leaders in the arts and cultural sector in the areas of artistic practice, production and management. The 26 individuals were therefore identified based on their potential to address Singapore’s capability needs for the future, and their commitment to developing Singapore’s arts and cultural landscape.


Noted Ms Yvonne Tham, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, National Arts Council: “NAC Scholarships aims to identify and support talented and dedicated arts practitioners and professionals who have the potential to make a positive impact on Singapore’s arts and culture, and to serve as future cultural leaders. The broad range of disciplines that this year’s recipients represent is testament to an increasingly vibrant arts scene, and a growing recognition of Singapore’s diverse artistic talents.”


Three types of scholarships were awarded to address specific needs of the sector.

NAC Management Scholarship: Two recipients were awarded and they will join NAC upon graduation to develop and implement policies that nurture the arts and make it an integral part of life in Singapore.


Ms Lim Li-Min, Michele, who is one of the two recipients of the NAC Management Scholarship, is currently pursuing double degrees in Arts (English Literature) and Business Administration at the National University of Singapore. Ms Lim said of her receipt of the scholarship: “I believe the unique combination of having degrees in both business and the arts will help me hone my arts management skills, while allowing me to better understand the needs of artists. I look forward to being part of a team which helps to shape policies that will enhance the arts ecosystem and bring the arts closer to the community.”

NAC Arts Scholarship (Undergraduate): 11 recipients were awarded to further their studies in diverse courses of study from Asian performance arts (Beijing Opera and erhu performance) to technical arts design and production (sound engineering and music arrangement).


Awardees include 52-year-old Ms Lim Mei Lian, the co-founder of Tian Yun Beijing Opera Society, who will be pursuing an Undergraduate Degree for International Students in Beijing Opera (Directing) at China’s National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts. Ms Lim commented: “I’m a firm believer that arts can transcend boundaries, and that one can contribute meaningfully to the community at any age. I’m grateful for this opportunity to improve on my skills at the renowned National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts, and I look forward to continuing to cultivate the next generation of performers to further promote the art and appreciation of Beijing Opera.”

NAC Arts Scholarship (Postgraduate): 13 recipients were awarded to support the deepening of knowledge and skills of practicing artists and professionals, to enable them to lead and advance the development of their practice in a wide range of fields, including arts management, curating, applied arts research, printmaking, piano accompaniment for dance and traditional arts practice.


Awardees include Mr Ho Wen Yang, who will be embarking on his Master of Music in Piano for Dance at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. He said: “Currently, there are less than ten professional dance accompanists in Singapore, and its practical applications are largely confined to the classroom. I hope to work with other stakeholders to elevate dance accompaniment as a respected art form and raise awareness of the importance of ‘live’ accompaniment in dance classes for quality training. I believe the scholarship will go a long way in inspiring fellow musicians to explore similar niche areas in the future.”


 Annex A - Full list of the NAC scholarship awardees and their chosen fields of study.