NAC Announces Recipients of Major Grants & Traditional Arts Seed Grants for FY2012


The National Arts Council announced today that 31 arts companies will receive funding support through NAC’s Major Grant and Traditional Arts Seed Grant (Organisational Development) schemes for FY2012.   Overall, the amount committed to the Major Grant scheme has increased 26% from $5,199,400 in FY11 to $6,542,100 for FY12. 26 companies will benefit from this scheme.  The Traditional Arts Seed Grant will increase by 46% from $638,000 in FY11 to $933,000 in FY12. Five companies[1] will benefit from this scheme, including one new recipient.  Details of the grant allocated by company are at Annex A.


Supporting Companies at Different Stages for Sustainable Growth

2.         This overall increase signals a deeper level of support for the NAC Major Grant and Traditional Arts Seed Grant recipients in three areas:

  • Boost capacity of growing, promising arts companies to better achieve their vision. For example, hiring and developing full-time artistic and management staff, or launching new programmes.
  • Deepen established arts companies’ unique strengths. For example, strengths in artistic creation, talent development, community engagement and education, or audience development.
  • Help meet increasing operating costs for all companies while they develop more diverse sources of income.


3.         In addition to the Major Grants and Traditional Arts Seed Grants, NAC will be extending the Seed Grant scheme beyond Traditional Arts to support new or emerging arts companies. NAC has set aside $750,000 for this purpose. With this additional support[2], NAC will be committing $8,225,100 to support arts development at the organisation-level in FY12.  This reflects an overall increase of 41% from FY11.


 4.         This targeted approach to build up each company’s capacity and strengths reflects the increasing diversity and maturing of our arts scene.  Benson Puah, CEO, NAC said, “We have increased significantly our direct Grant support to many companies this year. But we also recognise that to ensure that our arts landscape better sustain its growth over time, NAC’s organisation-level grants need to strike a balance between nurturing the next generation, and strengthening established companies to continue their contributions. As such, we plan to extend the Seed Grant later this year for new or emerging companies. We have also increased our support for companies to make decisive investments in staff, training and programmes that better position them for longer-term growth.”  Mr Puah added that such support also includes “helping successful, stable companies with strong corporate and private support, such as the Singapore Repertory Theatre and Wild Rice, eventually ‘graduate’ from the Major Grant scheme for their basic operating needs, while still benefitting from targeted support via project-level grants for specific initiatives and productions”.


 5.         Annex B and the Annex B Charts1 and 2 illustrate the allocation of the FY2012 Major and Seed Grants across art forms, while Chart 3 provides an overview of NAC’s overall funding support.

Improving the Major Grant Scheme Process in FY12


6.         The applications for the Major Grant each year are assessed by Panels comprising specialists in their respective fields, appointed by the Council (see Annex C). The Panels assess the applicants’ proposal as well as past performance, taking input from the various reviews and reports prepared throughout the last year by a diverse pool of peer and industry assessors. The Panels make their recommendations to NAC, who then makes the final decision on the outcome of the application and grant allocation. 


 7.         Following industry feedback from NAC’s Grant Review consultations last year, NAC made improvements to the Major Grant application and assessment process this year:

  • The Grant application form more clearly explained the long-term objectives of the Grant support. The form was also streamlined to focus on each company’s artistic and organisational development plans and outcomes.  
  • To improve transparency and rigor in the assessment, NAC involved more peer assessors in the regular review of each company’s artistic performances and development; provided for greater dialogue between applicants and NAC officers; and included an optional interview between the Assessment Panelists and applicant. NAC will also be sharing the Assessment Panels’ comments with all applicants.


 Recipients of NAC Major Grants and Traditional Arts Seed Grants 2012

 8.         Of the 35 applications received this year, the Major Grants are to be awarded to 26 companies comprising five traditional arts companies; four music companies; four dance companies; one literary arts company; one multi-disciplinary/arts centre and 11 theatre companies:  

1)    Bhaskar’s Arts Academy

2)    Cake Theatrical Production

3)    Chinese Calligraphy Society

4)    Chinese Opera Institute

5)    Chinese Theatre Circle

6)    Dance Ensemble Singapore

7)    Frontier Danceland

8)    Drama Box

9)    I Theatre

10) National Book Development Council of Singapore

11) Singapore Dance Theatre

12) Singapore Lyric Opera

13) Singapore Repertory Theatre

14) T’ang Quartet

15) Teater Ekamatra

16) T.H.E. Dance Company

17) The Arts Fission Company

18) TheatreWorks

19) The Finger Players

20) The Necessary Stage

21) The Philharmonic Winds

22) The Substation

23) The Theatre Practice

24) Toy Factory

25) Wild Rice

26) Young Musicians’ Society


9.         NAC will continue supporting the four Traditional Arts Seed Grant recipients awarded in FY11: Ding Yi Music Company, Era Dance Theatre Limited, Siong Leng Musical Association, and Sri Warisan.  Of the three Traditional Arts Seed Grant applications received this year, NAC has identified one new recipient – Apsaras Arts.

 Background on Major Grants and NAC’s Investment in Arts Development


10.       NAC’s Major Grant Scheme supports the development of registered arts organisations in Singapore through 1 or 2-year grants. The scheme aims to develop a pool of viable, professional arts organisations that are hallmarks of artistic excellence, and embraced by Singaporeans for their role in expressing Singapore’s cultural identity, values, heritage and aspirations. The arts organisations are to:

  • Reflect the diversity and vibrancy of Singapore’s arts and culture through the work and programmes they create;
  • Enrich the lives of audiences and the different segments of Singapore residents (including students, the elderly, families, etc);
  • Contribute substantially to the development of artistic practices, professional expertise and young talent; and
  • Achieve sound management of resources and better financial stability


 11.       The Seed Grant (Organisational Development) for Traditional Arts was launched in early 2011 to nurture a pool of promising Traditional Arts organisations which reflect the artistic and cultural expressions of Singapore ethnic groups. The Grant aims to champion and promote Traditional Arts and contribute to the ethnic and cultural vibrancy and overall advancement of Singapore’s arts scene.


 12.       Major and Seed Grants are but a part of the total assistance and investment by NAC: the rest includes grants for areas like scholarships, festivals and competitions, arts housing, training, publications, international tours and travel, and other platforms to support arts development.




[1] Of these five companies, four were assessed and awarded TA Seed Grants in FY11: Ding Yi Music Company, Era Dance Theatre Limited, Siong Leng Musical Association, and Sri Warisan.

[2] Details will be announced in the middle of this year.