Nurturing Diversity and Deepening Artistic Roots - NAC Major and Seed Grants Recipients 2013 receive a 30% boost in funding


48 arts organisations will be receiving Organisation Development support from the National Arts Council under its new Grants Framework in 2013. They comprise 32 companies who are receiving the Major Grant, and 16 new or emerging companies who are receiving the Seed Grant. The Council’s funding of $10.2M for the Major and Seed Grants in 2013, a 30% increase from $7.82M in 2012, reflects a deeper support for our established arts companies, even as we nurture the next generation of art makers. All genres of art will see an increase in funding in 2013.


2          The Major Grant recipients represent a wide range of established arts companies who are at the core of our arts scene, many of whom are hallmarks of artistic excellence that push at the boundaries of their respective art forms. This year, 6 first-time Major Grant recipients are joining their ranks. Among them, companies such as Ding Yi Music Company, Era Dance and Siong Leng Musical Association, are examples of companies rooted in tradition, yet continue to experiment and innovate, and work hard at drawing in young talents. Similarly, companies such as Theatreworks, Teater Ekamatra and Frontier Danceland are receiving a higher level of Major Grant funding to help build on their artistic strengths, expand their efforts in grooming arts practitioners, and bring their work more effectively to a wider audience.


3          The Major Grant recipients also contribute widely in the promotion of greater arts literacy and arts education, engaging communities, or supporting their peers and industry through training, development and advocacy. Examples include organisations like the Chinese Calligraphy Society of Singapore, National Book Development Council, and first-time Major Grant recipients Singapore Drama Educators Association (SDEA) and Art Outreach.


4          As the arts scene grows, many new and interesting groups are emerging, bringing with them fresh perspectives and ideas adding to our increasing diversity. Among the 7 new Seed Grant recipients are groups like RSCLS, an urban art collective and NADI, a young and passionate group, who are re-visiting the roots of Malay drumming to reignite interest in this aspect of our musical heritage. A new vigour and momentum in the development of our contemporary dance scene can also be seen in the emergence of Re:Dance and Raw Moves, for whom the Seed Grant aims to help them strengthen not only their artistic but also administrative capabilities.

5          Benson Puah, CEO, NAC said: “This year, we are committing the highest level of funding than ever before to the development and strengthening of our arts companies via the Major and Seed Grants. And we are excited to do so because when we look across all the recipients, we can see and celebrate the diversity of artistic expressions and talents we have in Singapore. On one hand, a first-time Major Grant recipient like The Observatory is known for their musical experimentation which has seen them collaborating with theatre companies and visual artists, and jamming with musicians of all genres. On the other hand, a large part of our grants will go to supporting our Traditional Arts companies, including established companies like the Chinese Theatre Circle and Bhaskar’s Arts Academy, that provide important links to our artistic and cultural heritage.”


About the Major Grant

6          The Major Grant is now a 3-year scheme that replaces what was formerly known as the 1-year and 2-year Major Grants. The 32 Major Grant recipients in 2013 include 13 recipients of the 2-year Major Grant that was awarded in 2012, as well as 19 recipients of the 3-year Major Grant awarded this year. They will receive a total of $8.6M for the Financial Year (FY) Y2013. This is an increase of 31% from the previous’ year’s funding level of $6.5M. Details of the Major Grant recipients and funding allocation are at Annex A.

7          This 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.


About the Seed Grant

8          The Seed Grant provides annual funding support, of up to 3 years, to new or emerging groups. Launched in 2012, the scheme supports promising new or emerging not-for-profit arts organisations that have a clear vision of what they want to achieve, the talent and drive to realise their vision, and the commitment to establish themselves as professional, not-for-profit arts organisations. For new groups, the aim of the Seed Grant is to help kick-start their programmes and projects, and to formalise their operations. For groups still in their initial years of formation, the Seed Grant aims to help them move towards a more stable development as a professional, not-for-profit arts organisation.

9          The Seed Grant scheme attracted 29 applications this year, of which 7 were successful. The 16 Seed Grant recipients this year include the 7 new recipients, and 9 recipients who were first awarded the Seed Grant in 2012. Seed Grant recipients will receive a total of $1.6M, an increase of 25% from the previous year’s $1.3M that was awarded to 8 organisations. Details of the recipients and funding allocation are at Annex B.

10        Applications for the Major and Seed Grants were assessed by Panels comprising specialists in their respective fields, appointed by the Council (see Annex C). Applicants also had the opportunity to pitch their proposals to the Panels. The Panels make their recommendations to NAC who then makes the final decision on the outcome of the application and grant allocation.


11        The Major and Seed Grants are but a part of the total assistance and investment by NAC in the arts. The rest includes Creation, Production, Presentation and Participation, Capability, Research, as well as Market and Audience Development grants. NAC also provides assistance via scholarships, training, festivals and competitions, arts spaces, publications, and other platforms that support arts development. Annex D illustrates the allocation of the FY2013 Major and Seed Grants across art forms.


Annex A - NAC Major Grants Recipients from 2013
Annex B - NAC Seed Grant Recipients for 2013
Annex C - Major & Seed Grant 2013 Assessment Panels
Annex D - Major & Seed Grant Art Form Support