Open Call for Application to Arts Spaces at Aliwal Arts Centre


Establishment of Second Arts Centre Follows Successful Pilot of Goodman Arts Centre under The National Arts Council’s Framework for Arts Spaces


The National Arts Council (NAC) is inviting artists and arts groups to submit applications for arts spaces at the new Aliwal Arts Centre. The Council announced today the development of the Aliwal Arts Centre at the site of the former Chong Cheng School. The Centre is the second property to be developed under the Council’s Framework for Arts Spaces and is slated to be a multi-disciplinary arts centre with a focus on performing arts.


Leveraging on the site’s central location at the city fringe and the rich cultural heritage of the Kampong Glam Conservation District, the Aliwal Arts Centre aims to be a meeting point for the arts community, arts enthusiasts and the general public to experience the arts. Similar to the Goodman Arts Centre, a Place Manager will be appointed not only to oversee the daily maintenance and operations of the Centre, but also to support and raise greater awareness about the arts programmes taking place at the Aliwal Arts Centre. 


NAC’s second aim in developing the Aliwal Arts Centre is to provide a conducive environment and suitable facilities to support the continual professional and artistic development of artists and arts groups, particularly emerging practitioners and companies. More importantly, NAC hopes this new centre will bring about closer collaborations across disciplines, a greater sharing of resources, and a deeper engagement of the community in a manner that will inspire new ideas and new ways of art-making and learning about the arts.


“Aliwal Arts Centre is part of NAC’s on-going plan to provide improved infrastructural support for the developmental needs of Singapore’s growing arts sector. It also forges stronger synergy between the artists and the community. Ultimately, we are happy to support artists and arts groups to collaborate, develop stronger artistic and organisational capabilities, and at the same time, reach out to their audiences and supporters,” said Sabrina Chin, Director, Precinct Development, National Arts Council.


Application for the Aliwal Arts Centre is open from 3 July 2012. The deadline is 17 August 2012, at 23:59 hours. A site viewing of the Aliwal Arts Centre (pre-development) will be conducted on 10 and 12 July 2012 at 4pm for interested applicants. To register for the site viewing, interested applicants can email NAC at at least three working days before the scheduled dates.   

Aliwal Arts Centre to Feature Diverse Shared and Tenanted Spaces

The Aliwal Arts Centre spans 4,020 square metres and will feature a diversity of spaces for artists, arts groups and the general public:

  • 31 Tenanted arts spaces
  • 8 Shared Facilities
  • 2 Open Courtyards
  • 4 Commercial Spaces for food/beverage or creative businesses.


Among the 31 spaces slated to be tenanted to successful applicants, 8 are multi-purpose studios, while 6 are fitted out for music or dance purposes. This includes acoustic treatment or sprung floors. Another 17 spaces are part of a new shared office scheme, where office and meeting room furniture will be provided. NAC’s aim is for the tenanted arts spaces to better meet arts groups’ needs, while minimising arts groups’ potential capital or infrastructure cost in taking up a tenanted space.


Similar to the Goodman Arts Centre, the Aliwal Arts Centre will contain shared facilities to benefit not only tenants, but also the wider arts community and general public. The 8 shared facilities are available for hire for rehearsals, workshops, classes and other programmes. They are fitted out for music and dance practices and performances, as well as multi-purpose and storage uses. The Arts Centre’s 2 Open Courtyards will allow the spill-over of activities into the streets. These open and communal spaces are also intended to encourage deeper engagement between the artists, arts groups and community.

Three Targeted Schemes to Provide Rental Support

Successful applicants for Aliwal Arts Centre’s tenanted arts spaces will be eligible for infrastructure support that provides rental subsidies of up to 80%. The Council will also offer arts tenants a 50% service charge subsidy.  Overall, the support will ensure that spaces are kept affordable, while reflecting and accounting for the rising costs of the upkeep and maintenance of the property. In addition, all artists and arts groups, including those who are not tenants, will benefit from a subsidised rental rate for the shared facilities.

The support for the tenanted arts spaces will be offered under the following 3 targeted schemes – (1) Incubation Scheme, (2) Scheme for Developing Artists and Arts Groups and (3) Shared Office Scheme. The schemes are tailored to meet the specific developmental needs of artists and arts groups in the diverse and growing arts sector [refer to Annex A for more details].

Initiatives to Ensure Affordability and Optimise Space Use

The Shared Office Scheme is a new Scheme to be introduced at the Aliwal Arts Centre. This Scheme will appeal to freelance and start-up artists/arts groups, as well as part-time or amateur arts groups which do not have regular activities but who are in need of a space for administration purposes. They will also be eligible to hire the shared studio facilities for their rehearsals and performances at a subsidised rate. The Shared Office is fitted out with workstations, storage cabinets, air-conditioning, carpet flooring and a common meeting room. With this Scheme, NAC aims not only to provide an affordable solution for such organisations as they develop, but also to better optimise the limited infrastructural resources.


For the same reasons, NAC will also allow and encourage joint-tenancy at the Aliwal Arts Centre, where two or more artists/arts groups submit an application for a tenanted arts space. This collaborative approach was successfully piloted at the Goodman Arts Centre, where groups such as Ding Yi Music Company shared an arts space with The Percussion Assembly/The Bigger Bang.