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Overview of NAC-AEP

National Arts Council-Arts Education Programme (NAC-AEP)

The National Arts Council-Arts Education Programme (NAC-AEP) provides all students with access to quality arts education experiences. Since its inception in 1993, the NAC-AEP has grown in popularity among schools in Singapore, with 95% of MOE schools utilising this scheme when selecting arts education programmes for their students. Over the years, schools have also consistently affirmed the importance of the NAC-AEP scheme in supporting their school's arts education plans.

Desired Outcomes

NAC-AEP aspires towards the following outcomes by the time students complete secondary school education:

  1. Every student will have attended a performance or exhibition in a professional arts venue.
  2. Every student will have had a learning experience with a local artist or arts group.
  3. Every student will have been exposed to arts programmes across all 6 art forms.

NAC-AEP Directory

NAC-AEP makes available more than 1,400 arts programmes by over 300 artists and arts groups, that range across six different art forms - Dance, Music, Theatre, Literary Arts, Visual Arts and Digital Media - and fall into four programme types:


  • To foster appreciation and learn basic knowledge and skills in the art form
  • Programmes are usually showcases for the whole school or for the cohort


  • To engage in facilitated learning outside a school setting (E.g. studios, theatres, museums)
  • Programmes usually take the form of single-session visits to the relevant venues and may include sharing/ performances by artists


  • To gain insights into the artist’s practice and/or the workings, opportunities and challenges within the arts industry
  • Programmes usually span 1 – 2 sessions


  • To acquire competency of techniques/skills and engage experimentation through hands-on experiences
  • Programmes usually take place across several sessions and encourage deep learning

All endorsed programmes listed in the NAC-AEP Directory are assessed by NAC Education Unit in consultation with an expert panel. These programmes cater to a range of students from Pre-school to JCCI and ITE levels.

Key Features of the NAC-AEP 2023 Cycle

The NAC-AEP 2023 Cycle will focus on providing quality programmes guided by the NAC Arts Education Framework and informed by MOE curriculum goals and holistic development outcomes as well as provide greater programme customisation that would cater to the diverse interests and needs of students.

More Intentional Design of Programmes

Programme design for NAC-AEP 2023 Cycle is guided by the learning outcomes articulated in NAC Arts Education Framework, consisting of 3 Focus Areas and 5 Points of Emphasis.

Focus Areas

Points of Emphasis

Arts educators referenced the Framework to guide intentional design and delivery of arts programmes, define learning outcomes and scope key concepts and/or skills for lesson plans.

Programme design for NAC-AEP 2023 Cycle also foregrounds active learning where students are engaged in hands-on, hearts-on and/or minds-on arts learning experiences facilitated by the arts educators.​ Given the increasingly diverse needs and interests of students, arts educators are expected to be prepared with differentiated activities and resources so that all students can maximise their arts learning experience.


Wider Range of Arts Learning Experiences

To cater to the wide range of learning modes and student profiles, the scheme will support a variety of programme formats (physical, digital and blended) and programmes types (performance, excursion, talk and workshop).


More Opportunities for Customisation

To foster closer collaboration with teachers, Programme Providers​ can offer optional add-on components to extend students’ ​engagement and learning in/ through the arts. 


Public Arts Programmes

Public Arts programmes are ad-hoc ticketed public arts performances and exhibitions presented by professional artists and arts groups in public venues (both physical and digital formats). By providing students with opportunities to attend public performances and exhibitions in purpose-built arts venues beyond schools, NAC hopes that such learning experiences will imbue in them a deeper appreciation of the arts and enrich their learning.

  • As part of the 2019 review on NAC-AEP, teachers gave the feedback that autonomy and choice are imperative in selecting the appropriate programmes that cater to the diverse interests and developmental needs of students.  Since teachers are well-placed to select public arts programmes that are appropriate for their students, NAC has streamlined the process to provide greater ease and flexibility for teachers.


  • From January 2022 onwards, schools can source, choose and purchase suitable public arts programmes from public event platforms (e.g., ‘Inspire Your Child’ category of Catch, SISTIC) or directly from arts companies, and then claim for the purchase of tickets under the Tote Board Arts Grant. As such, NAC will no longer maintain a Public Arts Programmes Directory and arts companies are no longer required to apply to NAC to make such programmes available for schools’ purchase with the Tote Board Arts Grant. For more information, please refer to FAQs attached.

Digital Formats

From 2020, NAC has also supported digital modes or formats (online synchronous and asynchronous workshops and live streamed or video on demand productions) for NAC-AEP including Public Arts Programmes.

About the Tote Board Arts Grant 

The Tote Board Arts Grant was introduced in 1995 to encourage the development of a vibrant arts culture in schools, and to promote arts appreciation among students. Tote Board commits $5.5 million per year to schools to enable greater students’ access to variety of programmes under NAC-AEP.

The Singapore Totalisator (TOTE) Board provides an annual arts grant to all Primary & Secondary Schools, Junior Colleges & Centralised Institutes, Special Education Schools and ITE Regional Campuses who have opted in for the Grant. Schools may use the grant to subsidise the purchase of programmes listed in the NAC-AEP Directory as well as the Artist-in-School Scheme (AISS)

Funding Quantum
School Type Annual Grant Quantum* Percentage Cap
Primary and Secondary Schools, Junior Colleges and Centralised Institutes $15,000 Up to 50% of programme cost
ITE Regional Campuses $70,000 Up to 50% of programme cost
Special Education Schools $9,000 Up to 70% of programme cost

*Schools should note that at least 60% of the annual Grant quantum should be used to subsidise the purchase of programmes by Singapore artists or arts groups.  A maximum of 40% of the annual Grant quantum can be used to subsidise the purchase of programmes by non-local arts groups.

The Tote Board Arts Grant is not applicable to pre-schools. For 2023, NAC has partnered with 5 Anchor Operators - E-Bridge Pre-School, MY World Preschool, My First Skool and PCF Sparkletots Preschool for selected centres to receive funding to purchase Pre-School AEP. Interested AOP centres should approach their HQ for queries. For more information on Pre-School AEP, please refer to the section on Pre-School Initiatives.

For schools that wish to find out more about the Tote Board Arts Grant, please refer to here.

For artists that wish to have their programmes listed under the NAC-AEP Directory, please refer to here.

Related Programmes

Feed Your Imagination (F.Y.I)

Feed Your Imagination (F.Y.I) offers primary and secondary school students a series of music, dance and drama performances by established local arts groups. It aims to educate by imparting knowledge about the arts, provoking thought and encouraging audience participation. 

Each F.Y.I performance includes a tour around Esplanade, resource kit for teachers to use before and after the performance and an activity kit for each student.

F.Y.I is held as part of NAC-AEP that aims to develop initiatives that advocate the value and importance of arts education.  

Words Go Round (W.G.R.) 

Words Go Round is a literary arts outreach programme for students, teachers and the community.

Bringing you multilingual programmes in English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil for pre-primary to tertiary students, we hope the stories shared by Singaporean and international writers through interactive talks and workshops will inspire you on your own writing journey.