In the Spotlight

ARKO International Online Symposium

Date: 23-24 March 2021
Reach: 857
Partner: Arts Council Korea
Description: As a MOU partner, DCE(P&CD) Paul Tan had contributed a welcome message at the 2021 ARKO International Online Symposium. The online symposium featured NAC as a partner, alongside other ARKO international partners including Denmark, Germany, UK and the Netherlands. From Singapore, Artistic Director of T:>Works, Ong Keng Sen, was featured as one the keynote speakers; and Artistic Director of The Theatre Practice, Kuo Jian Hong, was featured in one of the live panel sessions discussing new approaches to international collaboration and exchanges.


Culture In the Time of COVID (episode 2 of the series)

Date: 28 January 2021, Thursday
Reach: 735
Partners: Asia-Europe Foundation & Embassy of Switzerland in Singapore


Description: Jointly organised by Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) and the Embassy of Switzerland in Singapore, guest panellists Mr Paul Tan, Deputy Chief Executive (Planning & Corporate Development) of the National Arts Council, and Mr Philippe Bischof, Director of the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia, will discuss how their agencies transformed their programmes and policies in response to Covid-19. What were some of the mechanisms & challenges involved in adapting their programming? What are the most creative digital projects they encountered in 2020? What will the next 3 years look like, particularly for international cultural co-operation? For more information, click here!

2021 International Society for the Performing Arts Congress

Date: 11-15 January 2021
Reach: 550
Partner: International Society for the Performing Arts Congress


Description: The 2021 ISPA Congress explored the opportunities for the arts following a year of crisis, isolation, inequity, and realisation. Highlighting the performing arts’ resiliency and innate creativity, the Virtual Congress weighed in on the sector’s unequal and imbalanced relationship with artists, presenters, and our broader interconnectedness with the global community. NAC maintained our active participation at the ISPA Congress, with DCE(SD) Low Eng Teong as one of the speakers on the topic ‘Imagine the Future of Collaboration’ which discussed the best models for the performing arts alongside with other international partners.

ASEAN- Korea Music Festival 2020

Date: 6 December 2020
Reach: 300,000
Partners: ASEAN Member States and Republic of Korea


Description: The ASEAN-Korea Music Festival was organised by Republic of  Korea, in partnership with ASEAN, to strengthen friendships between Korean and the ASEAN youth through pop music. The Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) was appointed as the official broadcaster for this concert. The festival showcased top pop music talent across ASEAN and South Korea, through a series of music videos that were specifically staged and recorded for the festival. Singapore was represented by singer-songwriter Charlie Lim.

OECD Spotlight session

Date: 1 December 2020
Partner: Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development


Description: The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is an international organisation that works to build better policies for better lives. They work with governments, policy makers and citizens, and work on establishing evidence-based international standards and finding solutions to a range of social, economic and environmental challenges. With the impact on COVID-19 and its effects on the culture sector, the OECD organised a Spotlight session on the arts and culture scene. DCE(P&CD) Paul Tan spoke on the impact of the current crisis on festivals and their ecosystems, the top priorities for public, private and philanthropy support and how festivals can support local recovery strategies.

Jogja Festivals Forum & Expo (JFFE) 2020

Date: 18 November 2020
Partner: Jogja Festivals Forum & Expo 


Description: Jogja Festivals was founded by 15 Festivals in Yogyakarta. The Jogja Festivals Forum & Expo (JFFE) is initiated by the Jogja Festivals as a synergy for festival stakeholders in Yogyakarta to identify obstacles in developing the ecosystem of the festival city. “ASEAN Focus” was chosen as the overall theme, which served as the framework for the JFFE 2020 in responding to how festivals in Yogyakarta have become the strategic diplomacy and creative economy development within the ASEAN region. Director(VA) Tay Tong was the speaker for NAC on the topic ‘Festival Breakthrough in South East Asia’.

Seoul Music Cities Convention

Date: 11 November 2020
Reach: 2500
Partner: Republic of Korea 


Description: Music Cities Convention is the biggest global event exploring the use and importance of music in the development of cities all around the world. The 2020 edition was held virtually across two days and was hosted in partnership with the Seoul Metropolitan Government. The event featured a series of presentations and panels on a variety of topics, such as creating better music cities, Covid-19-related policies to support music and the arts, new technologies and smart cities, sustainability, urban regeneration and more. NAC was represented at this platform by Assistant Director (Music) Andrea Khoo to share on Singapore’s view on the importance and role of music in urban policy from an Asia perspective.


Date: 14 September 2020
Partner: Ministry of Culture, Community & Youth (MCCY)


Description: Singapore was the host of the 55th ASEAN-COCI Meeting held online via Zoom on 14 September 2020. Established in 1978, the ASEAN-COCI seeks to promote effective corporation in the fields of culture and information for the purpose of enhancing mutual understanding and solidarity among the peoples of ASEAN, and further regional development. Held annually, the meetings are hosted by a different ASEAN Member State each year, attended by all 10 ASEAN Member States. For this meeting, NAC commissioned Global Cultural Alliance to produce an opening and closing video clips that reflect the diverse cultures of ASEAN.


Edinburgh International Cultural Summit: Special Edition

Date: 22 – 26 August 2020
Reach: 43,000
Partner: Edinburgh International Cultural Summit & British Council


Description: The Edinburgh International Cultural Summit (EICS) was established in 2012 as a partnership between the British Council, the Edinburgh International Festival, the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish and UK Governments. Due to the pandemic, the Special Edition marks the first time that the Summit is held online. NAC CEO Rosa Daniel shared a Special Message for the Summit, alongside other Ministers of Culture, policy makers and cultural leaders. The EICS offers a biennial ministerial forum in which artists and cultural leaders come together with politicians and policy makers to discuss substantial, global issues of mutual interest during the largest annual celebration of the arts in the world – the Edinburgh Festivals.

Hong Kong Arts Administrators Association Cultural Leadership Summit 2020

Date: 26 – 28 August 2020
Reach: 400
Partner: Hong Kong Arts Administrators Association (HKAAA)


Description: The Cultural Leadership Summit 2020 was conducted online, and DCE (P&CD) Paul Tan was part of a panel discussion on Leveraging Technology for Growth alongside Jane Finnis, CEO at Culture 24 (UK) and Tseng Sun Man JP, Arts Management Educator and Consultant (HK). DCE spoke about NAC’s efforts to support the arts sector to digitalise, and the acceleration of efforts with the COVID-19 pandemic. The summit was attended by approximately 400 participants, with 90% of the attendees from HK.

UNESCO ResiliArt Webinar: International Festivals and Policy in light of COVID-19


Date: 28 July 2020, Tuesday
Partners: UNESCO Resiliart Series & Festival Cities Network


Description: The creative economy was greatly impacted by COVID-19, with millions of artists, arts companies, cultural organisations affected and the global culture value chain severely disrupted. The festival sector, like the entire live performance industry, took a particularly hard hit. Across the five cities of the Festival Cities Network – Adelaide, Edinburgh, Krakow, Montreal, and Singapore, panellists discussed ways in which local and national governments developed policies that support the recovery and health of the festival sector moving forward. DCE (SD) Low Eng Teong represented NAC at this session.

IFACCA Members' Forum: Supporting Culture In The Digital Age

Date: 22 July 2020, Wednesday

Time: 11:00-13:00 UTC | 7:00PM SGT

Duration: 2 hours


Description: Facilitated by expert author Octavio Kulesz, the forum will discuss Kulesz' report's core themes and recommendations to focus on the economic sustainability of the cultural value chain; digital divides; and collaborations and cross-portfolio approaches.  NAC Deputy CEO, Mr Paul Tan, will join other senior leaders from National Member institutions the Australia Council for the Arts, Canada Council for the Arts, Arts Council England, the Ministry of Culture and Sport in Spain, the Ministry of Cultural Affairs in Tunisia, and the Ministry of Education and Culture in Uruguay to share insights from their national contexts, discuss key issues, and consider a common framework to inform national digital strategies that reflect local needs and priorities. See panellists information here. For more information click here.


[This session is open to National and affiliate member institutions of the Federation.]  


Festival Cities Conversations

Date: 10 July 2020, Friday
Time: Brussels & Krakow, 13.00 PM | Adelaide, 20.30 PM | Singapore, 19.00 PM | Edinburgh, 12.00 PM | Montreal, 7.00 AM
Duration: 2 hours
Description: COVID-19 has presented both new challenges and opportunities for the festival sector.  With national borders closed, limited tourism will undeniably affect the visitor economy and festival audiences. Corporate sponsorship and public funding, difficult to access in the best of times, will become increasingly competitive. What’s more, the role of festivals in addressing health and well-being, improving accessibility, and supplementing arts education has changed significantly, and there are new demands on the sector that will need to be focused upon with innovation and foresight. Festivals will need to explore strategies that can unlock new potential in funding, programming, impact, and more. 


In this webinar, five representatives of the global festival sector will speak to new partnerships the festivals will seek with the well-being and philanthropy sectors, as well as the bold ideas needed to build resilience and shepherd the sector through the COVID-19 recovery process. Natalie Hennedige, Festival Director (Designate) of Singapore International Festival of Arts joins fellow leaders in the global festival sector to share insights on these issues.