Art Housing Scheme
The Arts Housing Scheme was implemented in 1985 to provide affordable spaces to arts groups and artists. Its main purpose is to give arts groups and artists a home within which they can develop their activities and thereby contribute to an active Singapore arts scene.
Under the Scheme, rental charges by the Singapore Land Authority are heavily subsidised by NAC. Utilities and maintenance costs are borne by the tenants.
In conjuction with the Urban Redevelopment Authority, three arts belts of several arts housing properties have been established at Waterloo Street, Chinatown and Little India.
Many properties in these arts belts are pre-war or old buildings such as disused warehouses and old shophouses, and housing arts groups provides an important impetus for artistic creativity. The arts have also helped revitalise and rejuvenate these areas.
To date, over 60 arts organisations and artists are housed in 34 properties comprising of 29 single-tenanted buildings, 3 multi-tenanted arts centres and 2 co-located facilities in Marine Parade (Marine Parade Community Building) and Wisma Geylang Serai.
Visit the following websites for more information:
The NAC also collects contributions from tenants into a Sinking Fund, to meet routine building maintenance costs. For more information, click here (for Art Housing Scheme tenants) or here (for Arts Centre Scheme tenants).
Waterloo Street Arts Belt
Envisioned to serve as a unique focal point for arts activities in the heart of the city, the Waterloo Street Arts Belt was restored and developed over five years. Some of the arts groups housed in this arts belt include the Chinese Calligraphy Society of Singapore, Dance Ensemble Singapore, Singapore Lyric Opera and The Theatre Practice.
Besides serving the objective of arts housing, the arts belt plays a larger role of showcasing the vibrant arts scene in Singapore and providing space for talents to create and test their works. The activities carried out by the arts groups add character and vitality to the area, contributing positively to a vibrant and attractive precinct.
The arts belt also serves as a synergistic link between nearby arts centres and institutions such as the Singapore Art Museum and the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts. The properties in this area include:
SELEGIE ARTS CENTRE
30 Selegie Road
The Selegie Arts Centre is home to The Photographic Society of Singapore. Facilities on the second floor comprise a members' area, Digital Resource Centre, a classroom and a darkroom.
For more info on The Photographic Society of Singapore, please visit their website - www.pss1950.org.
SINGAPORE CALLIGRAPHY CENTRE (currently under Arts Centre Scheme)
48 Waterloo Street
A two-storey pre-war bungalow is home to The Chinese Calligraphy Society of Singapore which is actively involved in promoting the art of Chinese brush writing. Besides calligraphy classes, local and overseas calligraphy exhibitions and demonstrations are also held here. The Centre also houses the Singapore Institute of Chinese Calligraphy, the academic arm of the Society and the head office of the International Congress of Chinese Calligraphy.
The Centre has an exhibition hall, a conference room, an audio-visual room and 5 classrooms for conducting seminars, courses and classes on calligraphy.
If you are interested to learn more about the Singapore Calligraphy Centre, please visit their website - www.ccss.org.sg. The Chinese Calligraphy Society of Singapore also offers spaces available for public hire such as the Exhibition Hall. Please visit their website and contact them directly for hiring details.
DANCE ENSEMBLE SINGAPORE (currently under Arts Centre Scheme)
60 Waterloo Street
This elegant two-storey building is the home to the Dance Ensemble Singapore, a semi-professional Chinese dance group. The premises are used for dance workshops, dance rehearsals, dance classes and small scale dance performances.
For more info on the Dance Ensemble Singapore, please visit their website - www.des.org.sg. Dance Ensemble Singapore also offers spaces available for public hire such as Dance Studios. Please visit their website and contact them directly for hiring details.
155 & 161 Middle Road (currently under Arts Centre Scheme)
Objectifs is a visual arts centre dedicated to photography and film. Through the Centre‘s educational programmes, exhibitions, screenings, community outreach and developmental platform, Objectifs aims to nurture artists, offer a vibrant space for learning and exchange, and cultivate new audiences. The arts centre includes two exhibition galleries, an artist studio, workshop space, a F&B outlet and outdoor courtyards for exhibition.
Visit www.objectifs.com.sg for more details, contact and hiring of spaces available for public hire such as the Chapel and Gallery.
42 Waterloo Street (currently under Arts Centre Scheme)
Centre 42 is a Centre for Text-based works, dedicated to the documenting, promoting and creating of writing for Singapore theatre. Centre 42 is a partnership between NAC and the arts collective, 2 & Fifty Years (TAFY). It aims to be a focal point for the incubation of new works, the nurturing of playwriting talents, the research and discourse of Singapore theatre. The Centre will serve theatre practitioners and the greater arts community who are interested to pursue text-based creations for the stage. In addition, it will extend its reach to the public through activities to raise the awareness and appreciation of the history and development of Singapore theatre.
Visit the Centre 42 website - www.centre42.sg for more details, contact and hiring of spaces available for public hire such as Black Bo, Rehearsal Room and Meeting Room.
Little India Arts Belt
In 2001, NAC acquired 10 units of shophouses along Kerbau Road for Arts Housing which now forms the Little India Arts Belt.
Along this row of shophouses, there is Bhaskar's Arts Academy, one of Singapore's foremost Indian and Malay ethnic arts groups. This particular Arts Belt is culturally diverse and art forms vary from traditional to the avant-garde. The diversity of arts groups housed here presents a good opportunity for the exchange of ideas and learning from each other. The siting of an Arts Belt in Little India is also strategic as it adds to the vibrancy of the place.
Bhaskar's Arts Academy
19 Kerbau Road
Website : www.bhaskarsartsacademy.com
27 Kerbau Rd
Website : www.itheatre.org
Maya Dance Theatre
61 Kerbau Rd
Website : www.mayadancetheatre.org
63 Kerbau Rd
Website : www.gamelan-asmaradana.com
(Smith Street and Trengganu Street)
In 1998, NAC acquired the upper storeys of a row of eight buildings along Smith Street and two buildings at Trengganu Street in the historical conservation area of Kreta Ayer Street for arts use. These spaces have been allocated to arts groups that specialise in Cantonese Opera, Beijing Opera, Teochew Opera, music, theatre, calligraphy as well as literature. Here are the arts groups housed in this area:
Chinese Theatre Circle Ltd
11A&B Smith Street, Singapore 058 925
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Toy Factory Productions Ltd
Harmonica Aficionados Society (Singapore)
TAS Theatre Co (S) Ltd
45 Armenian Street
Originally an electric substation, unique art deco features distinguish this historic landmark. Constructed in 1926/27, it was converted into a multi-disciplinary arts centre in 1990. In addition to a theatre with a seating capacity of 146 people, the Substation also houses a dance studio, an art gallery and two classrooms.
If you are interested in booking these facilities, please visit The Substation website - www.substation.org - for more details.
ONE-TWO-SIX Cairnhill Arts Centre
126 Cairnhill Road
This building has a unique, colourful history. Built in 1928 as part of Anglo-Chinese School, it was occupied by Japanese military forces in World War II. The building had since served as a teachers' training college, a centre for vocational and industrial training, and as a home for the adult education board. In 1993, it was converted into an arts centre housing theatre and dance groups.
Arts groups at the centre include Act 3 International, Echo Philharmonic Society, Teater Kami, The Arts Fission Company and The Finger Players.
Telok Kurau Studios
91 Lorong J Telok Kurau
This building, currently housing 28 artists and arts groups, provides suitable and affordable studios and a gallery for artists to create and exhibit their works. This arts centre is the first visual artist centre developed by NAC.
For more information on the activities at Telok Kurau Studios, please visit their Facebook - www.facebook.com/TelokKurauStudios.
Singapore Indian Fine Arts Society
2A Starlight Road
Formerly used as a school, NAC acquired the building in August 1991 and allocated it to the exclusive use of the Singapore Indian Fine Arts Society which aims to promote Indian fine arts through conducting courses and performances in this field.
For more information about the Singapore Indian Fine Arts Society, please visit their website - www.sifas.org.
Co-located Arts Housing Facilities
In our efforts to bring the arts closer to the community, NAC has co-located arts housing facilities with two community clubs - Marine Parade and Wisma Geylang Serai. The co-located arts spaces are:
Wisma Geylang Serai @ 1 Engku Aman Turn
Sri Warisan Som Said Performing Arts Ltd
Sri Warisan Som Said Performing Arts Ltd is housed in two of the dedicated arts studios within Wisma Geylang Serai.
Visit their official website - www.sriwarisan.sg - for more details about their activities and programmes.
Kamal Arts Ltd
Kamal Arts Ltd is housed in two of the dedicated arts studios within Wisma Geylang Serai.
Visit their official website - http://kamaldollah.com/ - for more details about their activities and programmes.
Marine Parade Community Building @ 278 Marine Parade Road
The Necessary Stage
Allocated to The Necessary Stage (TNS) in 2000, the arts housing facility within this building boasts a black box with rehearsal, office and storage space.
For more details on TNS, please visit their website - www.necessary.org.
Singapore Repertory Theatre
DBS Arts Centre
19 & 20 Merbau Road
These two connected units of 2-storey pre-war warehouse space at the Robertson Quay area, is home to the Singapore Repertory Theatre (SRT). The building houses a 383-seat theatre, a box office and the office of SRT.
For more information on SRT, please visit their website - www.srt.com.sg.
72-13 Mohamed Sultan Road
72-13 Mohamed Sultan Road was previously an old rice warehouse owned by the Bank of China. Converted into an arts space, it now houses Theatreworks.
For more information on Theatreworks, please visit - www.theatreworks.org.sg.