The creative community has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The drastic escalation of the coronavirus situation globally has prompted a surge of precautionary measures in order to curtail the spread of the virus. In the music industry, this means a slew of postponements and cancellations of major music events, such as Coachella and Head in the Clouds Jakarta. Live entertainment titans like Live Nation and AEG have stepped up to ensure the well-being of the community, by putting tours to a halt. Official bans on public gatherings have also been made in an effort at social distancing, with Singapore's Ministry of Health releasing an advisory announcing that all ticketed cultural, sports and entertainment events, with 250 participants or more, are to be deferred or cancelled.
This spells an unprecedented crisis for the music industry due to the heavy loss of revenue from the live performance sector, which may peril the livelihood of the artists and the behind-the-scenes workforce. To mitigate the challenges that the creative community is currently facing, the National Arts Council (NAC) has introduced two initiatives to support them.
Capability Development Scheme for the Arts (CDSA)
NAC will provide a one-time CDSA for eligible arts organisations and individuals to encourage upskilling, and grow organisational capabilities. Eligible organisations and individuals may apply for the Grant to support upskilling through local courses and programmes.
The CDSA is open to:
- NAC’s Major Companies and Seed Grant Companies (MCSG)
- Non-MCSG arts organisations and companies either registered with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) or with the Registry of Societies (ROS)
- Arts Self-Employed Persons (SEP) and sole proprietors who are Singaporean citizens or Permanent Residents residing in Singapore and work in the local arts scene
The CDSA is open for application for a limited time period from 16 March - 15 June 2020. Applications will close on 5pm on 15 June 2020.
Find more information on the application guidelines here.
Venue Hire Subsidy
There will be a 30% subsidy for venue rental and associated costs for arts and culture activities, including productions, workshops and masterclasses taking place from 7 March - 30 June 2020.
Eligible venues include for-hire spaces with a capacity of less than 1,000 at national cultural institutions such as The Esplanade, venues managed by Arts House Limited (i.e. The Arts House, Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall, Drama Centre, Goodman Arts Centre, Aliwal Arts Centre), Stamford Arts Centre, Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre, Singapore Conference Hall, National Gallery Singapore, and National Heritage Board museums.
Moving forward, support can also come from an individual level. Even if your favourite musicians will not be performing live for now, you can still stream their music or buy their merchandise to alleviate the impact—even if only slightly—in the midst of such a volatile environment.