Arts Resource Hub website goes live as part of initiative’s pilot phase
Singapore, 6 September 2019 – The National Arts Council (NAC) today announced the Arts Resource Hub (ARH) initiative, targeted at freelance arts practitioners in Singapore planning to develop their careers. The ARH aims to enable arts freelancers to unlock new opportunities and grow meaningful careers for the long term. As part of the initiative’s pilot phase, a beta version of its online resource portal is now live. The ARH website aggregates useful resources in areas such as financial planning, career development and legal knowledge. This information will empower arts freelancers, from art-makers and programmers to those behind the scenes, to navigate the cultural sector, and build capacity for a viable portfolio career.
2 Singapore’s arts and culture scene is supported by a diverse manpower base. 47% of respondents to the 2016 Arts & Cultural Employment Survey conducted by NAC were freelancers, indicating that freelancers form a significant proportion of our arts ecosystem. Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) Senior Parliamentary Secretary Baey Yam Keng first spoke about resources targeted at freelance arts professionals during the 2018 Committee of Supply debate. Subsequently, over the course of engagement sessions in 2017 and 2018, NAC reached out to over 370 individuals from the arts community across disciplines and practices to understand their needs and concerns. The sessions were facilitated by industry professional Tay Tong. Ten key priorities were identified (refer to Annex A), including the need for an easily-accessible online platform to consolidate information.
3 The ARH website comprises a job portal, information on residencies, auditions and scholarships, as well as information and resources on financial planning, legal support, insurance coverage, and training programmes. Grace Ng, Director, Education and Development, NAC, says, “The Arts Resource Hub website is a digital repository of resources to help arts freelancers further professionalise their work. This is the first time that such resources have been specially curated and organised with the arts community's needs specifically in mind, and we hope the website becomes a first-stop platform for them. With greater access to such information, they can better focus on honing their skills and showcasing their talent.” To supplement the website content, a regular series of free talks will also be held from November onwards for the community, as part of the ARH initiative. Details are in Annex B.
4 Information and resources on the website are available for public access, while the jobs portal requires interested users to sign up for an account. In time to come, the ARH will also offer tiered services, resources and programmes. More information will be shared then. “This is an essential initiative for the arts freelancer community as we never really had an extensive resource platform that provides us with important information, especially on financial and legal matters. The Hub will support our career development as we now have an avenue to stay abreast with latest information and best practices,” says Kamini Ramachandran, storyteller and director of MoonShadow Stories.
5 Besides the online portal, the Arts Resource Hub will also be setting up two dedicated physical spaces for arts freelancers by January 2020 at the Goodman Arts Centre and Stamford Arts Centre, offering hot-desking and networking spaces. Tay Tong shares, “During the engagement sessions, the arts community pointed out that the freelancers were themselves important sources of information, and they would like to share their experiences and provide guidance to one another. The physical hubs will provide the community with a safe space to do so.” More information about the physical hubs will be available at a later date.
6 NAC will continuously review and refine the ARH website’s features and information to enhance the initiative’s effectiveness in supporting the needs of arts freelancers, and invites the arts community to share their feedback and partner us as the initiative evolves. The ARH is aligned with one of the eight priorities identified in Our SG Arts Plan 2018 – 2022, NAC’s five-year plan for the arts sector – namely to increase sector-wide support for freelance arts professionals through resources and information, and the facilitation of collaborations and networking.
The Arts Resource Hub website is accessible at http://artsresourcehub.sg.
Join the conversation at NAC’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/NACSingapore, and NAC’s Instagram page @nacsingapore with the hashtag #ArtsResourceHub.