Arts freelancers get resource website and soon, dedicated working spaces too

06 September 2019
The Straits Times Online

Arts freelancers now have a resource website, and will also have two dedicated working spaces soon. The website - - launched on Friday (Sept 6), consolidates resources and information in areas such as financial planning, career development and legal knowledge. It also has a jobs portal. These are part of the nation's push to develop the arts scene in Singapore, said Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Transport and Culture, Community and Youth Baey Yam Keng. He announced these initiatives at this year's first convocation ceremony of the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (Nafa) on Friday, held at the Lee Foundation Theatre at its Bencoolen Street campus.

From Friday to Sunday, 914 Nafa students will receive diploma and degree certificates.

Nafa has also rolled out a Talent Development Programme that started last year for "exceptional students who are self-motivated and dedicated to deepening their skills and knowledge beyond the curriculum". Mr Jerry Soo, 55, vice-president (academic) at Nafa, said that while there are only 10 students in the inaugural cohort under this programme, there are plans to take in up to 50 students in the next few years. Students are selected based on faculty members' nominations. Criteria include decent grade point averages - generally at least 3.0 out of 4.0 - and characteristics such as drive and passion for the arts. Students under the programme receive one-to-one mentorship and also get opportunities to pursue personal projects to sharpen their artistic, technical and leadership skills. Said Mr Soo: "If they are truly talented, it's important to identify them and then try ways to nurture and groom them. A key thing we wanted is customised programmes... In a way, it's about trying to help as many as possible to reach their goals and aspirations."

Ms Nicole Choo Jen Quinn, who received a diploma certificate in fine art, was part of the first cohort in this programme, which she said gave her the opportunity to undertake a nine-month personal project exploring dementia. After interacting closely with two seniors with the condition and listening to stories they could remember, she did an abstract art installation built with panels of white chiffon fabric with printed images on it. It was displayed at the National Library in Bugis in April this year.

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Source: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission.