More recipients of the National Arts Council's Major and Seed Grants announced

SINGAPORE - Several arts companies have been inducted into the National Arts Council's substantial grant schemes - the Major Grant for long-term development of arts groups, and the Seed Grant for emerging companies that need a boost.

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Here is the press release from National Arts Council:

59 arts organisations will receive Organisation Development support from the National Arts Council's (NAC) Major and Seed Grants for Financial Year (FY) 2014. They comprise 36 companies receiving the Major Grant and 23 promising new or emerging companies who are receiving the Seed Grant.

$12.7 million is committed by the Council for the Major and Seed Grants in FY14, a 25 per cent jump from $10.2 million in FY13. The funding reflects NAC's firm support to ground the overall development and capabilities of our established arts companies, at the same time, develop a diverse pool of artistic talents to build the next generation of art makers.

This year, 17 Major Grant recipients join the 19 arts companies who were awarded in FY13. Of these, 3 are first-time recipients of the Major Grant: Indian dance company and previous Seed Grant recipient, Apsaras Arts; wind band, the Singapore Wind Symphony; and theatre company, Checkpoint Theatre. 8 arts companies also join the 15 recipients who were awarded the Seed Grant in FY12 and FY13. These new recipients reflect the dynamic evolution of Singapore's arts landscape as it continues to mature and diversify.

Meaningful Support for New Peaks of Excellence

The Major Grant recipients are established arts companies which range across art forms, many of whom are hallmarks of artistic excellence and recognised for their canon of works and distinctive strengths. The Major Grant scheme aims to help recipients sustain their development, so that they can deepen their unique artistic strengths and programmes. This includes companies like The Theatre Practice, Cake Theatrical Productions, The Arts Fission Company, T'ang Quartet and T.H.E Dance Company. Many Major Grant recipients are champions for the development of their art form and talent, through training, development and advocacy. With the strong Major Grant support, NAC aims for established arts companies like The Necessary Stage and the Singapore Dance Theatre to build on their mentorships programmes, local arts residences, as well as outreach and audience development platforms.

Building Arts Enablers

Critical to the arts industry are intermediaries. As arts enablers, they are an essential go-between and voice for smaller players seeking greater support in areas such as resources, knowledge platforms and networking sessions. Intermediaries include FY13 Major Grant recipient, the National Book Development Council of Singapore, which connects and spotlights local writers and publishers in Singapore and overseas while focusing on the developmental needs of the literary arts industry. Others include new Seed Grant recipient Musicians' Guild, which aims to help address issues of sustained career and professional development for musicians.

Deepening Our Artistic Traditions and Cultural Identity

The traditional arts provide a shared experience and sense of who we are as Singaporeans. NAC sees the continued development and strengthening of traditional arts companies as crucial to the preservation of our cultural identity, values and heritage for our future generation. Major Grant recipient, Apsaras Arts' Indian classical dance and Seed Grant recipient, Nam Hwa Opera's Teochew opera programmes are rich cultural resources that continue to inspire culturally distinctive Singapore content.

Commitment to Diversity

A number of new groups have emerged, offering fresh artistic perspectives and ideas. Among the eight new Seed Grant recipients are groups such as Pangdemonium, which is recognised for its high production standards and vision to support young practitioners; Chowk, which aspires to push the vocabulary of Indian classical dance by reimagining the Odissi dance form; OH! Open House, which has amassed significant public interest for offering bespoke art experiences in local neighbourhoods; Asian Contemporary Ensemble, which re-examines the definition of contemporary classical music; and Avant Theatre & Language, which produces innovative Tamil language theatrical works.

Says Ms Kathy Lai, Chief Executive Officer, NAC, "We want to work together with practitioners and industry players. We also hope to build strong and healthy arts companies who are able to achieve their vision within a sustainable art-making environment. I believe the Grants will provide holistic support and augment organisational functions, anchor unique programmes and bolster capabilities; all of which are fundamental to grow Singapore's diverse arts scene."