Two co-working spaces at Goodman Arts Centre (GAC) and Stamford Arts Centre (SAC) have opened as part of the National Arts Council’s (NAC) Arts Resource Hub (ARH) initiative. The dedicated spaces provide arts freelancers with enhanced access to shared services, as well as facilitate collaborations and networking among the freelance arts community. This complements the full suite of offerings on the ARH website, first introduced in September 2019.
Freelance arts professionals can also look forward to further developments to the ARH later this year. A third co-working space at 42 Waterloo Street will open in the second half of 2020, while a tiered membership subscription offering services, resources and programmes relevant to the needs of arts freelancers will also be introduced to subscribers of the website in the second quarter of 2020. More details on the benefits of the tiered subscription and the third space will be shared closer to-date.
One of the key priorities identified in Our SG Arts Plan is to increase sector-wide support for freelance arts professionals, who make up about half of the sector, according to the 2016 Arts & Cultural Employment Survey conducted by NAC. The ARH initiative, meant to be a first-stop platform for arts freelancers, addresses this need through various resources aimed at enabling freelancers to develop sustainable careers in the arts. Similar findings on areas of needs had also been identified during the NAC’s engagement sessions with over 370 individuals from the arts community in 2017 and 2018.
The co-working spaces at GAC and SAC address the community’s desire for a space to connect and network with like-minded peers. Available for trial use by ARH subscribers since 6 January 2020, the spaces offer Wi-Fi, hot-desking facilities and printers, as well as meeting rooms that can be booked for discussions. The third space at 42 Waterloo Street is envisioned as a home for arts freelancers – for them to attend workshops, networking programmes and events, tap on office resources, incubate ideas, connect and collaborate with other arts freelancers. These shared co-working spaces reflect NAC’s strategy to maximise available spaces and diversify modes of support to meet continued demand for arts spaces.
In addition to the ARH website’s job portal and resources on areas from financial planning, legal knowledge, and insurance coverage to training programmes, a regular series of free talks offered by partners and industry professionals has been ongoing since November 2019. Topics covered included getting started as a freelancer in the creative industry, financial planning for the self-employed, and ways to build emotional resilience. The regular series of free talks will continue this year and the NAC welcomes feedback on other topics of interest that will benefit the arts community.
Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Culture, Community and Youth & Transport Baey Yam Keng said: “Arts freelancers are an important part of the sector. To ensure that they have sustainable careers, MCCY and NAC have engaged them to understand what resources they need. The Arts Resource Hub is the result of that engagement, and it reflects our commitment towards building a more vibrant arts and culture sector in Singapore. We will continue to work closely with the community to enhance support for our artists and practitioners.”
Said Mrs Rosa Daniel, Chief Executive Officer of NAC: “The National Arts Council is committed to supporting freelance arts practitioners in raising their professionalism and sustaining life-long careers. We encourage them to subscribe to the Arts Resource Hub (ARH) to keep abreast of career development opportunities and to tap into services which can address their needs. The three physical ARH spaces will increase access for more in the arts community to benefit from the highly subsidised and limited arts spaces in the Civic District administered by NAC. They provide a conducive environment for networking and collaboration among arts freelancers. We hope to continue engaging with the arts community and gather feedback and ideas to co-create and further develop the ARH.”