Local arts venue and institution The Substation has announced that they are closing for good, prompting a response from the National Arts Council (NAC). Following media reports, The Substation has released yet another statement clarifying their position. Now NAC has sent a second response to clarify once again, regarding their plans for 45 Armenian Street (where The Substation currently stands.)
Read NAC’s response in full:
NAC would like to reiterate and assure all, that 45 Armenian Street will remain an inclusive, multi-disciplinary arts space; a safe space for artistic experimentation, and one which supports the work of young practitioners. NAC agrees it is important to honour the vision of Kuo Pao Kun. We will engage our arts community and stakeholders to envision a meaningful new space for them and our audiences.
With more arts organisations and practitioners today, making the space available to other arts groups would allow the broader arts community to benefit. We had welcomed Substation’s return to 45 Armenian Street, as a co-tenant. We had also invited the Board to co-create the vision for the renovated arts centre with us, as we will continue to do with the arts community and stakeholders.
The Substation compared itself to the Esplanade. The Esplanade plays a different role than Major Companies in our arts and culture landscape, and is provided with funding and held accountable for outcomes which are not asked of Major Companies. The Substation should appropriately be compared against other Major Companies, some of which also operate premises and arts centres similar to the Substation, but do not rely on government funding to the same extent. NAC has funded The Substation for its work under the Major Companies scheme as there are no other schemes that provide multi-year and sustained organisational funding.
NAC also offered support to The Substation through the period of renovations and beyond. Above and beyond the Major Company grant, NAC offered another $100,000 per year for the next two years. However, the Board of the Substation requested for $500,000 per year, the equivalent to the rental income that they would have foregone. NAC could not agree to this.
NAC is committed to developing our local arts and culture landscape so that it is vibrant over the longer-term, with rich offerings to inspire all Singaporeans. We will continue to support our arts sector, help our practitioners emerge stronger from the pandemic, and work towards an even more enjoyable and exciting arts and culture scene for our supporters, patrons, and public.
– National Arts Council
The Substation will close permanently sometime in July 2021. More information available on their website here
SeptFest takes place from 4th to 28th March 2021. Tickets and more information available here