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Singapore, Creative City of Design, implements relief measures for artist and cultural practitioners


Singapore, a UNESCO Creative City of Design, is a modern, cosmopolitan and bustling city-state where design plays a significant role in its urban development. Its urban designs incorporate smart solutions to meet the needs of its citizens in terms of housing, healthcare, education and transportation, amongst others.

In response to the global outbreak of COVID-19, the Government of Singapore has committed a total of 59.9 billion SGD (approximately 40 billion USD) to support individuals, businesses and industries particularly impacted by the crisis. The relief measures also include a series of dedicated measures to support the arts and the culture sector.

In the field of design, the DesignSingapore Council has adjusted its existing schemes to better sustain and provide appropriate assistance to designers and design enterprises affected by the pandemic. Apart from financial aid and other subsidies, the Council has also launched the initiative ‘Good Design Research’ that encourages design practitioners to set up new systems and processes that are more sustainable and resilient against external shocks, such as the COVID-19. Designers are thus encouraged to research and experiment with new materials, services and experiences that will help tackle such global issues.

To assist the artist and art organizations, the National Arts Council (NAC) recently established the Digital Presentation Grant for the Arts, a time-limited scheme aimed at supporting artists and arts organizations to present their work digitally during the COVID-19 period. Through this grant, the NAC not only aims to create work opportunities for art practitioners but also develop industry capabilities in producing digital art content.

In addition, a set of measures targeting freelance artists and self-employed persons (SEP) have also been put in place. For instance, the SEP Income Relief Schema assists eligible freelance artists with three quarterly payouts of 3000 SGD (approximatey 2000 USD) in May, July and October 2020, respectively. In addition, the SEP Training Support Scheme has also been enhanced and extended allowing freelancers to receive a training allowance while attending courses under the SkillsFuture Series, a package of short online training programmes focusing on emerging skills for the future, such as data analytics, digital media or urban solutions.

To know more about the initiatives undertaken by Singapore to support artists and culture practitioners, please click here: