Stand with the performing arts community. Support our arts freelancers.
The impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic on Singapore’s performing arts community has been devastating. It is a strong word to use, but in truth this quickly evolving unprecedented situation has adversely affected the livelihood of our performing arts community. Many of them have no work at the moment as all events and activities have been cancelled or postponed.
Gateway Arts spoke to our fellow artists, freelancers and partners. The situation in the near future is looking bleak as projects have been cancelled as early as February, work has come to a standstill until June and future work remains uncertain. We all agree that the arts play an important role in lifting our spirits and this is all the more critical in challenging times like this. It is important for Singaporeans to have continued access to the arts as well as for the livelihood of the arts community to be sustained.
Gateway Arts is starting a temporary financial assistance fund called Gateway Arts Solidarity Fund. This one-off S$500 cash assistance is for Singapore Citizen and Singapore Permanent Resident freelancers who have worked with Gateway previously and are working in the local performing arts industry. We are specifically looking to help those who have suffered job loss or loss of income due to cancelled and/or postponed projects arising from the COVID-19 outbreak, and are now facing great difficulty making ends meet during this challenging period.
Gateway Arts knows that every bit counts, and we hope that this financial aid will help to support arts freelancers who have less means to overcome immediate financial challenges and tide them over this period of economic uncertainty. We have received over S$50,000 in donations from LoveSingapore and other anonymous donors and at the moment, which is sufficient to support 100 individuals. As our funds are limited, priority will be given to individuals who bear heavier financial burdens, or are deemed to be urgently in need. We hope to raise S$25,000 in public donations to supplement this amount and support more arts freelancers* in need.
*According to the 2016 Arts & Cultural Employment Survey conducted by the National Arts Council, 47% of respondents were freelancers, indicating that freelancers form a significant proportion of our arts ecosystem.