National Arts Council of Singapore and Creative Australia Commit to Greater Collaboration in the Arts

National Arts Council of Singapore,
23 May 2024, Singapore

 The National Arts Council of Singapore (NAC) and Creative Australia signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) today, committing to greater collaboration in the arts between Singapore and Australia over the next five years. Under the MOU, NAC and Creative Australia will work closely on joint research projects in the areas of arts and wellness, technology, and audience engagement. They will also facilitate artists' collaboration, presentation opportunities and cross-cultural exchanges between artists and arts organisations from both countries.  

The NAC-Creative Australia MOU complements the agenda of the Australia-Singapore Arts Group (ASAG) which has been extended for a second term until 2025. The ASAG was formed under the Singapore-Australia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership[1](CSP) signed in 2015.

Today’s NAC-Creative Australia MOU was signed in Singapore by Mr. Low Eng Teong, Chief Executive Officer of NAC, and Mr. Adrian Collette, Chief Executive Officer of Creative Australia, in a ceremony held alongside the ASAG meeting on 23 May, ahead of the Cultural Leaders’ Forum 2024[2].

Mr Low Eng Teong, Chief Executive Officer of NAC, said: "NAC’s partnership with Creative Australia signifies the deep commitment of Singapore and Australia to work together to create new opportunities for our artists to showcase their talent and grow new audiences. As we look to promoting greater understanding and appreciation of each other's arts and cultures, we hope to also contribute to an even more vibrant and diverse arts scene in Singapore, Australia, and the region”.

Creative Australia CEO Mr Adrian Collette AM said, “Creative Australia warmly welcomes this new Memorandum of Understanding with the National Arts Council of Singapore. This agreement underscores our shared dedication to championing and investing in the arts, working collaboratively on research, and fostering meaningful connections between artists and organisations from our respective countries. We look forward to exploring the opportunities that arise to work together with the National Arts Council of Singapore in a spirit of friendship and mutual collaboration”.

Singapore and Australia share a strong and longstanding arts and cultural relationship. In 2019, NAC signed a three-year Letter of Understanding (LoU) with Creative Australia (formerly Australia Council for the Arts) to signal both parties' commitment to greater cultural cooperation. Under the LoU, NAC and Creative Australia supported eight artists from the two countries under a micro-residency programme to seed research on artistic practice and collaborative opportunities, with the potential to spark new connections or deepen existing partnerships. NAC also commissioned a video performance titled Childhood for the Cultural Leaders’ Summit and ASAG meeting held virtually in 2020, bringing together elements of music, dance and poetry from Australia and Singapore.

The Singapore-Australia CSP has provided opportunities for both countries to learn from one another and showcase the best of the countries’ respective arts and cultural offerings to global audiences. Some notable collaborative projects include showcases by Singaporean artists from NAC Major Company recipient SAtheCollective at the 2020 Sydney Festival, and the Asia-Pacific Triennial of Performing Arts organised by Arts Centre Melbourne which showcased Singapore productions and artists. More recently, in 2023, Wild Rice Singapore and Victorian Opera's co-production, The Butterfly Lovers, written by Cultural Medallion recipient Ivan Heng with music composed by Richard Mills, was presented in both nations to stellar reviews and marked the first time the classic Chinese folktale has had a remake as an original English-language opera.


[1] The Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP) signed in 2015 between Singapore and Australia is a broad-ranging agreement covering the economic, defence, foreign affairs and people-to-people sectors. One of the initiatives under the CSP is the Australia-Singapore Arts Group (ASAG). ASAG seeks to provide broad oversight over cultural sector cooperation, raise the profile of the arts and cultural sectors of both countries, and boost sustained collaboration beyond one-off events.

[2]Singapore will host the Cultural Leaders' Forum on 24 May 2024, which is a cornerstone event under the ASAG. It aims to facilitate the continued promotion of capability development, skills exchanges and joint project development between artists, culture sector leaders and arts groups of both countries.