Self-Employed Person (SEP) Grant

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Update as of 2 September: Due to the large volume of applications received for the SEP Grant, please note that the notification period for Window 3 applications will now take place in the Week of 18 Oct 2021.

The Self-Employed Person Grant is a time-limited scheme that aims to provide support to Arts Self-Employed Persons (SEPs) affected by COVID-19. This grant aims to create work opportunities for arts SEPs by encouraging them to work together on projects, especially projects that can make a longer-term impact on arts SEPs’ practices, professionalism and livelihoods.

A. Overview

The Self-Employed Person Grant (SEPG) is part of the Enhanced Arts and Culture Resilience Package (ACRP) to enable continued support for arts SEPs in view of the sector being significantly impacted by COVID-19. Applications can be made through FormSG.

If you have any questions, please refer to our list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) or direct your queries to SEPG@nac.gov.sg.



What the Grant Supports
  • Supportable projects can range from performances, research, community engagement, incubation, etc.
  • Priority for projects that will impact the arts SEP landscape and/or contribute to the sustainability of SEPs’ livelihoods
  • Project format can be physical, digital or blended, subject to prevailing Safe Management Measures (SMMs)
What the Grant Covers
 
  • Grant can support up to 100% of supportable costs, capped at $50,000 per project.
Who the Grant is Open to
 
  • SEPs, Sole Proprietors and Dual Status Workers who are Singapore Citizens or Permanent Residents (SC/PR) residing in Singapore and working in the local arts scene.
  • Arts organisations that are either NAC Major Companies or Seed Grant Recipients (as of 1 April 2021) OR organisations registered with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) or with the Registry of Societies (ROS), and have organised at least one public arts event or programme in the last 24 months.

B. How and When to Apply

How to Apply

The SEPG is open for application from 15 June to 1 September 2021 (17:00 SGT), and all projects should be completed by 31 March 2022.

Applications can be made through FormSG, which will require login with a SingPass ID to submit your application. Do note that the application must be completed in one sitting, so amongst other required documents, both the SEPG Proposal Template and SEPG Budget Template need to be ready when applying. 

There are three grant application windows, with results to be announced approximately within five weeks from the close of each grant window. Late applications will not be accepted. Should NAC assess that applications in the earlier windows require further clarification and planning, NAC may direct these applicants to the subsequent application windows accordingly.


Application WindowSubmit by:Notified by:Timeframe to complete project:
1st application window 1 Jul 2021, 5pm Week of 2 Aug 2021 8 months
2nd application window 1 Aug 2021, 5pm Week of 30 Aug 2021 7 months
3rd application window 1 Sep 2021, 5pm

Week of 18 Oct 2021

Week of 27 Sep 2021
6 months

C. Additional Resources

Apart from funding support, the Arts Resource Hub,  in partnership with some SEP intermediaries from the arts and creative community, is providing additional resources to bridge the potential challenges of 1) finding suitable partners for collaboration, and 2) navigating the grant application process, especially for first-time grant applicants. These include ideation and networking sessions as well as videos and panel discussions to support the grant application process. Do check back at this page as details of resources will continue to be updated. 

Resources

Grant Writing 101: A series of step-by-step videos made by Jeffrey Tan on writing a successful grant application, that you can view at bit.ly/gw101-playlist.


Resource Sessions [CONCLUDED]

It is optional for applicants to attend the resource sessions, with attendance having no bearing on the outcomes of grant applications.




DateResource SessionDetails and Registration
22 July (Thu)
3pm-5pm
Ask NAC! Session

This dedicated SEPG Ask NAC! session is a chance to clarify any SEPG-related questions hosted by the ARH team.

End-June to JulyIdeation Sessions

These large-group ideation sessions hosted by SEP intermediaries from the community provided a chance for SEPs to exchange ideas and meet potential collaboration partners.

 

1. Self-Employed Person Grant (SEPG) IDEATION SESSIONS

In partnership with the NAC Arts Resource Hub, Voices of Singapore is organising a series of SEPG Q&As and Ideation Sessions for music SEPs.

 

SEPG Q&A Session (Music Scene) 

25 June 2021, 10am - 11:30am
Featuring:
NAC Arts Resource Hub and Voices of Singapore

Session 1: For arts educators and instructors

1 July 2021, 10am - 1pm
In collaboration with National Instructors and Coaches Association

• Session 2 & Session 3: For general music scene practitioners (including instructors)

6 & 7 July 2021, 10am - 1pm

End-June to JulyIdeation Sessions

2. SEPG Ideation & Creative Mixer Sessions

In partnership with the Arts Resource Hub, Sinema Media held a series of Ideation Sessions on 8 and 9 July.

 

These Ideation Sessions are a curated slate of workshops and creative mixers filled with industry specialists and highly skilled SEPs - a platform for inspiration and collaboration to spark ideas, find collaborators, and shape potential projects suitable for the SEP Grant.

 

  • Session 1 – Livestreaming 101

8 July 2021, 10am-1pm

Speaker: Mr Ao Cheng Su

Facilitator: Ms Laura Kee

 

  • Session 2 - AR/VR for Arts and Culture

8 July 2021, 2pm-5pm

Speaker: Mr Caspar Francis

Facilitator: Ms Mok Cui Yin

 

  • Session 3 - Lights, Sounds, Sensors

9 July 2021 10am – 1pm

Speaker: Ms Jo Ho

Facilitator: Mr Rafi Abdullah

 

  • Session 4 - Creating with AI

9 July 2021 2pm – 5pm

Speaker: Mr Jordi Forniés

Facilitator: Mr Marcus Lim

 

JulyGrant Writing Best Practices

The Singapore Drama Educators Association shared resources on grant writing good practices to guide potential grant applicants on preparing proposals, with an online panel session to address questions from SEPs.

 

1. Grant Writing 101 Panel Discussion: The Realities of Grant Writing

Organised by the Singapore Drama Educators Association  

This panel follows a series of step-by-step videos on writing a successful grant application that you can catch from 5 July at bit.ly/gw101-playlist.

Commissioned by the National Arts Council and developed by the Singapore Drama Educators Association (SDEA), Grant Writing 101 consists of a series of five bite-sized videos and an online panel discussion aimed at equipping you with the necessary skills to craft and prepare strong grant applications!


 

D. Summary of SEPG engagements with the community

Ask NAC! – Engagement Session on the Self-Employed Person Grant (SEPG) 22 Jul 2021  

The Arts Resource Hub (ARH) held another dedicated Ask NAC! Engagement Session on 22 Jul 2021 to address more questions about the Self-Employed Persons Grant (SEPG). Similar to the first session, the Director of Citizen & Sector Engagement Linda Dorothy de Mello and the ARH team hosted this engagement. Key topics addressed during the session are as follows:

• Application process. Participants sought to understand more about the application terms and eligibility criteria, including the core project team requirements and composition, as well as the need to enter contractual arrangements with members of the core project team. Some also asked about the submission documents required for SEPG.

• Supportable Costs. Participants raised queries on venue rental and what would count as reasonable rates when deciding artist fees in the project budget.

• Grant Funding. In response to the SEP Grant funding projects that have to be completed by 31 March 2022, participants asked if there would a possibility of extension beyond that date. Some also asked about how to continue funding projects beyond this date and clarified about tapping on other grants/funding to fund the extra costs not funded by the SEPG.

ARH has provided a detailed set of FAQs on our website, including additional questions addressed at the Ask NAC session. Click here to read more.

The current application window for SEPG has just closed on 1 Aug, while the final application window closes on 1 Sep.

 

Ask NAC! – Engagement Session for Arts Self-Employed Persons (SEPs) 23 Jun 2021  

On 23 Jun 2021, the Arts Resource Hub (ARH) held a dedicated Ask NAC! Engagement Session for SEPs to clarify any questions about the newly launched Self-Employed Persons Grant (SEPG). The group session had a strong turnout and was hosted by the Director of Citizen & Sector Engagement Linda Dorothy de Mello and the ARH team.

Key topics addressed during the session are as follows:

Eligibility of applicants. There was interest to understand more about the role of lead applicants, the core project team composition and what would count as fulfilling the public performance/exhibition requirement.  

Supportable projects. Participants sought clartifications on whether digital mediums and presentations would be considered, what types of projects would be eligible, and whether project funding could include fees to incentivise SEPs to participate. 

Interest in finding suitable collaboration partners. A number of SEPs also shared their interest in finding fellow collaborators to apply for the SEPG together. 

ARH has provided a detailed and updated set of FAQs on our website, including additional questions addressed at the Ask NAC session. Click here to read more. 

The current application window for SEPG closes on 1 Aug, while the final application window closes on 1 Sep. The next Ask NAC Engagement session will be held on 22 July 2021 and you can register for it here

Summary of Second Engagement Session on the Self-Employed Person Grant (1 Jun 2021)

Following the first engagement session in April on the SEP Grant, the Arts Resource Hub held a second engagement session on the Self-Employed Person Grant (SEPG) on 1 June (Tue). At the session, participants heard about how earlier feedback had shaped the current design of the grant, and gave further feedback and comments. ARH also heard from SEPs on possible themes and areas they would be keen to explore in the upcoming ideation sessions. 

 

The engagement session involved 25 participants, including SEPs, SEP advocate groups, and representatives from arts organisations. Here were some key areas raised at the session: 

 

1. Objectives of the SEP Grant: Participants acknowledged that the main objective of the SEP Grant was to create work opportunities for SEPs in the sector through projects. They highlighted that the criteria and scope of the SEPG would need to take a more inclusive approach to ensure that SEPs across different fields could benefit from it, including those in technical production. Some also pointed out that while organisations were eligible to apply for the SEPG, their projects should primarily aim to benefit SEPs and funds should primarily be channelled to SEPs. 

2. Inclusive approach to range of SEPG projects: Similarly, to benefit as many SEPs as possible, participants felt that the range of supportable projects could be kept wider, and that a more open approach to the types of collaborations would encourage SEPs to explore new partnerships and ways of work. 

3. Allowance to work with non-Singaporean SEPs: A few participants also suggested the grant allow a small percentage of non-Singaporean SEPs to be involved, as some have been contributing to the local industry without being eligible for other support. This could also open up opportunities for Singaporean SEPs to collaborate with international practitioners.

4. Ideation sessions, and support for newer SEPs: Participants felt that the ideation sessions could be kept open and inclusive for all sectors, to facilitate “matchmaking” required across different needs for varying projects. Newer SEPs to the scene also suggested assembling a core team to help facilitate discussions on ideas and allow organic mentorships, so that resources and ideas can be shared and refined before projects are submitted for application.

Next Steps

 

The Arts Resource Hub is reviewing participants’ feedback from the second engagement session. The SEP Grant will be launched on 15 June, and ARH will be organising an Ask NAC! Session on the SEP Grant in late June. 

 

Along with the rollout of the SEP Grant, the Arts Resource Hub will be working with some members of the SEP community to organise ideation and networking sessions in July, as well as providing resources and support on grant proposal preparations. Keep a lookout for more information and details on the ARH website.

 

Summary of Engagement Session on the Self-Employed Person Grant (8 Apr 2021)

 

Earlier in March, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Edwin Tong announced that a new Self-Employed Person (SEP) Grant will be introduced for arts and culture SEPs to collaborate on projects.

 

 This new project grant aims to address the immediate needs and sustain livelihoods of arts and culture freelancers by minimising job and income loss, creating more work opportunities, and enhancing the skills of freelancers.

 

The SEP Grant will be open for applications by Singaporeans and Permanent Residents across the arts and culture sector, as well as arts and culture organisations that collaborate with freelancers.

 

The Arts Resource Hub organised an engagement session for the Self-Employed Person Grant (SEPG) on 8 April, to co-create and scope key parts of the grant. It involved 25 participants including SEPs, SEP advocate groups, and representatives from arts organisations.

 

Key topics covered include:

 

•  Prioritising arts SEPs: To ensure funds are prioritised for arts SEPs, SEPs’ status will need to be verified based on their track records and activity in the sector. However, to ensure that emerging or younger SEPs also have access to the grant, participants suggested that they could show proof of their academic or career references through their involvement in public arts programmes. On ensuring that SEPs do benefit from the grant, participants proposed to ringfence a certain amount of awarded funds for SEPs vis-à-vis technical/production costs, or to peg a minimum number of SEPs that should be involved against overall manpower headcount.

•  Capability Development: Participants observed that as arts SEPs have differing needs based on their practice, there could be some leeway for them articulate their own capability development areas. Capability Development opportunities proposed include matching or attaching SEPs to other government agencies like IMDA to work alongside the creative and media industry, or to develop digital or tech skills through institutions or schools that have such ready resources.

•  Collaborations: Participants expressed interest in looking for collaborators from disciplines beyond the arts and new platforms for innovation, including mooting the idea of hackathons , networking sessions and  “speed dating” to find collaborators and develop new ideas, or using online platforms to interact and share ideas.

•  SEP Grant as a way to support SEPs’ livelihoods in the longer term: Participants felt that aside from once-off productions and presentations, the SEPG could also support projects that help contribute to the sustainability of SEPs’ careers, including those that could be more process-driven, or explore creating new platforms or collaborative opportunities for SEPs to network, generate income and market/present their artistic works.

•  Mentorships from the arts community: As part of capability development, participants also suggested that mentors or veteran SEPs could help guide grant applicants, especially those unfamiliar with the processes of grant applications, or work in the areas of production and digitalisation processes and equipment.

•  Taking into account the gradual opening of the performing arts sector: Some participants felt that the proposed criteria to prioritise projects of a digital nature should be reassessed, given the gradual reopening of the sector. 

ARH will be reviewing the comments shared by participants and will take them into consideration in the design process of the SEP Grant.

Taking onboard the feedback from the session, ARH will be organising networking opportunities in the form of hackathons to bring arts SEPs together and spark ideas and collaborations for potential SEP Grant projects. More information will be shared when available.