COVID-19 Support


NICA Support Schemes for Coaches and Instructors

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National Instructors & Coaches Association (NICA) continues to extend support to coaches and instructors whose livelihoods have been impacted by the pandemic through NICA Hardship Grant and Covid-19 Temporary Relief Scheme.


NICA Hardship Grant

The grant provides a one-time $100 to members to help defray their financial burden under hardship circumstances. Applicants will be informed of the outcome of his/her application through email in about 3-4 weeks upon submission of all required supporting documents.

COVID-19 Temporary Relief Scheme (11 Oct – 31 Dec 2021)

For members who had tested COVID-19 positive or ART positive during the period from 11 Oct - 31 Dec 2021, both dates inclusive, and who fulfill the eligibility criteria are eligible to apply for this one-off relief quantum of up to $100.


To find out more about the criteria and how to apply, visit 

You may also reach out to NICA at if you have any query relating to the support schemes.


Extension of Covid-19 Recovery Grant-Temporary (CRG-T)

On 28 May 2021, the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) announced that one-off support via the new COVID-19 Recovery Grant (Temporary) (CRG-T) will be provided for lower- to middle-income employees and self-employed persons who are financially impacted as a result of the tightened measures, particularly those in sectors such as the arts. On 18 June 2021, it was announced that the coverage period for CRG-T, which was initially till 2 Jul, will be extended till 31 Jul: 

Existing CRG-T recipients who continue to be impacted can apply for a second tranche of assistance in July, as long as the period that they are claiming for does not overlap with the earlier period/provision of CRG-T. This scheme will apply to SEPs from all sectors, including the arts.

COVID-19 Recovery Grant (CRG)

Given the protracted economic impact of COVID-19, the COVID-19 Recovery Grant (CRG) has been launched by the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) to offer targeted support for individuals who remain significantly affected by job or income loss despite existing Government support schemes. The grant is now open for application, from 18 Jan to 31 Dec 2021, 9am to 10pm daily (including weekends and public holidays). Click here to apply.

For SEPs who meet the eligibility criteria, the CRG can potentially provide support of up to $500/month for 3 months, if there has been a loss of at least 50% Net Trade Income (NTI) on average for at least 3 consecutive months. As such, application eligibility will also depend on SEPs having declared annual NTI to IRAS in 2019/2020. Previous recipients of the COVID-19 Support Grant (CSG) and Self-Employed Person Income Relief Scheme (SIRS) can also apply for the CRG if they continue to require assistance. More details on the grant are available here.

If you need help filling in the application form, please call the ComCare Call hotline (1800-222-0000), email, or visit your nearest Social Service Office ( for assistance.

Enhanced NTUC Care Fund (COVID-19)

The Enhanced NTUC Care Fund (COVID-19) is a one-off cash relief of up to $300 given to eligible NTUC union members to help tide through this challenging period due to COVID-19.

Please take note that this Fund is for NTUC union and National Instructors and Coaches Association (NICA) members only. For more details on the Fund and eligibility criteria, you may click here. 

Application Period:

23 November 2020 to 28 February 2021


How to apply:

For NTUC/NICA members

  1. You may contact NICA at to check if your existing NTUC membership is being parked under NICA.
  2. Upon verification, you may apply for the Enhanced NTUC Care Fund (COVID-19) here:


For Non-NTUC/NICA members

  1. You may sign up to become a NICA member at . Please remember to indicate “NICA” under the field “Company Name”
  2. Once you have successfully applied as a NICA member, you may apply for the Enhanced NTUC Care Fund (COVID-19) here:

Phase Three of Re-opening For Arts and Culture Stakeholders

On 14 December 2020, the Ministry of Health (MOH) announced that Singapore would start Phase Three of Re-opening from 28 December 2020.

For updated guidelines for the Arts and Culture sector, please visit:

For the latest MOH advisories on COVID-19, please visit:


Update on key issues raised to NAC on support for the arts Self-Employed Persons/ freelancers

(Updated on 30 Jul 2020)

The Fortitude Budget was announced in May 2020, building on the Unity, Resilience and Solidarity Budgets to help businesses and individuals adapt and build resilience during this period. Since April 2020, the $55 million Arts and Culture Resilience Package (ACRP) has been providing support and opportunities for our arts organisations and artists, to help develop longer-term capabilities for the post COVID-19 recovery. This support includes the Capability Development Scheme for the Arts (CDSA), the Digital Presentation Grant for the Arts (DPG), and NAC-commissioned works and partnerships.   

Since March 2020, the various measures have been communicated to you through regular updates on the Arts Resource Hub and NAC websites, and over 40 engagement sessions have been organised with nearly 600 artists and arts companies. More recently in June 2020, NAC held a further engagement sessions, inviting more than 200 artists and arts organisations to discuss on how we can gradually move into Phase 2 and how the arts community can live and prepare for the new normal. These sessions also updated the arts SEPs/freelancers on the support schemes, as well as the programmes they can benefit from. 

The following is a summary of discussions, relevant to arts SEPs/freelancers.

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Summary of Discussions 2


As we ease restrictions in Phase 2, it will be critical that our collective efforts enable the arts sector to open safely. The wellbeing of our artists and audiences remains the priority even as we seek to resume operations. The restrictions will continue to pose challenges for our arts organisations and artists in generating revenues at levels prior to the Covid-19 situation. 

NAC is committed to working with the arts community to overcome these challenges through impactful relief measures and innovative strategies via the Arts and Culture Resilience Package to sustain livelihoods, support digital transformation and enhance capabilities. Together, we can stay resilient in the face of changes as we prepare for a post-Covid-19 world.  

For a full update on relief measures and NAC’s support for arts companies and SEPs/freelancers, please click here.


[UPDATED] Phase Two of Re-Opening for Arts and Culture Stakeholders

(Updated on 19 Aug 2020)


As Singapore enters Phase Two of Re-opening, further guidance would be provided by relevant agencies for their respective sectors. There will be a progressive resumption of other activities for arts and culture companies and practitioners, to support continued artmaking, cultivation of audiences, and the professional upgrading of our community. Through this advisory, NAC would like to provide further information on these activities, and the safe management measures which have to be in effect before these activities are permitted to resume. 


All indoor and outdoor performances and venues (e.g. theatres, concert halls, blackboxes) will remain closed and the National Arts Council (NAC) will continue to engage arts and culture stakeholders on safe management measures that will allow live performances and events to resume in a safe manner for performers and audiences.


Arts and culture organizations can log onto MTI’s Go Business portal with your CorpPass to confirm the activities you are permitted to resume, and the date of resumption.  




Arts and culture premises, including studios for art-making, can be used as workplaces, subject to the Ministry of Manpower’s Requirements for Safe Management Measures at the Workplace. Access to the premises should be restricted to employees and authorised visitors only. Arts and culture premises should remain closed as workplaces if they are unable to adhere to MOM’s requirements.


[UPDATED] Digital Productions and Rehearsals


Since 22 June 2020, all arts and culture premises have been available for use by arts and culture companies and practitioners for digital productions and recording of courses and performances, as well as rehearsals without audiences. This is subject to requirements on physical distancing (>= 1m), group size (<=30), with a maximum of 10 performers unmasked at any given time where necessary, or a maximum of 5 unmasked where live singing is involved. In addition, all unmasked performers need to maintain at least 2m safe distance from others, with any equipment sharing kept to a minimum. Should any practitioners wish to seek a waiver of this 30-person, 10-unmasked limit, you can contact NAC at, with your reasons and proposed additional safe management measures.


Special provisions have been introduced for digital productions programmed or commissioned by NAC, Esplanade, Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Singapore Chinese Orchestra and Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre, on account of their role in the development of Singapore’s arts and culture sector, and as national cultural institutions and companies. These provisions include involving no more than 50 persons (cast and crew), with no more than 20 performers unmasked at any given time, and apply to any companies/practitioners involved in any such commissioned or programmed work. Productions with “live” singing however have tighter restrictions on group size, involving not more than 30 persons (cast and crew) with no more than 5 performers unmasked at any given time.

Further adjustments to what is allowed for digital productions and rehearsals will be laid out in NAC’s advisory for digital productions and rehearsals during Phase 2.


Training classes and professional workshops


Training classes and professional workshops may resume, except for singing and voice training due to the higher health risks involved. All other classes, courses and workshops must not involve any element of singing and voice training, and must adhere to safe management measures and observe limited capacity before they resume.


Additional requirements will apply to classes, courses and workshops which involve physical activities (e.g. dance). Classes which involve activities with potentially high risk of virus transmission through droplet spread (such as singing, voice projection, playing of wind or brass instruments or other instruments that require intentional expulsion of air), will not be permitted to proceed until further notice. 


Commercial Art Galleries and Non-Profit Exhibition/Gallery Facilities


Commercial Art Galleries can re-open to the public from 19 June, similar to other retail establishments, subject to Enterprise Singapore’s safe management measures for retail establishments. Non-Profit Exhibition/Gallery Facilities may also re-open to the public for exhibitions from 26 June 2020, subject to the safe management measures set out in National Heritage Board’s advisory for museum stakeholders. Owners/managers of such facilities are to submit their safe management plan (SMP) to NAC at least three days prior to reopening to the public.  


NAC reserves the right to suspend activities if there are gaps in the SMP submitted or inadequate implementation, until the necessary rectifications are made. If the facility wishes to deviate from the safe management measures indicated in NHB’s advisory, NAC’s explicit approval must first be obtained before facilities can be re-opened.


Venue Requirements

The owners/managers of all arts and culture premises which re-open for the above-mentioned activities are to also ensure that they implement visitor registration and contact tracing measures via SafeEntry, including health declarations and temperature screening measures. They should also adopt SG Clean standards for sanitisation and hygiene standards. Notices should be put up to remind visitors and employees of prevailing safe management measures, practice social responsibility and encourage the observance of social norms.


Arts and culture premises located in tenanted spaces (e.g. commercial malls) must comply with the requirements above, as well as any other requirements that the Government may impose through landlords on tenants. Arts and culture companies and practitioners who are also landlords must ensure their tenants comply with any such requirements.


Venue Hire Subsidy


The Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth will extend its existing 30% subsidy for venue hire and in-house production costs (where applicable) to 80% during Phase Two, subject to review and the prevailing national situation. This subsidy will be for arts and culture activities permitted to resume in Phase Two at venues in the Esplanade, National Gallery Singapore, National Heritage Board museums and heritage institutions, STPI Creative Workshop & Gallery, Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre, Singapore Conference Hall, as well as those managed by Arts House Limited.


It will also be extended to select arts centres with shared facilities under NAC. Participating organisations will communicate details of how arts and culture stakeholders can benefit from the extended subsidy, separately. 


Towards a Safe and Sustainable Re-opening


Arts and culture companies and practitioners who do not implement or comply with requirements may be closed down, ineligible for government grants and assistance, and subject to penalties under the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Act 2020. Additional penalties may be imposed on arts and culture stakeholders if the premises are found to have been a place of transmission of COVID-19, if they have not adhered to these requirements.


A safe and sustainable re-opening requires all of us, including arts and culture stakeholders, to play our part. It is critical that we continue to exercise caution, adhere to safe management measures, and practice social responsibility. Collectively, we can progressively re-open our economy and society while remaining safe.


For more information, please refer to this page.



Update on NAC’s support for the arts self-employed persons and freelancers through the Arts and Culture Resilience Package (ACRP)

(published on 19 May 2020, 1530hr)

A variety of support schemes have been announced by the Government over the past two months aimed at supporting SEPs and companies in the arts sector. Most notably, the$55 million Arts and Culture Resilience Package (ACRP) provides support and opportunities for our arts organisations and Arts Freelancers/Self-Employed Persons (SEPs), along with developing longer-term capabilities for the post-COVID-19 recovery. Please visit our ARH website for regular updates relevant to our arts freelancers/SEPs.

To date, through the ACRP, NAC has:


NAC has also engaged about 70 SEPs through the ‘Ask NAC’ sessions over a course of 6 weeks in Mar and April. These engagement sessions have helped us understand the key concerns of arts SEPs and enabled clarifying conversations about both NAC’s and other whole-of-government support measures.


Alleviating Impact of Income Loss
Measures aimed at offering practical, financial support to SEPs

The arts sector has been disproportionately affected by COVID-19, with many SEPs facing a sudden stoppage to current and future income streams. The measures for SEPs announced by DPM Heng Swee Keat to help tide SEPs through this period of economic uncertainty, apply to the arts as well. 

Self-Employed Person Income Relief Scheme (SIRS)

Eligible SEPs will receive three quarterly payouts of $3,000 each in end-May, July and October 2020.


About 100,000 SEPs will automatically benefit from SIRS. Eligibility criteria has been further expanded after taking in feedback, and the appeals process with NTUC is currently open.

MOE’s support for arts instructors

MOE has introduced new measures to mitigate the impact of Covid-19 restrictions on MOE instructors and coaches, which include arts instructors as well. MOE will be providing instructors the option to restructure their existing contracts, coupled with extending their existing contracts and receiving advanced payments for work done in year 2020. More details on these measures here.

NAC’s existing grant schemes

Existing NAC grant schemes continue to be available to arts SEPs who might wish to use this time to focus on the creation of new works or research e.g. our Creation, Production and Research Grant schemes.


Sustaining Audience Reach through Digitalisation 
Supporting arts SEPs to build digital capabilities and showcase digital content

NAC is aware that digital arts experiences for audiences cannot replace live arts experiences. While we also look forward to going back into the theatres to experience the arts fully, the reality is that for now, this is not possible. In a world post-COVID-19, NAC expects that digital forms will complement physical forms, with our grants likely refined to respond to the new normal. 

It is hence important to cultivate an audience who will continue to support the arts in different forms of presentation, and build necessary capabilities amongst artists now. We encourage our artists to explore areas such as digital creation, presentation and audience engagement so that you will be better positioned for the days ahead.

Unified Digital Platform

NAC has launched the #SGCultureAnywhere campaign to enhance the visibility of Singapore’s arts and culture, both locally and abroad, during this period.


Digital arts and culture content is being released on the #SGCultureAnywhere site, a one-stop centre to showcase the best of Singapore’s arts and culture content. The arts community is encouraged to join other cultural institutions like Esplanade, National Gallery and our museums, to contribute to this campaign.


To access the best of #SGCultureAnywhere, please visit A List Singapore (

Digital Presentation Grant

NAC is supporting artists to present their work in digital forms or via digital mediums with the introduction of the Digital Presentation Grant for the Arts. We have since seen encouraging influx of applications that show the adaptability and willingness of artists to embark on the digitisation journey.


We understand that more time might be needed to put together the application and work on the projects if awarded, especially under the circuit breaker period. We have extended the application window from 30 June to 31 July 2020 and the project completion date from 30 September to 30 December 2020.


Developing Capabilities to be Future Ready 
Support for training to be ready for post-COVID-19 recovery

NAC has made additional funding available for training, along with commissioned arts-specific courses and talks that are relevant to the arts SEPs.We hope there will be more arts SEPs who are keen to take up training and development to prepare for the post-COVID-19 recovery.

Capability Development Scheme for the Arts (CDSA)

Arts SEPs who apply for the CDSA may receive up to $1,000 of funding to offset their course fees by up to 90% and receive training allowance of $10/hr.With immediate effect, CDSA grants awarded to SEPs will be disbursed with 50% paid upfront and the remainder following successful completion of the course, so financial difficulty is not a limiting factor to take up training. To enable more arts SEPs to tap on the funding, the application period is extended from 30 June to 31 July 2020.


A non-exhaustive list of online courses, both local and overseas, have been identified and posted for ease of reference. Beyond these, applicants can do a search themselves for suitable courses as a wide range of programmes are eligible, as long as the training areas are relevant to the arts and culture sector.

NAC Commissioned Online Courses

NAC is working with some of our more established arts companies in offering training programmes to interested artists. The contributions and experiences our companies can bring to the table, will offer rich sharing contextualised to our local context. We hope that these courses will be fully tapped on when they are launched.

ARH Talks

ARH has been offering talks to the arts community since end-2019, in the areas of finance, legal and mental wellness. Over time, we have taken in suggestions from our subscribers on what else the talks can cover to be more relevant to arts SEPs’ needs.


We will be expanding the scope and format of our talks, along with the range of speakers through the year. This will include a new track that features sharing by SEPs to SEPs rolling out in May.


In these uncertain times, NAC will do our utmost to sustain the arts sector as best we can, whilst continuing to plan ahead for what the future of arts creation, presentation and engagement might hold. The ACRP is a valuable reserve for the arts and culture sector that will last till the end of 2020, and will be flexible in design to respond to the impact of Covid-19 on the sector.

Together, we can stay resilient in the face of changes as we prepare for a post-COVID-19 world.  These changes will be significant not only for the nature of arts creation and presentation, but also in how audiences will want to access the arts, and how we can continue to deliver strong social outcomes for patrons of the arts. 

We will continue to provide periodic updates on NAC’s support during this COVID-19 period for arts SEPs here and arts companies on our corporate site.

For a list of other support measures available in the creative and media sector, please refer to the links below:



An Overview of the Arts and Culture Resilience Package (ACRP)




SEP Income Relief Scheme (SIRS)

Eligible SEPs will receive three quarterly payouts of $3000 each in May, July and Oct 2020.

For more details, visit here


Workforce Special Payment

$1,500 cash payout each in Jul and Oct 2020 for SEPs who received Workfare Income Supplement payout in 2019.

For more details, visit here.


Temporary Relief Fund

One-time cash payout for Citizens/PRs who lost their jobs or faced at least 30% income loss due to COVID-19. Approach the nearest Social Service Office (SSO) or Community Centre.


NTUC Care Fund (COVID-19)

One-time relief for eligible union members.

For more details, visit here.



Capability Development Scheme for the Arts

Up to 90% course subsidy, Up to $10 per hour training allowance, Up to $1,000 for training

Provide support for training courses (including online courses) beyond those supported by SkillsFuture

Apply by 30 Jan 2020 for training by 31 Dec 2020.

For more details, visit here.

For suggested courses and other relevant resources and services, visit here.


NTUC Training Fund (SEPs)

$10 per hour training allowance from May 2020

For SkillsFuture Series and sector-specific training programmes, including online courses.

NTUC union members get up to $1 per hour top-up

For more details, visit here.



Digital Presentation Grant for the Arts

Applications are open!

Under the Arts and Culture Resilience Package (ACRP), the Digital Presentation Grant (DPG) aims to support efforts by artists and arts organisations to present their work in digital form or via digital mediums and develop capabilities in digital art content production. The DPG is now open for applications from 14 April to 30 June 2020 (5pm), and projects should be completed by 30 September 2020. Successful applicants may receive up to $20,000 per project.

To learn more about the guidelines and application process of the DPG scheme or the entire Arts and Culture Resilience Package (ACRP), please head over here.