Confirmed: Libraries & Arts Facilities to Remain Closed During Phase One

Circuit Breaker definitely makes me miss going to the library.

The free air-con and dozens of books is something I definitely took for granted.

Image: timeout

Or maybe some of you miss attending art-related events and this last month has you craving for something of the sort.

So we’re all thinking: on 2 June, it’s time to leave home and appreciate these things again.

Well jokes on us because that certainly isn’t happening.

Closed For Phase One

Do you guys hear that cry of pain?

That’s the sound of me despairing from somewhere in Singapore.

The National Library Board has issued a statement on 20 May to say libraries will remain closed till further notice.

The pain continues from here.

The next day, The National Arts Council (NAC) said in an advisory issued late on May 21 that for Phase One that all arts facilities and venues, including all indoor and outdoor performance venues, will remain closed during Phase One.

So yes, theatres, concert halls, blackboxes museums and art galleries are all part of that category.

Remember, Phase One is to last a MINIMUM of four weeks so if we screw this up, things will only extend.

Image: memegenerator

The NAC’s advisory added that in Phase 2 they’ll still encourage working from home. Anyone who eventually returns to their work will also be subjected to safety measures by employers.

Well, that’s one more thing I’ll cross out doing this year then.

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Performing Arts Badly Affected

The snowball effect is serious and let me show you an example.

No set re-open date leads to show practice times being screwed, and then performances will be delayed or cancelled.

When there aren’t performances, there wouldn’t customers to watch the show and no money generated.

In fact, Ivan Heng, 56, founding artistic director of Wild Rice, feels that the theatre company is in such a predicament.

Image: wildrice

The company planned tentatively to restage Thomas Lim’s Grandmother Tongue in August,  but “are unlikely to be able to rehearse and we need a two-month lead time.”

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Point sadly proven right by reality. 

The Finger Players, another theatre company, had to cancel their ‘Citizen X’ performance in March as well.


Co-artistic director Ellison Tan Yuyang, 29 mentioned that while they are hopeful theatres would open in October, they would have to observe safe distancing measures.

And of course, needless to say, cinemas all over Singapore have been crying.

Just last month, over 8,500 businesses had closed thanks to COVID-19 and we can only hope the performing arts will also be able to survive this pandemic.

Hold out a little longer everyone, and don’t do anything silly.


I still miss libraries, though…

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