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SINGAPORE: Prominent Singaporean street performer Jonathan Goh has expressed concern over the approval process for street performance permits by the National Arts Council (NAC), after years of urging government agencies to do otherwise. He made it clear that it was in vain.

An important part of Singapore’s arts and cultural scene, street performances are regulated by the NAC, a statutory commission under the Ministry of Culture, Communities and Youth (MCCY), which ensures performances are safe, orderly and to a certain standard. is guaranteed to meet The NAC has introduced a licensing system for street performers, and any individual or group wishing to perform in Singapore must apply to the NAC for a street performer license.

After Goh expressed concern about the agency’s audition requirements and appealed for a more rational approach to assessing street performing skills, a pertinent question was asked online about whether the NAC’s street performing permit process is outdated. has occurred.

One of the island’s famous street performers, Goh has been busking for almost a decade since 2014. He has been invited to various local and international festivals and is honored to be the only Singaporean street act at his garden in Covent, London.

In a Facebook post published on Thursday (April 13), Mr Goh said he would spend around $2,000 to return to Singapore to renew his street permit, given that the NAC had recently changed the validity of street permits. said to have to spend

In the past, the permit was valid for two years for experienced street performers, but after the pandemic-induced restrictions on street performers were lifted last year, the NAC extended it to one year for everyone. Changed to validity.

In addition to the short validity period, Goh also questioned the audition process he and other experienced street performers had to go through. He revealed that the audition would take place in the National Library building, unlike the street environment where buskers perform.

Goh said the buskers are employed by the NAC, but they are not seen on the street, and expressed concern about the panel of judges evaluating the performance skills of the buskers. A must for busking.

Even the most experienced Mr. Goh must audition for a five-minute busking permit each year in order to street perform.

Goh questioned why the audition process for street performers is different from other processes such as applying for scholarships and grants from the NAC, where you can submit a portfolio of your work and conduct interviews online.

Goh, who said the current approval process is outdated, said he has emphasized to the NAC for years other ways to assess street performance skills, such as the Melbourne busking. Nevertheless, the process here remains the same.

Mr Goh said: Don’t get me wrong. I’m Singaporean and I’m proud to be the only Singaporean street act in Covent He Garden, London. Street from Singapore has always been proud to be a performer. ”

He added: But the problem lies with the people who manage the seemingly outdated busking permit process. ”

While the NAC has not yet addressed Goh’s concerns, the appeal of Singaporeans for a more efficient street permitting process that takes into account the experience and skills of veteran street performers like him has echoed many of the arts community’s concerns. evokes sympathy.

As the debate over street performances continues in Singapore, it remains to be seen whether changes will be made to address concerns raised by Goh and other street performers who have made significant contributions to Singapore’s vibrant arts scene.

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