SINGAPORE: Local philanthropic organisation Ngee Ann Kongsi on Friday (Dec 4) donated S$10 million to the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA) – the largest sum the school has received from a donor.
Around S$9.4 million from the donation will go to the school’s development fund to build its fourth campus, which will be located above the upcoming Bencoolen MRT station, NAFA said.
The campus, to be developed by 2017, costs an estimated S$35 million. It will have facilities such as state-of-the-art studios, classrooms and teaching spaces. Currently, the school has about 2,400 students annually and is projected to support around 3,000 students by 2024.
"NAFA has been at the forefront of arts education, but there's a lot more to be done," said Mr Chia Mia Chiang, president of NAFA. "Without proper facilities, it's hard for us to think of the future as such. So, this donation is a shot in the arm. I would say, it is indeed a lifeline for us to plan new facilities and to look to the future with confidence."
The rest of the donation, which amounts to S$600,000, will be used to fund the Ngee Ann Kongsi Talent Scholarships which will be given out to promising full-time diploma students.
Under this scholarship, six awards will be given out to students each year. The awards are tenable for a maximum period of three years subject to annual renewal. To apply for it, students have to meet certain criteria, which include having an excellent academic performance or track record in the arts and having a gross monthly household income not exceeding S$1,900.
In light of the donation, two of NAFA's galleries will be renamed the Ngee Ann Kongsi Galleries1 and 2.
The school is currently holding an exhibition in the galleries called the SG50 Fine Art Celebration to honour its works of fine arts produced by former and current students. NAFA, first established in 1938, has produced 13 Cultural Medallion recipients to date.
The exhibition is now open to the public for free and ends on Dec 6.
Acting Education Minister for Higher Education and Skills Ong Ye Kung, who was the guest of honour at the cheque presentation ceremony on Friday (Dec 4), said: "NAFA did not set out to produce artists that win medals. It was driven by simple, very powerful convictions - something worth emulating until today."