About Verve

Verve is a week-long (December 11-18) online arts festival organized annually by Arts Business Management students at Ngee Ann Polytechnic. Verve seeks to platform underrepresented artists and artforms. It also aims to introduce our audience to new perspectives and ideas through presenting socially engaged art.

This year, we introduced three year-round programmes aimed at students, “Artbytes”, “Open Studio”, and “ARTicles”. Through them, we curate engaging, educational, entertaining content and experiences to build youth appreciation for the arts.

Verve was first held in 2011 at the Arts House. Over the years, it showcased emerging artists from visual, performing, and literary arts to the public. From 2016 to 2019, Verve transformed into a community arts festival, proudly held at the Bukit Batok East Community Centre with our co-curators at the Fei Yue Senior Activity Centre.

Verve was a meeting place for people from all walks of life to encounter the arts. This remains true even as we moved online in 2020. We continue to find new ways to champion local people, local stories, and local art.

2021: reVITALize

This year, with the theme ‘ReVITALize’, Verve asserts that art is essential.

The pandemic tore through our city, exposing its flaws; the cracks in the concrete. An uptick of racist and xenophobic incidents, the growing pressures and precarity of urban life and the chasm of economic disparity forced us to reckon with the question: How have we been living?

Through the digital arts we access a virtual space to interrogate these urban realities. Our 3 programmes highlight how people of different communities experience Singapore, touching on themes of identity, safety, and belonging. Here, we experiment with new ways of seeing and connecting, remodelling the city with underrepresented stories left out of the main narrative.

To revitalize a city, perhaps it must be built on something new.


Verve through the years...

Before there was Verve, there was A.C.I.D (Arts Celebration in Diversity). In 2011, we brought the Arts House to life with a multi-art showcase of exciting emerging artists, inviting the public to experience the vibrant local arts spectrum in a radiant galore of programmes.

From 2011 to 2015, Verve was held at the Arts house. Throughout the years at Art house, Verve has focused as a gathering place for audiences to discover the local arts. It also aims to promote art as a medium for discovery among artists and the audience. Verve’s themes for this period of time were Cross Roads, Art of Play, Best of times and Kaleidoscope.

In 2012, the festival was rebirthed as ‘Verve’. The theme that year was ‘Cross Roads’. The year also saw the inaugural Oh! Verve Drive fundraising event.

When Verve turned 6, we went West. Verve became a community arts festival connecting different people within the Bukit Batok East neighbourhood. From 2016 to 2019, Verve at Bukit Batok East Community Club, aimed to connect residents through shared and common experiences and interests.  Together with our co-curators from Fei Yue Senior Activity Centre, the festival alsoalso promoted intergenerational mingling through the arts. Verve’s themes during these years were Strings, Converge, Rasa Sayang and Throwback 659.

We turned 10 the year COVID-19 ravaged the world. With the theme “TENacity”, artists and participants exchanged their unique expressions of braving the now. Reflecting this spirit, the festival broke new digital ground in 2020.

Click to view Verve 2020!


A socially engaged arts festival

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