Verve 2021: Redefining the Meaning of an Arts Festival


Who says the arts are non-essential during a pandemic? Definitely not students from Ngee Ann Polytechnic. Verve, the student-run, week-long arts festival, is back in its 11th year, and it has now rebranded as a socially-engaged arts festival focusing on making collaborative art between youths and underrepresented communities in Singapore. 

This year’s theme is ‘ReVITALize’ and as the name suggests, the festival aims to reinvigorate, to give life and lustre to a once-forgotten piece. Incorporating the ever so “Xtra-ness” of Ngee Ann students with a passion for the arts, the arts festival promises a wide variety of programmes that are worth checking out from the comforts of your home. 

From Where We Left Off © Verve 2021

Programmes Worth Watching

Three key programmes define Verve 2021.

Through an audio trail programme titled ‘Blurring the Lines Between Us’, you can explore Singapore through the lens of migrant poets, Bhing and Jo Ann, where you get to immerse yourselves in their lives as migrant workers and rethink how we navigate our shared urban spaces. If you are into short films, catch From Where We Left Off , a never-before-seen short film about the native inhabitants of Singapore.

Into poetry? You can experience jiwa laut – or spirit of the sea – through riveting poems from the acclaimed writer, Dr Alvin Pang. Photography enthusiasts should check out Self Portrait, a 360-degree photography concept that examines and question the duality of identity with an interactive virtual exhibition.

(ARTbytes © Verve 2021)


Though the story of Verve 2021 has ended, Verve365 – as the name suggests – can satisfy your appetite for the arts any day of the year — at least until Verve 2022, of course. It’s a spinoff of Verve 2021 and features ongoing programmes that you can enjoy at your own time and leisure to discover new artists and artforms. 

Among the programmes of Verve365 is ARTbytes, which tackles topics about mental health, gender stigma and anything in between among Singaporean artists. Also, check out Open Studio that showcases interviews of up-and-coming artists and is a chance for you to connect with or discover new artists at home. Or, enrich your day by reading about the arts in Singapore (or the world) with ARTicles. With Verve365, there’s always a little treat for you in Verve’s digital trove.

All these programmes are sure to satiate your appetite for the arts until Verve 2022. For more information about Verve, visit


About Author

Irfan is into anything trendy (or not, it really depends). He's an avid lover of the arts. Catch him conversing about many topics and in his free time, he would be reading, drawing, and oftentimes writing proses that probably won't make sense.

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