NUS Centre For the Arts (CFA) was formally launched in July 1993 and in the 25 years since, the role of the arts on campus and the range of opportunities available have grown immeasurably. 

“Students are at the core of the arts at NUS,” says CFA Director, Sharon Tan. “Numerous student-driven music, dance and theatre groups developed during the seventies and eighties and Professor Edwin Thumboo, as the founding Director, conceived the Centre For the Arts as a way of further developing these groups.”

For 25 years, the goal has been to have a real impact; to use the arts as a means of developing students who can think critically and creatively. Whether it is on the stage, behind the lens or deep in the collection at NUS Museum, CFA integrates the arts into university life, offering opportunities for discoveries, exchange and action.

CFA platforms such as the NUS Arts Festival and ExxonMobil Campus Concerts, along with exhibitions, talks, workshops and events hosted at NUS Museum and Baba House, allow students, faculty and visiting artists to have a creative impact on the NUS community and greatly add to the vibrancy of the campus. Behind the scenes, CFA’s Talent Development and the curation projects, connect students with mentors from the industry to create the next generation of arts leaders.

“Twenty-five years is a milestone,” Ms Tan continues, “Generations of students have experienced CFA’s programmes as performers or through NUS Museum and Baba House. As innovative and imaginative thinkers, these students have gone on to have positive impacts on a whole range of professions and endeavours. We are also seeing more and more alumni involved directly in the arts in Singapore each year.”

By integrating the arts into university life, students at NUS are exposed to the breadth of the arts as part of their tertiary experience. At the same time, students and faculty draw on their own diverse knowledge areas, from which content, expertise and ideas are brought to bear on artistic development and expression.

These are the projects that are unique to CFA, and they are the stories that will be told throughout our anniversary year.


NUS President Professor Tan Eng Chye speaking at NUS Centre For the Arts' 25th anniversary

Ms Fu and Ms Tan (far right) with Emeritus Prof Thumboo (far left) and Emeritus Prof Lim Pin

Students from NUS Dance Synergy performing in the opening event of the NUS Arts Festival: On the Shoulders of Giants

Visit our Facebook page for more images.



CFA will be celebrating its silver jubilee with major events throughout 2018. Starting with the reopening of the University Cultural Centre in March, this page will be updated periodically with event details and excerpts from the archives.

Please check back often and join us as we celebrate the start of a new chapter for the Centre For the Arts.

1 November 2018  -  9th annual Tan Ean Kiam Arts Awards: Building Legacies
7-23 September 2018  -  NUS Arts Festival 2018: If We Dream

If We Dream brought together student artists, faculty members and industry professionals in an eclectic mix of compelling performances, immersive experiences and profound conversations that envisioned the potency… and sometimes the perils… of dreaming.

25 April 2018  -  NUS Museum Anniversary Lecture Series: William Willetts and the Practice of Asian Art History
25 March 2018  -  NUS Wind Symphony performed InTempo 2018: Celebrations, their 50th anniversary show
23 March 2018  -   NUS Dance Synergy performed #HumansofSynergy, their 40th anniversary show 
22 March 2018  -  UCC re-opens its doors, marking the start of our 25th anniversary celebrations
29 January 2018  -  Working with Play It Forward Singapore, CFA installed its third public piano


On the Shoulder of Giants: Celebrating 25 Years of the Arts on Campus is available for sale at NUS Museum for $25 for the public and $20 for NUS staff, students and alumni (both prices include GST).

Contact NUS Museum on 6516 8817 for more information.