Published on Tuesday 4 February 2020

As the national cultural agency responsible for the development and investment of the cultural and creative sectors, Arts Council Malta provides a portfolio of funding programmes specifically dedicated to the support of local artists and cultural operators.

However, in order to ensure its sustainability, ACM also constantly seeks to invest in its workforce to guarantee that it is equipped with the necessary skills and expertise to deliver its mission, i.e. that of investing in the cultural and creative sectors to achieve higher levels of excellence and develop Malta’s creative ecology.

In 2018 ACM was awarded 1 million Euros through the European Social Fund (ESF) to implement a three-year project with the aim of strengthening the role and capacity of the cultural public administration, with a view to improving the efficiency of its service delivery on a local, regional and national level.

The ESF.04.0079 project, Create 2020: Investing in cultural and creative capacity skills in Malta's public sector, provides specialised training programmes for an estimated 260 public employees from Arts Council Malta, the Culture Directorate, Public Cultural Organisations as well as the Local Government Division. Three main training activities in total shall be delivered over its 36-month lifespan: (i) the Development and Implementation of 5 Regional Cultural Strategies; (ii) Specialised Skills Training Programmes; and (iii) Cultural Leadership for Middle and Senior Management.

The project is already halfway through its implementation and several training activities have been successfully delivered. In fact, last year 46 employees attended the training in Cultural Management, receiving specialised training addressing cultural entrepreneurship, project management, intellectual property rights, marketing, community development and international collaboration, further enhancing their skills through tailor-made modules that fit the sector’s specific needs. As a result, these employees are now in a better position to provide an improved and more efficient service to the cultural entities they work for and the public they work with.

Another specialised training programme successfully delivered last year was the training in physical and psychological wellbeing, aimed at the 60 musicians of the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra in order to help them optimally manage the occupational, musical, physical and psychological load and to better understand how to maintain health and well-being.

This project also offers public employees the possibility to attend short courses locally or abroad, where a total of 85 grants were awarded over the past year for the project partners’ employees to attend masterclasses, workshops, job shadowing, conferences or networking events.

Furthermore, work on the drafting of five regional cultural strategies in collaboration with the local councils is almost complete and will be launched in the coming months. These strategies will identify and present each region’s cultural priorities and particular competitive advantages in terms of unique cultural products that can be offered. All 68 local councils will be provided with dedicated training throughout 2020 such that they will be better equipped to implement these regional cultural strategies.

This year started with the launch of a new training programme in Cultural Production, where 25 public employees already enrolled to attend training in Marketing for Cultural Events, Cultural Events Planning and Management as well as Stage and Production Management. This training will be complemented by hands-on workshops later this year. We also plan to roll out the project’s final training programme in Cultural Leadership in the coming months.

This project is part-financed by the European Union under the European Social Fund – European Structural and Investment Funds 2014-2020.

Project Manager: Christopher Spiteri, EU Projects Associate.

Project Leader: Etienne Bonello, Director Corporate Affairs.


Words by Christopher Spiteri.