The term ‘brokerage’ – already used in the creative industries context – is aptly loaned to reflect the dynamics of this important role within Arts Council Malta (ACM). The role was created following the restructuring of the Council and the creation of the Funding and Brokerage team within the Strategy Department.
Being fully aware of the importance of networking in the creative industries – both between the public cultural institutions/organisations and the creative sector as well as between the creatives themselves - the Council felt the need to engage the Creative Brokers to facilitate and promote communication whilst engaging in continuous conversation with the sector and offering creative solutions for development.
Having experienced a significant increase in a diverse range of funding programmes, the brokers therefore became an important asset to the Council, serving as a contact point for artists requesting information about the workings of the ACM funding programmes.
Their remit, however, goes beyond information about the funds. The Brokers act as intermediaries between the creative sector and the various opportunities offered, not only by the Council but also by the various cultural organisations on the island.
A typical day as a broker would therefore range from answering phone calls and emails about funding programmes and initiatives to meeting artists and providing further information about the Council and its funds. The Brokers also organise the ACMlab sessions which focus on various topics relevant to the creative sector as well as information sessions focusing on specific funds and/or schemes.
Thanks to the work of the Brokers, this past year the Council has managed to significantly increase its presence outside our premises in Valletta and has organised information sessions addressing students at the University of Malta and MCAST, young musicians at the Malta Youth Orchestra as well as project development workshops and regional information sessions, to mention but a few. The latter was co-organised with the Parliamentary Secretariat for Local Government as well as the regional coordinators at the Valletta2018 Foundation.
During the past year the Brokers have also covered the very important task of guiding organisations to apply for the Cultural Partnership Agreements - the Council’s three-year funding programme for festivals/events and/or organisations. This was one of four new programmes introduced this year, forming part of the nine existing funding programmes by the Council. In all, they have so far addressed an average of 519 individuals through the 21 events organised.
Our two Creative Brokers, Joseph Lia and Christopher Spiteri, both hail from the classical music world. Joseph is a classically-trained baritone vocalist and founder of the Malta International Organ Festival and Chris is a musician by profession who has trained at the Conservatorio di Musica "Giuseppe Verdi" in Milan and performed with several renowned orchestras. At the Council their role is different - but complements their practice and knowledge of the sector.
Christopher and Joseph are available to answer any of your queries between Monday and Friday from 09:00 till 17:00. You can send them an email on firstname.lastname@example.org or call them on 2339 7020.