2016 was a busy year. Busy and inspiring.
Following the launch of the Create2020 strategy, the Funding and Brokerage team immediately embarked on a busy journey, addressing an average of 478 queries in 2016, receiving and coordinating the evaluation for 433 applications. Of these, 150 applications were selected for funding.
Numbers are certainly relevant, but not as significant as the content. Throughout the year we have accompanied the path of many an artist who has created, travelled, collaborated and explored new horizons thanks to the support of one of our eight funding programmes.
This year’s funding publication, to be issued at the beginning of the year, as well as the new Oħlom Oħloq campaign, aim at presenting precisely this: a tiny sample of the different narratives of some of the funds’ beneficiaries, explaining how the fund has helped the realisation of their idea. Creatives such as Austin Camilleri, Immanuel Mifsud, Pierre Portelli, Shadeena, Oliver Mallia and Anvil Studios will be featured together with various other initiatives supported by instrumental funds such as Il-Premju tal-President and the Creative Communities fund, which have touched our hearts and greatly benefitted the communities involved.
2017 promises to be just as hectic and eventful. As one of our major initiatives, next year will see the introduction of the new online application procedure which will give a new dimension to our funding application process. This main milestone is no mean feat for us as a team - but we are all geared and ready to face the challenge. Hand in hand with our developers, we are currently working hard to ensure that the new system effectively leads to a better, quicker and more efficient way to apply for our funding programmes. This update will certainly bring about a major difference in the current system and that is why we intend to introduce the update gradually and to offer as much support as possible in order to make the transition a smooth one.
We will also be introducing other minor changes to our funding procedure. Unlike previous years, this year there will be set dates for the opening of calls for the funding programmes. This way we hope to ensure a more structured schedule as well as more targeted and intensive brokerage for those funds which would be currently open. This will also allow us to better communicate the updates which we intend to implement for the different funds as part of our effort to continuously update the programmes according to the feedback we receive both from applicants and evaluators throughout the year.
We are also looking forward to the introduction of two new major funding programmes which will address very specific and important needs in the sector. One of these is the National Fund for Excellence, which will be divided into three strands focusing on professional training and development, young emerging artists and arts awards. All three programmes aim at promoting excellence, good practice and development in the creative sector.
The other major programme to be introduced this year will be addressing creative start-ups as a three-year support programme for newly-formed companies. More information about these two programmes will be available in the first few months of the year. We are happy to be collaborating with a number of new partners for these funds as well as consolidating our relationship with current partners such as the Office of the President, the National Book Council, the Valletta2018 Foundation, Agenzija Żgħażagħ, ZAAR crowdfunding as well as the University of Malta TAKEOFF Business Incubator.
Besides our regular funding activity, the team has also prepared a busy brokerage schedule which will primarily target young creative professionals, emerging artists, students as well as local communities and which also includes regular visits to Gozo. Apart from small and targeted information sessions, the team will organise a number of specific sessions such as project development workshops targeting creatives and the local band clubs, information sessions in the different regions as well as assisting the Strategy Team in our regular ACMlab sessions which, in line with last year’s programme, will be covering a wide range of engaging topics this year. The team will also be very focused on supporting the sector to make the transition towards the online application system an easy and effective one. Therefore we are making ourselves fully available to assist and explain the process further where necessary.
And therefore after considerable preparation, we are ready to move on. We look forward to a year of consolidation, updates as well as new funds and projects. Feel free to contact us on email@example.com or 2339 7020 if you have any query or need further clarification. We are very happy to meet you or talk via phone and discuss further. May we also take the opportunity to remind you that if you would like to join our ever-growing team of external evaluators, feel free to send your application. More information is available here - http://www.artscouncilmalta.org/opportunities/2.
We wish you all a very happy Christmas and a creative new year ahead!