Published on Monday 24 June 2019

Teatru Salesjan in Sliema, Teatru Pandora in iż-Żejtun and the Blue Arena theatre in Ħaż Żabbar will all be benefitting from a total of  € 1,000,000 between them over the span of two years to address major structural works in the three theatre spaces.

The Ministry for Justice, Culture and Local Government, through Arts Council Malta and Teatru Malta have just announced that these three theatre spaces will be benefitting from funds for major structural works following the evaluation of applications submitted under strand 2 of the Theatre Spaces Funding Scheme.

Minister for Justice, Culture and Local Government Owen Bonnici highlighted the importance of such an initiative as it brings to the forefront theatre within local communities and fulfils an electoral pledge.

“Through this project, we are ensuring that these 3 spaces, found in the heart of the community, are restored back to their original purpose, and also be improved for better use in the local culture and arts scene. Our strategy as a Government is to make sure that this sector is accessible to all, and through this programme, we are instilling a love towards theatre within the community by providing a regenerated theatre space for the public to explore their talent and garner a greater love for this art,” Minister Owen Bonnici continued.

The scheme, in general, aims at ensuring that there is a legacy to the study Spazji Teatrali – A Catalogue of Theatres in Malta which had identified and gathered important information about different theatre spaces around Malta and Gozo. The scheme provides the financial means to make significant improvements in the selected spaces leading to the spaces becoming more functional and professional.

 In 2018, strand 1 of the scheme, aimed at smaller projects, invested a total of EUR60,000 in another 5 different projects. Amongst the beneficiaries were Teatru Metanoia in Luqa, Teatru Astra in Victoria Gozo and the MADC Clubhouses.

In response to a clear need in the sector, this year strand 2 of the scheme was introduced with the aim of investing in larger-scale infrastructural works with the intention of restoring or improving the functionality of the theatre spaces whilst making them more in line with professional standards.

This was, in fact, the common thread linking the three theatre spaces selected for the scheme.  The funds will specifically help the theatres to either become once again functional or to change its functionality to accommodate a wider range of artistic activity. This in order to actively contribute to the creative ecology by being now able to offer an altogether new or different artistic programme within the different communities.

“The three selected projects are potential performative sites and the awarded funds are an investment to make these theatres professionally functional. We will keep striving to have these funds available on an annual basis,” claims Director of Funding and Strategy at Arts Council Malta, Mary Ann Cauchi.

The Theatre Spaces Funding Scheme is managed jointly by Arts Council Malta and Teatru Malta.