Published on Thursday 17 December 2015

A strategy which aims to place the arts and creativity at the heart of Malta's future was launched by Arts Council Malta (ACM) last December.

The five-year action plan for the cultural and creative sectors sets out five goals to be addressed by 70 actions, implemented through nine strategic tools with three identified groups.

“The cultural and creative sectors will receive a public investment of EUR52.2 million in 2016, an increase of 39 per cent on the previous year,” said Culture Minister Owen Bonnici during the launch of the strategy. “This is the first time that culture will receive more than one per cent of the government’s budget. This means that we will be investing EUR122 in culture for every person in the country, EUR35 more than 2015 and EUR48 more than 2014.”

Former European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, Androulla Vassiliou delivered the keynote speech: “In these difficult times that we live in, the arts and culture are our refuge. They give meaning to our lives, they contribute to social cohesion and are the glue that binds all Europeans together.” Dr Vassiliou also congratulated the Government of Malta for being one of the member states with the foresight and determination to support the arts and give them the opportunity to flourish.

Arts Council Malta executive chair Albert Marshall added: “We will invest in the cultural and creative sectors to achieve higher levels of excellence and develop Malta's creative ecology.”

Arts Council Malta director of strategy Toni Attard highlighted a number of actions which will be taken in the next five years as part of the strategy. These include: a target investment of 10 million euro in funding programmes and initiatives; the creation of a one-stop shop at ACM to support artists; a series of networking sessions and training programmes to be called ACMLab; Malta’s participation in the Venice Biennale in 2017; an arts programme for the elderly and intergenerational activity; a new programme that will enable every student in secondary schools to experience a minimum of one professional artistic production; tax deductions for arts donations; a new creative start-up programme and a five-year research programme to support evidence-based policies. He also announced the launch of the Council’s new website.

International speakers during the conference included Paul Dujardin, Director General of BOZAR in Brussels; Shelagh Wright, Associate at DEMOS; Sebastien Cavalier, Director of Culture, Marseille, France; Airan Berg, Artistic Director, Linz09; Ragnar Siil, Managing Partner at Creativity Lab and Cristina Farinha- Executive Producer at ADDICT.

Key stakeholders from Malta’s cultural and creative sectors, creative practitioners and artists also formed part of the various discussion panels, including the participation of all the artistic directors of Malta’s Public Cultural Organisations.

Peter Jenkinson, OBE, chaired the conference together with Dr Giuliana Fenech from the University of Malta. Discussions highlighted topics such as Sustaining legacy - Post ECOC and the future of cities and communities; Public Cultural Organisations: building stronger partnerships for Malta’s cultural and creative sectors. One specific discussion focused on artistic excellence and the quality mantra while another focused on creative potential and economic development.

In recent months, Arts Council Malta has been holding a consultation process with a number of stakeholders from the cultural and creative sectors. More than 300 artists, creative practitioners and other stakeholders have discussed their vision, ambitions and dreams for Malta’s cultural and creative sectors for the five years to come. This process - referred to as Create2020 - fed directly into the strategy.

Published on 15/12/2015.