Culture minister Owen Bonnici and Arts Council Malta executive chair Albert Marshall addressed a press conference marking a year since the passing of the law which provided the Council with a new legal framework.
“The new law has not only led to a restructured national agency for the cultural and creative sectors,” said Culture Minister Owen Bonnici. “Through the law, the Council’s directorate teams have been strengthened, enabling better communication with creative practitioners, with the public cultural organisations as well as with other entities.”
Mr. Marshall announced a number of initiatives that Arts Council Malta is currently spearheading.
The Council is currently leading the cultural programme for the Maltese Presidency of the Council of the European Union – an extensive programme with over 50 activities to be presented around the world.
It is also working on a proposal that will simplify the process to grant temporary permits for outdoor music events. On the international front, in recent months, the Council also became a member of the EUNIC New York cluster to foster collaborations and programme cultural activities in the United States. Another important announcement will be the release of the programme for the Seventh World Summit for Culture and Arts – which will be held in Malta in October this year.
More exciting initiatives will also be announced shortly. In the coming weeks, through the Cultural Partnership Agreement, the Council will be announcing new partnerships with Festivals and organisations for the coming three years. As part of its research programme the Council is also working on a national survey on cultural participation together with the National Statistics Office and the Valletta 2018 Foundation.
Other long term projects are also being designed. These include the setting up of a common online platform that will provide audiences with an eTicketing and Shared Calendar System for Cultural Events by public cultural organisations and other entities. Arts Education is also on the Council’s agenda with a pilot programme in a College expected to be rolled out in 2017.
Some of the 53 actions that are currently being implemented include the restructuring of the Council’s funding programmes - which have increased to 10, based on the council’s strategic priorities. Guidelines and procedures have also been revised to ensure further accountability and transparency.
Creative practitioners are the main stakeholders of Arts Council Malta and funding programmes remain a core component of its operation. The new funding portfolio will see the Council receiving around 400 applications a year. Of these, around 150 projects are funded annually, with allocations which range from EUR2,000 to EUR70,000. As part of its developmental role the Council has also launched a networking and training programme - ACMlab – which in the first four months drew the participation of around 550 artists in new training opportunities or approached the Council for assistance.