The 2018 culture budget is estimated to be at 1.6 per cent of total government expenditure, retaining the increasing trend registered in recent years and the highest to date.
Per capita public investment in 2018 is expected to reach €159 - an increase from €138 in 2017 and €122 in 2016. The public funding portfolio awarded by Arts Council Malta to artists and organisations increased from €1.9 million to €2.1 million.
The largest sectoral increase of €3.4 million is attributed to interdisciplinary activity and directly related to the role of Valletta 2018 European Capital of Culture as a platform for diverse creative activities. As expected, there was further investment directed towards Valletta 2018 Foundation totalling €8 million, doubling that in 2017.
An overall increase of 36 per cent was also registered in the allocation for Public Cultural Organisations (PCOs) with a total of €19.5 million, almost double the allocation in 2016. This includes a substantial increase of 19 per cent from 2017 allocated to festivals organised by PCOs, which now have a total budget of €1.8 million.
Photo credit: The Malta Jazz Festival 2017. Photo by Kurt Mizzi