Published on Wednesday 1 March 2017

A total of 10,000 students have already confirmed their participation in the new Culture Pass programme, which was launched officially earlier today

Through this programme, every secondary school student in Malta and Gozo has the opportunity to experience a minimum of one artistic production a year. A total of 30 artistic productions forming part of the new Culture Pass programme, which is being piloted this scholastic year, are all produced by creative professionals and presented through a curated programme.

Already 2,500 students have attended an event through the Culture Pass programme, since the programme kicked off in mid-January. A further 7,500 students are booked for upcoming events.

The Culture Pass programme, which is managed by the Culture Directorate and Arts Council Malta, replaces the previous Culture Card, extending the new programme to all students in secondary schools.

Through a grant per ticket for producers, the events forming part of the Culture Pass programme are provided for free to all students and programmed directly by schools and colleges, according to their interests and requirements.

A call for expression of interest for events of a cultural and artistic nature was issued last year. Following the selection process, a range of artistic events were included in the programme. These span a variety of arts genres, including music, dance, visual arts, heritage, film and theatre, ensuring that every student is exposed to different genres and artistic styles over a five-year period.

The productions touch upon a variety of topics, including English Literature, History, Social Sciences, Natural Sciences, Maltese, and art; most deal with issues relating directly to the students’ lives, such as bullying, self-esteem, the challenges of technology, diversity and social media.

“Arts Council Malta is committed to ensuring that the arts for young people, as a cultural right, are at the centre of their well-being and creative development,” said Arts Council Malta director of strategy Toni Attard.

This programme – one of the deliverables of Arts Council Malta’s Create2020 Strategy – is designed to provide students in all years of secondary school with professional cultural and artistic experiences of the highest quality. It also seeks to complement the learning outcomes of the National Curriculum Framework and add value to arts education and other curricular subjects. It will also encourage creative practitioners to create and develop new work for young audiences and increase the programming capacity over longer periods with the purpose of connecting artistic and non-artistic disciplines to the students’ curriculum.

Culture Minister Owen Bonnici said that thousands of students had already applied to benefit from the Culture Pass programme; however, the programme provides the opportunity for all secondary school students of the country to benefit, that is, some 25,000 students. Dr Bonnici urged teachers and schools to participate in this programme and help students enjoy the benefits of this opportunity, which is important for the students’ development as well as for the progress of the arts and culture.

Dr Bonnici said that the cultural and artistic sectors today more than ever are job creators with many people employed in the sector. This makes the sector nationally important also at the economical level.

The Culture pass programme is available online here; for bookings, call the Culture Directorate on 2567 4201 or directly through the individual producers/venues. 

Photo credit: Shakeshorts presents A Midsummer Night's Dream. Photo by Lorraine Abela