The programme, called the Professional Development Grant, forms part of the National Fund for Artistic Excellence and deploys a budget of EUR60,000 for 2017.
Each beneficiary can be awarded up to a maximum of €2,000. There will be three calls this year; the first is currently open and will close on 26 April; the second closes on 21 July while the last call will close on 19 October.
Toni Attard, Director of Strategy at Arts Council Malta, reiterated the importance of the new programme as part of the Council's education and training strategic aims, as laid out in its Create2020 strategy. "Our goal to support artistic excellence can only be achieved by investing in the continuous professional development of individuals who strive to raise the bar in their work by developing skills and exploring new paths in their creative career," said Attard.
The programme will support Maltese or Malta-based artists and cultural operators who are professionally active and seeking to engage in short-term professional training to improve their skills and advance their specialization. The new Grant will typically support standalone and short courses, which are not part of a diploma or module, mentoring programmes, apprenticeship schemes, job shadowing, train the trainer programmes, masterclasses, placements and courses in cultural leadership and cultural management.
The Professional Development Grant will take over and expand on the training component that was formerly integrated in the Travel Grants, a strand of the Cultural Export Fund.
Full-time students enrolled in an educational programme focusing on one of the sectors will be considered, as long as the proposed training programme does not substitute or subsidise any components related to the full-time studies.
An information session on the Professional Development Grant will be held on the 29th March 2017 at 19:00 at Blitz, St Lucia Street, Valletta. Similar to other public funding programmes administered by Arts Council Malta, the fund is competitive and will be evaluated according to established criteria.
Photo credit: Emma Tranter.