The 2016 edition of the President’s Award for Creativity – a fund with a strong social and community emphasis – was launched earlier today.
The launch also showcased the work being carried out by An Empowering Art Journey, a project which regularly brings together a group of teenagers residing at Mount Carmel Hospital’s Youth Residence, to create clay artworks in a communal and interactive setting. The project, one of the recipients of last year’s edition of the Award, aims to bridge therapy and creativity by facilitating expression, intuition and regulation of emotions of young people, as well as social interaction.
The potential of art and creativity in fostering social and cultural change and regeneration has been shown and proven in a number of contexts, including those characterised by social challenging environments, poverty and exclusion. This understanding is the basis for the President’s Award for Creativity.
The Award provides recognition and support at the highest level of the State to organisations, especially those working with vulnerable and disadvantaged groups, to engage those groups in creativity and arts-driven projects and thereby increase their level of integration and engagement in society.
The amount committed to this year’s Award is €65,000. Each selected project may receive up to €6,000, with the possibility of €8,000 in the case of a collaboration between two organisations. The Award may cover up to 100% of eligible project costs.
Last year, 40 projects competed for the prestigious Award and the initiative invested in an eclectic mix of 11 projects.
The President’s Award for Creativity is linked to the implementation of the Arts Council Malta’s goals outlined in the Council’s Strategy2020, with a particular focus on providing more opportunities for people to engage in creativity.
The Award aims to support organisations and institutions that target the social needs and well-being of the community at large, especially the more vulnerable sectors and hard-to-reach groups – with a special emphasis on children, young people, minority groups and the elderly, through creativity and art.
It also aims to provide accessibility to disadvantaged groups to a wide range of quality art experiences and art-engagement activities, as well as a platform for young promising talent. The Award also aims to incentivise the contribution of arts organisations towards community development and collaborative arts projects.
Parliamentary Secretary for Local Government Stefan Buontempo said that the arts and culture are at the heart of successful economies and happy communities, and that it is uplifting to see the community celebrate by coming together and organise activities which enrich the communities and nourish the potential of children and youth. “The sense of belonging to our communities and the strengthening of their identities are further nourished through creative processes which emerge from the voluntary work of members of our communities.”
“This initiative can be regarded as a huge success,” said Her Excellency, Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, President of Malta. “Every year, whenever we see the works that are created, I always re-confirm the skill, dedication and determination of the Maltese people, who can instil a creative idea to provide the opportunity for an individual’s complete development, while offering an inclusive environment which imbues a person with confidence.”
The President’s Award for Creativity is coordinated by Arts Council Malta under the Patronage of Her Excellency, Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, President of Malta.
Applications will be received by Arts Council Malta until 20th July 2016 noon. The guidelines and regulations as well as the application form are available on http://artscouncilmalta.org/funds/il-premju-tal-president-ghall-kreattivita.