Published on Monday 22 May 2017

Cultural participation in Malta will be the main topic of discussion at a national symposium which will be held in June

The symposium will present the main findings from a nationwide survey held in 2016. The study commissioned by Arts Council Malta (ACM) as part of its research programme, builds upon the 2011 survey and delves deeper into current issues of cultural participation. 

The main findings from the survey will be presented during a half-day symposium to be held on June 21 at the Valletta Campus Theatre, Valletta (ex-MITP). The following day, an ACMlab session led by researchers from Morris Hargreaves McIntyre (MHM), an international cultural strategy and research agency, will discuss audience segmentation based on their report targeted towards cultural operators. View the symposium programme.

The findings will also be collated in a number of publications commissioned by ACM – including a selection of critical essays by 10 contributors with expertise from different fields.

“The new study will reveal to what extent the arts do in fact form part of the lives of the Maltese people – and how we can increase public engagement with the arts and culture,” said Albert Marshall, executive chair of Arts Council Malta.

The findings from the survey will assist in shaping future evidence-based policymaking and make the case for the value of culture while also kickstarting conversations in the public sphere that inspires more exploration on this complex and ever-evolving subject matter.

The 2016 survey, which was designed in collaboration with the National Statistics Office (NSO) and the Valletta 2018 Foundation, goes beyond previous studies by attempting to explore why people choose to participate – or not – in cultural activities by uncovering their attitudes, preferences and lifestyles. This data can then be used to profile audiences not only by demographic but also by psychographic (value-based) factors.

NSO carried out the data collection process with a gross sample of 1,500 respondents, 75 per cent of which participated. Thirty-eight interviewers were recruited for face-to-face interviews, which were  held in November 2016 a method which made for a higher response rate compared to 2011 as well as clarification of perception-based  questions.

The Cultural Participation Survey symposium is aimed at cultural managers, policy makers, researchers, arts marketeers and producers in the arts, heritage and media sectors and will be held on June 21, 2017 at the Valletta Campus Theatre, Valletta. Registration is free and can be made by sending an e-mail to The publications will also be available for free download from after the seminar.

Photo credit: Jazz Combo, Domus#1, Teatru Salesjan, November 2016. Photo: Vincienne Bezzina