A plan to strengthen Malta’s cultural and creative sectors

Action Plan 2024 sees Arts Council Malta geared up for a busy year of funds, events and initiatives that see the fulfilling of Strategy 2025 continue at a strong pace.
Director Funding & Strategy at Arts Council Malta MaryAnn Cauchi. Photos: Darren Agius

The new year brought with it a new plan for Arts Council Malta (ACM), with Action Plan 2024 launching a series of funds, events and other initiatives that strengthen the drive towards fulfilling Strategy2025, the national cultural strategy.

Mary Ann Cauchi, Director Funding and Strategy at ACM, spoke to Sunday Circle about the guiding principles that are taking priority throughout the upcoming months and that reflect the Council’s commitment to building a sustainable and accessible creative economy while promoting Malta’s cultural and creative sectors.

“The continued endeavours of Arts Council Malta have resulted in an altogether more mature landscape, with the council this year renewing its commitment to continue nurturing and expanding this landscape so as to ensure more and more people benefit – both directly and indirectly,” Cauchi said.

“We expect the fruits of our endeavours to become even more evident during 2024, with a number of campaigns and collaborations as Arts Council Malta continues to fulfil its mission of furthering creative entrepreneurship. Once again this year, a number of other initiatives will be pivotal in implementing Arts Council Malta’s strategic aims. There will also be a particular focus on culture and wellbeing,” she said.

Most excitingly, the latter will see the initiation of a Culture and Wellbeing platform bringing together healthcare practitioners and creative practitioners to develop further collaborations and good practice. And, only last month, the first Culture and Wellbeing forum was held, with a day of panel discussions tackling various aspects of the topic.

“The launch of a new Culture and Wellbeing platform take place in tandem with the coordination of the development of sustainability strategies for public cultural organisations and independent cultural organisations,” Cauchi revealed.

Other initiatives include an Artworks Campaign that will promote the numerous and diverse career pathways and opportunities in the creative sectors as well as a widely disseminated Right to Culture Campaign aimed at spreading awareness on issues pertaining to cultural rights. The State of the Arts – Malta National Symposium will return with a number of local and international speakers addressing pertinent cultural policy issues through panels, workshops and open discussion.

A set of new and extended funding schemes that were devised after consultation with stakeholders were also announced. These include two new strands: the Apprenticeship Scheme, which will foster collaboration between artists and organisations within various sectors; and the Film & TV Support Scheme, which is set to boost domestic feature films and TV programmes through development, coproduction, and distribution.

The Funding Schemes 2024 will pump around €5M in the cultural and creative sectors by means of a total of 27 funding schemes that address a wide audience, including individual artists, creative practitioners, groups, voluntary organisations, registered entities and co-operatives.

The portfolio includes schemes that address training and development of Malta-based artists starting from the age of eight; arts and culture in schools; cultural organisations based in Gozo; internationalisation of artists and artistic projects; the artistic element in the organisation of the village festa; restoration of immovable objects; research and implementation of artistic projects; events and activities.

“This year the Council will once again have a thematic call that is focused on the right to culture, and a rolling call with the purpose to enhance the accessibility of proposals supported in 2024 and the Micro Grant for individual artists who did not benefit from a grant in the past three years,” Cauchi added.

2024 is also turning out to be a very exciting year for Internationalisation, bringing with it Malta’s continued participation in the La Biennale Di Venezia with a national pavilion devised by artist Matthew Attard. La Biennale di Venezia- now in its 60th edition- which will take place between April and November. This will be the first time that the national pavilion will be entrusted to a solo Maltese artist. Titled I Will Follow the Ship, the exhibition is under the co-curation of Elyse Tonna and Sara Dolfi Agostini, and project-managed by Maria Galea and Galleria Michela Rizzo.

Meantime, an open call for participation in the 2025 London Design Biennale is already in place. This prestigious international exhibition showcases leading design innovation and creativity from countries around the world.

“Malta’s participation in the 2025 edition will mark its second appearance, building on the success of its first pavilion, titled Urban Fabric by Open Square Collective, at the London Design Biennale in 2023, also commissioned by Arts Council Malta,” Cauchi stated. Locally the series of events, webinars and info sessions will also continue, with the addition of Kunsillkafe.

For more information on the Arts Council Malta 2024 Action Plan, follow ACM’s socials, subscribe to the newsletter, and visit www.artscouncil.mt

Related Posts