Arts Council Malta (ACM) has launched its Action Plan for the year 2024, unveiling a series of investments, initiatives, events and programmes, all aimed towards further developing and implementing key areas of the 2025 Strategy while fulfilling the National Cultural Policy.
Each area of the Action Plan reconfirms the integral role of collaborative efforts with a wide range of stakeholders, both in the public sector and with artists and cultural operators. Moreover, the 2024 Action Plan will see ACM continuing to play a central and vital role in investment, advocacy and support, empowering and facilitating improvements that are crucial to sustainable cultural sectors.
The Action Plan is characterised by an unprecedented increase in government investment, a bolder Maltese presence within the international artistic community, a focus on health and well-being within the sectors and a series of programmes geared towards furthering creative entrepreneurship and professionalisation. At the heart of the plan is a commitment towards accessibility and the Right to Culture.
Diversity and Communities: A sensitisation campaign will include wide dissemination of the Right to Culture resource kit and media dissemination spreading awareness on issues pertaining to cultural rights, the coordination of training and study visits; support of cultural mediation at community level via funding schemes and public events; recognition and dissemination of good practice; and advocacy with the relevant stakeholders for the constitutional entrenchment of cultural rights. The initiation of a Culture and Wellbeing platform will bring together healthcare practitioners and creative practitioners to develop further collaborations.
Regional Cultural Development: 2024 will mobilise collaborations with regional councils while also launching a regional cultural programme support scheme to provide financial support to cultural programmes led by regional councils. This will take place alongside a continuation of efforts to reinforce the education and development sectors.
Education and Development: The launch of an ArtWorks Campaign is one facet of these efforts and is aimed at promoting career pathways and opportunities in the creative sectors. This will be done by fostering exchanges between educational institutions and the industry.
In the pipeline are a number of collaborations with other institutions that will take place to further opportunities for education and development in the arts, such as with the National Book Council, MCST and Ziguzajg Festival. The new Malta Society of Arts and Arts Council Malta artist in residency programme and the performing arts programme have already been launched as part of this drive.
Creative Entrepreneurship: There will be continued priority on Creative Entrepreneurship with the launch of the Charter for the Status of the Artist following public consultation, besides other innovative measures such as the possibility for business incubator opportunities for the creative sectors.
Research and Evaluation: A research and consultation process will be launched for the development of the new Film and TV investment programme, as well as the second Creative and Cultural Practice Survey in collaboration with the National Statistics Office. Finally, significant investment will go towards the coordination of the State of the Arts – Malta National Symposium 2024.
2024 will also see the launch of a new portfolio of Funding Schemes that have been tailored to address the current needs of the cultural and creative sectors after taking into consideration the feedback received from stakeholders.
Approximately €5M will be invested through a total of 27 funding schemes aimed at addressing a wide audience including individual artists, creative practitioners, groups, voluntary organisations, registered entities and co-operatives.
Among these we see the launch of two new schemes, which were established following a consultation process with stakeholders. These are:
The 2024 funding portfolio also 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.
The 2024 Action Plan also places a big priority on Internationalisation, with the spotlight being turned on the national pavilion that was commissioned by ACM for La Biennale di Venezia, which will take place between April and November.
For the first time, the national pavilion will be entrusted to a solo Maltese artist, Matthew Attard, with his submission titled I Will Follow the Ship. The pavilion will be co-curated by Elyse Tonna and Sara Dolfi Agostini, and project-managed by Maria Galea and Galleria Michela Rizzo.
The Action Plan also picks up where 2023 left off with an open call for Maltese Performing Artists to join IETM, a global network comprising over 500 organisations and individual members dedicated to the contemporary performing arts, spanning theatre, dance, circus, performance, interdisciplinary live art forms, and new media. Successful applicants stand to gain valuable benefits from their IETM 2024 membership, including participation in one of IETM’s events throughout the year.
Throughout the year there will be a number of other competitive open calls issued, such as the International Cultural Exchanges Scheme, an integral component of Arts Council Malta’s Internationalisation Strategy for the cultural and creative sectors, alongside two International Participation Schemes.
In addition to this, ACM is also set to continue collaborations with various Maltese Embassies and High Commissions globally, spanning locations such as London, India, Ankara, Ethiopia, and Dublin, to actively engage in EUNIC initiatives.
Meantime, foundations are already being laid for future years and projects, exemplified by an open call for participation in the 2025 London Design Biennale, which will open this year. 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.
As ACM gears up for another year of promoting innovation and dynamic development within Malta’s cultural and creative sectors, the series of events, webinars and info sessions will also continue, with the addition of Kunsillkafè. We look forward to keeping you updated on the very latest activities within Malta’s cultural ecosystem.
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