As one of the main pillars of Strategy2025, Arts Council Malta has seen public investment within the creative sectors continuing on its upward trajectory throughout 2023. By the end of December, a total of 17 funding schemes will have been issued, each with the goal of supporting artists and creative projects.
In order to align with the guiding principles of making cultural rights as widely accessible as possible in a sustainable manner, ACM has significantly diversified the funding processes so as to match the sector-specific needs of artistic expression and production. This has resulted in the building of new partnerships and collaborations that promote the expansion of knowledge, skills and networks while enabling conditions in which our cultural and creative sectors can flourish.
The below are the funding schemes that have been allocated by Arts Council Malta throughout this year so far:
The Training and Development Support Scheme: Focusing on nurturing creative potential and its professional development, this fund is divided into two strands. Strand 1 aids Maltese or Malta-based artists, cultural operators, and students in the cultural and creative sectors for short-term professional training to improve skills and advance specialisation. Strand 2 supports the development and exposure of young artists in these sectors.
The Artistic Financing for Feast Associations Scheme: This fund aims to enhance the artistic quality of feasts through voluntary organisations in Malta and Gozo. It targets various projects like designing and manufacturing street banners, light festoons, fabric and lighting pavilions, artistic pedestals, and street decorations. It also includes learning and training in artistic decoration, cultural and social activities, restoration of artistic decorations, and statues for street mounting during feasts.
The Mobility Guarantee Scheme: This fund is designed to support the international mobility of artistic and cultural productions from Malta, particularly outside the European Union. It aids beneficiaries whose projects include temporary export of items, requiring an ATA Carnet from the Malta Chamber of Commerce, offering up to €30,000.
The Micro Grant: Supporting the nurturing and professional development of creative potential, this fund targets new applicants, particularly those who haven't received funding in the past three years, aiming to advance their artistic practices. The one-time grant provides support for capacity-building, including services, equipment, materials, and space for projects in the cultural and creative sector. It covers diverse areas like arts, creative business services, heritage, and media.
The President's Fund for Creativity in Malta: Designed to enhance inclusivity, community development, and well-being through cultural participation and creative expression. This fund supports initiatives that promote equity, diversity, inclusiveness, and sustainability, especially targeting disadvantaged groups, and aims to invest in a range of quality cultural work, support organisations targeting social needs, provide access to art experiences, and encourage contributions towards community development and collaborative arts projects.
Co-Funding of Creative Europe Cooperation Projects: This fund supports Malta-based cultural and creative applicants who plan to submit proposals for the Creative Europe Programme. It offers co-funding up to €15,000, covering aspects like project description, objectives, partners' roles, relevance to strategic goals, total budget, and requested co-funding.
KulturaTV: This fund is designed to enhance the quality of audio-visual productions related to arts and culture on private broadcasting stations in Malta. It supports the development of culturally rich and innovative content, including drama, creative TV documentaries, and cultural programs. The fund targets productions that lack private funding, offering incentives to independent audio-visual companies and private stations.
Health and Safety Standards in Fireworks Factories: Aiming to enhance the infrastructure and safety of fireworks factories, this initiative provides funding for investments in safety equipment, machinery, health and safety education resources, infrastructure upgrades, and restoration of factories. The fund supports the sustainable development of fireworks culture while prioritising safety in manufacturing and display processes.
International Cultural Exchanges Scheme: Part of the strategy to internationalise Malta's cultural and creative sectors, this supports Maltese and Malta-based artists and their works in international exchanges, aiming to build global connections, enhance cultural diversity, and promote Malta's creative excellence. The scheme encourages participation in international festivals, exhibitions, and collaborations, supports marketing for overseas projects, and aids in producing audio-visuals and websites for international promotion.
Arts in Schools: This scheme aims to enhance arts education in Malta by focusing on collaborations between educators and creative practitioners to integrate arts into school curricula, inspiring innovation and creativity among students. It supports projects that connect with local communities and the Maltese artistic scene, complementing education from early years to secondary levels.
Financial support for band clubs: The scheme recognised the role of band clubs in enhancing musical culture and preserving cultural traditions and aims to strengthen the continuous efforts of these societies, particularly in music teaching and the art of festa decorations.
Arts Support Scheme: This strand aims to foster diverse artistic and cultural expression in Malta by supporting individuals, groups, and organisations in planning and delivering artistic projects aligned with ACM’s Strategy2025. It encourages nurturing creative potential, investing in artistic excellence, exploring Malta’s cultural legacy, and promoting diversity and inclusivity. It offers two focus areas: artistic practice/research and community/audience engagement.
Right to Culture: This fund is focused on promoting and realising cultural rights, ensuring everyone's access to, participation in, and enjoyment of culture, cultural heritage, and cultural expressions. It supports projects that address community needs like cultural participation, solidarity, social justice, environmental responsibility, sustainability, and holistic well-being.
Sabbatical for Artistic Research: This grant supports individuals in Malta to engage in artistic research that is practice-based or practice-led, focusing on developing new ideas, methodologies, materials, and techniques. It encourages creative risk, experimentation, and collaboration, aiming to nurture artistic talent and foster local artistic development. It's open to full-time self-employed creative practitioners, providing income for a one-year sabbatical, including mentorship and an opportunity to present findings.
Access Support top-up
This initiative fosters collaboration, creativity, and diverse cultural engagement. It supports creatives, cultural workers, and communities in non-formal learning, collaboration with diverse participants, and creative expression both locally and internationally. The scheme emphasises sustainable development and well-being, offering top-up support to projects that demonstrate high standards of good practice and equity. This support extends to various areas, including people, resources, services, facilities, infrastructure, and multidisciplinary or cross-sectoral collaborations.
Theatre Company Programme
This funding supports ensemble-based theatre companies with at least three years of activity, aiding their artistic development and output, to nurture creative potential, co-creation, collaboration and experimentation while promoting diversity and inclusivity. The programme also assists beneficiaries in securing rehearsal and community activity spaces, fostering financial flexibility, security, innovative audience engagement, and skills development for theatre companies.
Public investment in the arts - the way forward
As Arts Council Malta plans to release the final funding strands for this year shortly, 2024 will see the continued strengthening of this commitment to nurturing the creative and cultural fabric of Malta.
Each scheme, uniquely tailored to address different aspects of artistic development and community engagement, underscores the dedication to fostering artistic excellence, cultural diversity, and inclusive participation with opportunities that not only empower individual creatives, but also contribute significantly to Malta's vibrant cultural landscape.