Published on Monday 28 August 2023

Hello, my name is Angela Bettoni and I am a disability right’s advocate, performer and writer with Down Syndrome. I’m going to be sharing with you my experiences as an intern with Arts Council Malta.

I just finished doing a short internship with Arts Council Malta. The first idea was that I would have delivered a presentation on my experience with Stopgap – Dance Company in April, as I had spent three weeks in April in the UK with them, as part of the placement needed for my BA in Creative Arts at MCAST. But in the end, I ended up doing much more at Arts Council Malta than I thought I would have.

The internship was for 6 days, spread over two weeks, and I found it a very interesting experience. I got the chance to job shadow the whole team behind the Arts Council. They made a programme for me for what I would be doing on each day of the internship. This included:

  • Getting an Overview of Diversity and Communities strategy and practice
  • ECISITE conference with the Director of Funding and Strategy
  • Overview of Public Investment strategy and practise with the Head of Funding
  • Status of the Artist focus group
  • Getting an Overview of Communication with the Communication Senior Manager and team
  • Overview of Education with the Education and Development Executive
  • Overview of Internalization strategy and practise with the Internalization Executive.
  • Delivering my Stopgap Dance Company presentation to the whole team.

Each day was a new topic and a new person that I would be job shadowing, which meant that I was constantly experiencing and learning new things. It really gave me a chance to really see what happens behind the scenes at Arts Council and at the same time understand what goes on behind in the arts and culture scene in Malta and the work that goes into it.

I also got the chance to have artistic conversations with some of the people that I was job shadowing, which I also enjoyed because it also gave me the opportunity to learn new things from them and get ideas on what I can do as an emerging young artist with Down Syndrome.  I received details of some of the ACM grants that might interest me as an artist with my own projects, for example on international exchanges and their Access support Top- Up that they just began this year as well things like Kultura TV and the Artist Support Scheme.

The activities included going to the Ecsite Conference and going around Valletta with the person in charge of education. That was fun because I got the chance to network with new people and artists, and I got to experience new things and different artistic works that I even got the chance to see. I enjoyed this because I got the chance to take part in the arts and culture like this and I could really learn from experiences and from conversations with other professionals.

On the last day of the internship I even got the chance to talk to the whole team of Arts Council about my experience with Stopgap Dance Company. It was pretty scary at first to talk to a whole room of professionals adults in the arts and culture world but then that fear washed away as they really made an open and safe space for me to talk and I was very happy with the positive reactions to my presentation.

Thank you Arts Council Malta and to all involved for this amazing opportunity. I hope that I can get to do something like this again! My advice to other young creatives who would like to experience something similar is to get in contact with Arts Council and I’m sure that they will welcome you in the same way as they welcomed me. You will be able to see what the local arts and culture industry is like and how we can contribute to it.

Image description: Me (a young woman with Down Syndrome) with Mary-Ann Cauchi, Director Funding and Strategy of ACM. We are standing in front of a blue background, with the 2023 Ecsite conference logo on it.