Operating within the remit of Arts Council Malta, Public Cultural Organisations (PCOs) have two common objectives that unite them: the investment of public funding in culture and the arts, and the fostering of creativity, social well-being and economic activity.
Each PCO focuses on strengthening a specific cultural strand, and these organisations have become synonymous with the art-form that they represent on a national level.
Reflecting past and present national cultural strategies and under the guidance of Arts Council Malta, Public Cultural Organisations have today formed a network of cross-collaborations with the aim of sharing resources and expertise.
PCOs have benefited from increased public investment over recent years, to satisfy the growing need for human and technical resources. Their operations and strategies are monitored by Arts Council Malta, which works with each PCO to develop an annual plan within the objectives of Strategy 2025.
The list of Public Cultural Organisations includes the following:
Festivals Malta - Responsible for the growth of festivals and cultural events across the Maltese Islands, this PCO counts some 160 individual activities, 8 festivals and 5 national events under its portfolio. Its calendar of events offers myriad opportunities for local artists to showcase their talents, while strengthening the accessibility of such events and taking them to the community. Festivals like the Malta International Arts Festival and the Valletta Baroque Festival are also credited with attracting a growing international audience.
KorMalta - Malta’s National Choir was founded in 2018 and is made up of professional choristers who deliver a wide range of repertoire. The choir is known for its eclectic style, and for its collaborations with other forms of art, including dance, theatre, and visual art. The choir, which currently counts 56 members regularly collaborates with the national orchestra and other local and international entities.
Malta Philharmonic Orchestra - The national orchestra performs a full, weekly repertoire that includes symphonic concerts, opera productions, community outreach and educational initiatives, together with concerts that are more accessible to a diverse audience. The orchestra regularly promotes works by Maltese composers both in Malta and internationally, besides fostering young talent via the MPO Academy and the Malta Youth Orchestra.
Mediterranean Conference Centre - Set within one of Malta’s most iconic heritage buildings, the national events centre uses this unique space to host large scale performances in collaboration with other PCOs, local and international entities. It is known for events that reach audiences of thousands, such as the legendary Cirque du Soleil performances.
MICAS - Founded with the objective of providing a platform for contemporary art and internationalisation, the Malta International Contemporary Art Space (MICAS) has already established itself on the international forum, creating opportunities for local artists to showcase their works. The full opening is scheduled for 2023, when MICAS will take its functions to the next level, strengthening its role as advocate of contemporary art.
Pjazza Teatru Rjal - Located within the historic remains of Malta’s Royal Opera House, Pjazza Teatru Rjal (PTR) offers a diverse cultural programme of events. These events offer the unique experience of being within a historical open-air performances space in the heart of the capital city. PTR’s programmes not only showcase a mix of local and international artists, but also attract larger, diverse audiences.
Spazju Kreattiv - Malta’s hub for creativity, Spazju Kreattiv offers a programme of creative arts and culture events, hosting a theatre and exhibition space, a cinema and a number of festivals, such as the iconic ŻiguŻajg children and young people’s festival. The seasonal programme includes a mix of commissioned or co-produced work, along with others that are the result of an open call. It is based on the 3 pillars of artistic excellence, community outreach and internationalisation.
Teatru Malta - Described as more than just a national theatre company, Teatru Malta’s programme proves that theatre goes beyond the stage, providing a repertoire that has taken theatre to the towns and villages of Malta, using performance spaces within the communities. It regularly commissions new work from local artists, collaborating across a diversity of genres.
Teatru Manoel - Malta’s national theatre has an illustrious heritage as one of Europe’s oldest working theatres. It was recently restored to bring it in line with the facilities expected by modern day audiences, while ensuring that its unique Baroque features are showcased appropriately. Its seasonal programmes is a fine example of cross-collaboration across the arts, with the annual Christmas panto maintaining its popularity with the widest audience possible.
Valletta Cultural Agency - The VCA is responsible for creating a comprehensive cultural plan for the capital city, while also supporting and strengthening the traditional cultural celebrations that bind the community together. It plays an important role in terms of protecting and promoting Valletta’s cultural and artistic heritage, also commissioning public art for the city. The agency also organises the popular Stretta festival.
ŻfinMalta - The national dance company is known for pioneering fresh thinking about contemporary dance in the Maltese Islands and has raised the profile of contemporary dance with local audiences exponentially. Made up of a talented ensemble, it collaborates with local and international dancers and choreographers. Its guides artists towards personal development, while taking risks.
Arts Council Malta has the responsibility to strengthen all PCOs, so as to also ensure the goals and objectives of Strategy 2025 are achieved, while guaranteeing them independence in artistic programming. Thus ACM continues to foster inclusive and sustainable growth for Malta’s cultural and creative ecology through investment, enhanced opportunities and inter-PCO collaboration.