Published on Wednesday 10 July 2024

Collaboration will focus on strengthening inclusion, diversity and accessibility within the cultural and creative sectors.

Arts Council Malta (ACM) is pleased to announce a collaboration which will see it working together with the Commission for the Rights of Persons with Disability (CRPD) in order to further their shared vision for the cultural and creative sectors.

Both parties signed an agreement outlining strategic targets within the framework of an action plan designed to strengthen inclusion, diversity and accessibility, besides facilitating research, capacity building and implementation, and resources in line with the overarching principles of Strategy 2025, Malta’s national cultural policy and the National Disability Strategy 2021 -2030.

The agreement, which is valid for three years, is designed to maintain and maximise the existing collaboration between both parties via measures which inform policy and support the implementation of strategy within the afore-mentioned main areas.

The agreement also focuses on consolidating each party’s research capacities, as well as identifying gaps and challenges, including blocked resources, perceptions, mindsets and cultural reasons that may hinder further research and collaboration, while addressing existing yet untapped potential research and analysis that may further the exploration of the links between inclusion and accessibility and the cultural creative sectors.

The ACM and CRPD will also be holding regular capacity building sessions to promote a deeper understanding and awareness of the goals being addressed. Finally, focus will be placed on identifying a number of gaps and priorities in addressing the mobilisation of existing and potential resources to be put to use to achieve set aims, besides collaborating on the drafting of a long-term roadmap to tackle the various issues under discussion.

Director of Funding and Strategy Mary Anne Cauchi noted that ACM is fully committed to continue nurturing cross-sectoral synergies that recognise arts and culture as essential for the well-being of all.

 “Arts Council Malta places a priority on facilitating stronger collaborations with other organisations with the aim of harnessing the full potential of Malta’s diverse ecology of cultural expressions in line with our national cultural policy. This reflects the three overarching themes of our national strategy - care, create and flourish - helping all citizens to partake in diverse forms of cultural expression in an equitable manner. Strategy 2025 is based on the belief that social equity, diversity and inclusiveness are fundamental to a richer and more just cultural and creative ecology, and it is this belief that forms the backbone of initiatives like today’s,” she said.

“Article 30 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities mandates equal access to arts and culture for disabled people, including theatres, museums, and cinemas, and the opportunity to develop their artistic identities. Full inclusion in cultural activities is crucial for societal inclusion. The Commission will work with Arts Council Malta to identify improvements, conduct research, and recommend ways to ensure disabled people's participation in Malta's cultural life,” stated Rhoda Garland, the Commissioner for the Rights of Persons with Disability.

The agreement forms part of a wider set of initiatives that reconfirm the ACM’s vital role in investment, advocacy and support, while empowering and facilitating participation in a sustainable creative economy.