Published on Monday 17 June 2024

Six-week consultation period will lead to the final launch in October


Arts Council Malta has announced a six-week public consultation process for the Draft Charter of the Status of the Artist. The final Charter will be presented during this year’s State of the Arts - Malta’s National Symposium.

The existing draft was preceded by a series of eight focus groups which were open for participation to anyone involved with or within the artistic, cultural and creative ecosystem. Focusing on seven general principles, the draft aligns with the overarching objectives laid down in Strategy 2025, the country’s national cultural strategy.

One of this government’s electoral promises was advocating towards widespread recognition of and elevating the status of the artist and professionals in the cultural, heritage and creative sectors. Several steps have been taken to fulfil this promise through a series of initiatives taken by Arts Council Malta. Today’s is undoubtedly a very important step in consolidating this promise, which also aligns with the European Parliament’s calls for a European Status of the Artist. It is with pride that Malta leads the way towards an EU-wide framework to enable and empower artists.

Departing from the premise that everyone has the right to artistic freedom, the Charter calls for the promotion and safeguarding of the right to expression without restriction, enshrining the principles that all artists shall enjoy the same treatment and access to structures and resources. The draft goes on to further elaborate on themes of income, self-employment and access to finance; intellectual property; labour rights and collective bargaining; social security and taxation; skills development; fair practices, representation and mobility; and cultural infrastructure.


Arts Council Malta Director Funding & Strategy Mary Ann Cauchi stated: “Addressing the Status of the Artist has become ever more pertinent given the challenging global context. Strategy 2025 was designed with this in mind, underscoring the fact that the right to artistic freedom, right of association, right to access public investment, and fair working conditions as crucial to enabling sustainable sectoral growth within the sector. In accordance with the principles laid down in the Strategy, we have taken a participatory approach every single step of the way in terms of the drafting of the Charter, ensuring that it’s designed together with the people it will impact most.”

Adrian Debattista, Head of Strategy at Arts Council Malta, further elaborated on how the Charter is aimed to set the tone for national policy and legislative action that impacts artists and creative practitioners in the coming years, with public institutions implementing fair, just and equitable practices that consolidate the artists’ status, which can have a spillover effect on the private and voluntary ventures within the cultural and creative sectors. While moderating a panel of experts who had drafted reports based on preliminary consultations which led to the draft Charter, he stressed that consultation is a key factor that will be shaping not only the final version of the Charter but even its implementation.

“Throughout the process, this strategy has placed the artist at the centre of operations and decision-making, establishing a framework that protects, improves and recognises an artist’s right to express, practise, organise and advocate for their status in alignment with Strategy 2025 and the National Cultural Policy. The Draft also reflects Malta’s contribution to the Open Method of Coordination (OMC) group that was formed at EU-level precisely to address the status and working conditions of artists and cultural and creative professionals.”

Following the consultation process, the Draft Charter will be finalised, and the official Status of the Artist Charter presented during ACM’s State of the Arts Symposium which will be held in October.

For more information about the consultation process, and to fill in the mini survey in relation to the Draft Charter, please visit here