Arts Council Malta in collaboration with Aġenzija Żgħażagħ is launching the fifth edition of Artivisti, a mentorship programme spreading across a period of eighteen months.

Artivisti (18-25 years) is developed to encourage young artists to hone a focus on bringing change and leaving an impact on the wider society through art. ARTIVISTI aims at: 

  • Identifying and giving recognition to outstanding young talent 
  • Instilling social responsibility through arts and creativity 
  • Serving as a platform for critical thinking, innovation and practice-based research 
  • Investing in transformation through knowledge, skills, attitudes, values, and creative exchange 

The programmes which include an 18-month mentoring programme is designed to provide the necessary incentive to young artivists to support participation in creative endeavours and opportunities for creative growth. 

For more detailed information about the programme, refer to the guidelines here. Deadline to apply is 16th April 2024 at noon.

Application form can be downloaded here

Applicants are required to register a new profile as from January 2021. 

To apply for this scheme click here.

Get to know more about the Artivisti Alumni below.


Here are the Artivisti for 2024/2025:

Andre Mifsud

Andre is a 24-year-old Maltese and Psychology graduate, passionate about fiction writing and theatre making. He has been active in the Zejtun Local Council Literary Group and participated in contests between 2014-2019. In 2019, Andre founded the Zejtun local theatre group “4Jays”, where he has written and produced over 12 productions within the community. Besides theatre, Andre also writes prose in Maltese. Between 2018 – 2023, he was also active in both the local and European psychology student associations, where he was involved in awareness campaigns on topics such as inclusivity and mental health. One such project involved pairing art students with students experiencing mental health difficulties and working together to represent these through art in various mediums.

Diellza Ilgner

Diellza Ilgner is a Malta-based transdisciplinary performance artist who uses Theatre and Multimedia Exhibitions to portray social issues. With a background in Music and Acting Diellza was able to gain various experiences on stage while performing in Germany, India, Ireland and Malta. As a co-founder of the art collectives ConsciousArtDuo and D.SHOWS various works explore political issues while using conscious art therapeutic practice.  Diellza's debut play, "BLACKOUT," is an audiovisual narrative exploring a teenager's media addiction and digital/physical connections. She is currently working on a devised performance called Identitá, a project with international participants, exploring migrational storytelling.


Jake Gialanze

Jake Gialanze began his photography journey in 2022 after enrolling in the Diploma in Media course at MCAST, following a five-year hiatus from education. Currently, he is in the second year of his Advanced Diploma in Photography. Jake quickly developed a passion for capturing people in various contexts, from fashion to candid moments. Deeply connected to Maltese culture, he focuses on photographing localities in Malta, highlighting the simplicity and beauty of its people. His work often features scenes like elderly individuals having casual conversations, reflecting a culture that is slowly fading. The emotions Jake experiences while photographing these everyday moments are profound and best described as love.


Klara Vassallo

Klara Vassallo (2003) is a student at the University of Malta. She is a dancer and is active in Għaqda tal-Malti, a student organisation. She writes and performs poetry in Maltese and English, and has placed first in the Doreen Micallef National Poetry Contest.  In 2022, she published her first chapbook, ħoss ħsejjes — a collection of prose poetry that explores the sounds of her childhood, and how these resonate within and out of her, as a woman. At the moment, Klara is writing poetry about the Black Dog and his other friends, capturing a poetic journey that delves into the depths of mental illness, as a way of finding the path back to the surface.  


Matias Cassar
Matias Cassar, an 18-year-old fashion student at MCAST, is deeply passionate about fashion and art. Currently pursuing an advanced diploma in fashion and retail, he draws inspiration from the present moment and cultural heritage, reflected in his work. Specializing in women's fashion, his aim is to design clothing that instills confidence and empowers women. Beyond fashion, he engages in activism, particularly concerning over-construction and its impact on Maltese culture and traditions. His diverse portfolio and artistic vision have earned him recognition, including awards for emerging fashion design in Noto, Sicily, and Fjamma Żagħżugħ in Żejtun.


 Here are the Artivisti for the 2022/2023:

Nicole Vassallo

Nicole Vassallo is a 19 year old student, sitting for a B.A. in Maltese and German. Although her focus mainly concerns German and Maltese linguistics & literature, she loves to experiment with literary translation from German to Maltese and English. Nicole also has experience in the theatre. She has completed her Trinity College Musical Theatre exams, took part in Pietru u l-Lupu in Ziguzajg 2016 and had a West End coaching week in London with well-known West End actors and coaches. She involves herself in a number of literature-related activities; most recently a critical discussion circulating Kissirtu Kullimkien by Lara Calleja held at the University of Malta during the Kampus Kotba week. 


Marilyn Aquilina

Marilyn is a singer-songwriter, actress and aspiring theatre-maker, whose work seeks to authentically portray one’s vulnerabilities and personal stories. Mostly recognised for her participation and win in Għanja tal-Poplu 2020 with her self-penned song Jien u Int, she has taken part in numerous musical and theatrical productions, including Strummin’ (2013 – 2018, 2022) Muso Merlot (Studio 18 – APS Summer Festival 2020); and Rapunzella (The New Theatre Company) as part of the ŻiguŻajg Fesitval 2021. In 2018, Marilyn graduated with a Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) from the University of Malta. Her dissertation explored the use of creative arts within the offender rehabilitation, and sought to understand whether implementing such an approach is possible and beneficial within the Maltese context.

Matteo Pullicino 

Matteo Pullicino is a University of Malta graduate with a B.A. (Honours) in Maltese and is finishing reading for an M.A. in Film Studies. He writes Maltese poetry and prose, exploring the themes of sexuality, sex, and gender. Through Kjażmu, an Aġenzija Żgħażagħ mentorship programme, he is currently honing in his writing skills. A.S.K.(ing) YOU(th), co-ordinated by Aġenzija Żgħażagħ and Fondazzjoni HELA, is the latest project he is taking part in. In it, 30 writers from Malta, Italy and Slovenia are writing a short story each, which will lead to the development of a training programme for youth workers.

Photo by Virginia Monteforte. 

Mariah Borg

Mariah Borg is a visual artist based in Malta. Her paintings mainly signify explorations of human connection derived from love, lust, and passion. Her niche may be described as primarily figurative; however, Mariah generates works constructed by her instinct. Variety of themes are explored in her work, such as movement, sexuality, and intense emotion that emerge through a philosophical perspective. Mariah occasionally paints directly onto canvas, letting the spontaneity and roughness overcome the surface. Some of her solo and collective exhibitions include “Duality” in Kunċett Valletta, “In Dialogue” exhibition curated by HoASA, and Mental Health Awareness exhibition by Richmond Foundation. 

Sam Vassallo 

Sam Alekksandra is a 24-year-old artist, writer and journalist living between Berlin and Malta. She is drawn to exploring the political in the personal, through autobiographical and confessional works in paint, poetry and performance. 

Alekksandra is no stranger to the intersect between art and activism, having co-founded one of the first openly pro-choice youth group Young Progressive Beings, which utilises art to harness social awareness. In 2021, she published and illustrated a ten part article series with Lovin Malta, after interviewing 1,000 sexual assault survivors to demand systemic change. Alekksandra also produces and performs in a synth-fuelled solo project called princess wonderful. She is currently editor of ArtPaper, Malta's leading art and design magazine. 

Here the Artivisti for 2021/2022:

Angela Bettoni 

Angela Bettoni is a 20-year-old writer and performer with Down Syndrome, who advocates for more inclusion in the performing arts in Malta. She is doing her BA in Creative Arts at MCAST, having obtained her Advanced Diploma in Performing Arts. She is part of the Opening Doors theatre group for adults with disabilities, where she also writes a regular blog called “No Assumptions, please”. Angela has four self-published books, the first written when she was nine years old.  In 2020, Angela was selected for the UK Arkbound Foundation’s mentorship scheme for budding writers whose voices are under-represented in publishing. Through her writing, Angela wishes “To break down society’s assumptions about what we think is normal and what we think is different.”

Angela is working on a #OwnVoices novel for her Artivisti project, and her mentor is Clare Azzopardi.

Clare Azzopardi

Clare Azzopardi is an award-winning writer who writes for both children and adults. She is the Subject Coordinator of Maltese at the University of Malta Junior College and for the past several years has been an active member of Inizjamed, an NGO whose mission is to promote literature in Malta and abroad. Her work has been translated into several languages and has appeared in a number of collections including Transcript, Cúirt 21, Words without Borders and Asymptote. Azzopardi is mostly known for Il-Linja l-Ħadra, Kulħadd ħalla isem warajh (which was published into Croatian, Hungarian, Arabic and Slovenian) and Castillo (also published in Arabic and Italian).

Ġagħel Dingli

As an aspiring Maltese dance artist, Ġagħel is currently reading for a degree in contemporary dance at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London. Apart from her interest in different elements of ballet and contemporary dance, Ġagħel is also flamenco-trained; a genre she holds very close to heart. Her interest lies in the connection of dance with politics and protest, specifically with how dance can reflect and bring about change in society. She is also intrigued by movement as a reflection of different mentalities, cultures and traditions, as a common language of humanity.

Ms Annalisa Schembri is the mentor of the project ‘Malta ħanina? Tużana u tarmina’ by Ġagħel Dingli.

Annalisa Schembri

Annalisa Schembri is a freelance professional in the creative, entertainment and education industry, coming from Malta but working across Europe. She has been in the event management and event production industry for the last 12 years, producing and working on a variety of creative jobs ranging from theatre to film and live TV, contemporary dance, live concerts, festivals, musicals, conferences and large-­scale events.

Annalisa is also a speaker, a soft skills trainer, an SDG (Sustainable Development Goals) broker and a part-time lecturer on creative production, Conference and large scale event organising, as well as the co‐founder of  a  recent  start­‐up  that brings together storytellers, creatives and the business community to create the best pitch for the next big presentation.

As an active citizen, she has served in leadership positions, developing young people in a number of different NGO’s including JCI - Junior Chamber International, where she held various leadership positions on a European level, including chairing the 2017 European Development Council and being the European Partnerships Appointee for 2018 and 2019. Currently, she is sitting on the Conference Organisation Committee for the 2020 European Conference in Dublin and is also chairing the 2020 Conference Organising Academy in Estonia.  JCI is a worldwide community of young active citizens committed towards creating positive change.


Martina Camilleri

Martina Camilleri is not tied to a particular field, with her ethos manifested in visual art, sound, performance and writing. An intrigue towards materiality and sensitivity to space and experience features prominently in her work.

Her academic journey, having received a B.A. Honours in Fine Art and currently reading for an M.A. in Social Practice Art and Critical Education, lies in parallel with active involvement in cultural, philanthropic and environmental organisations. She continues to explore the diverse applications art and music have towards strengthening personal and collaborative relationships, resulting in her ongoing project; Sidelinestudios, as well as her role with the Gabriel Caruana Foundation as Community Engagement Officer.

Ms Kristina Borg is the mentor of the project ‘Reflect, React, Resonate’ by Martina Camilleri.

Kristina Borg

Kristina Borg is a socially engaged artist and art educator, with a Bachelor’s degree in Art Education (MT) and a Master’s degree in Visual Arts and Curatorial Studies (IT). In dialogue with the community and the place, her transdisciplinary research-practice focuses on the co-creation of projects that are situation and context-specific, and involves alternative, experiential processes that relate to socio-political and economic issues in urban-collective spaces. In 2014 she placed first in the 3rd edition of Divergent Thinkers-Malta and in 2020 her collaborative project Nimxu Mixja’ was awarded Arts Council Malta's Art Award as Best Project in the Community. She is a fellow of the Salzburg Global Forum for Cultural Innovators and a member of the international Community Economies Research Network. 

Photo credit: Elisa von Brockdorff. 

Miguel Formosa

Miguel’s interests vary from theatre and cinema to the never ending questions that make up the human expression. How we feel, how we move, dance, and simply smile. This passion for the arts and more specifically the performing arts comes from the rawness and authenticity of the bodies around us and the stories spoken and never uttered. He is finishing his degree in Theatre and Communications studies. The productions that he has recently been part of are ‘I am Alice Faust’ directed by Simone Spiteri, ‘The Great Beyond’ by Michael Bartolo, ‘Wara l-Hajt’ performed at the Spazju Kreattiv, and assisting in direction for ‘Minflokk’ by Karl Schembri as well as producing and directing some works of his own such as ‘Wahdi. M’hemmx X’Taghmel’. Currently, he is taking part in ‘Giraffa Harbet Minn Kastillja’, which is a new work commissioned by Spazju Kreattiv. 

Dr Toni Sant is the mentor of the project ‘Tantx iddum, għandi fejn immur!’ by Miguel Formosa.

Dr Toni Sant

Dr Toni Sant is Director of the Digital Curation Lab at MediaCityUK with the University of Salford. Between 2014 and 2020 he was the Artistic Director of Spazju Kreattiv, Malta’s National Centre for Creativity. Toni has written widely about digital curation and media archaeology, starting with his book Franklin Furnace & the Spirit of the Avant Garde: A History of the Future (Intellect, 2011). Other recent books include Documenting Performance: The Context and Processes of Digital Curation and Archiving (Bloomsbury, 2017) and The Spazju Kreattiv Art Collection (Fondazzjoni Kreattività, 2020). His first novel Varjetà: l-istorja kważi vera tal-kumpanija Stage Commandos was published by Klabb Kotba Maltin in 2021. That same year he was awarded the National Book Prize for literary non-fiction for a book of Facebook posts called Jien-Noti-Jien (Klabb Kotba Maltin, 2020), which he co-authored with EU Literature Prize winner Immanuel Mifsud during the first Covid-19 pandemic lockdown.  He is also an Associate Editor of the International Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media, published by Routledge.

Photo by Enrique Tabone. 

Here are the Artivisti for 2020/2021:

Here are the Artivisti for 2019/2020:


Emma Fsadni

Emma Fsadni is a visual artist born in Belgium and educated in Australia, the Netherlands and Malta where she received her B.A. Honours in Fine Arts (First Class). Emma's work tends to stem from a certain emotion or thought that would be surfacing at the time. She references contemporary observations and conflicts surrounding themes such as habits, perception, conditioning and social conformity. Emma translates the complexity of her concepts through means of a minimal aesthetic; condensing her ideas visually, while retaining levels of intricacy in process. She gravitates towards two-dimensional media, namely drawing, printing and painting. She finds that such mediums allow a level of sensitivity in execution to be maintained. Her work typically takes form through series, which is very much tied to the comfort she finds in sequence, routine and repetition.

Emma has taken part in a number of local collective exhibitions. She also recently launched an ongoing series of illustrative limited edition fine art prints under the primary title 'Repose', which can be found on her website. As the title suggests, they are done in her downtime and are more instantaneous and playful compared to her other work.

Photo by Justine Ellul. 

Her mentor is Margerita Pule

Margerita Pulè is an artist, curator and cultural manager, with a Master’s Degree in Fine Arts. Her practice and research are concerned with the contradictions of politics and social realities. She is founder-director of Unfinished Art Space, an independent and nomadic space showing contemporary art in Malta, and one of the founders of the Magna Żmien Foundation. She is currently editor of Artpaper, Malta’s quarterly art publication. Recent curatorial projects include group shows Strangers in a Strange Land (2020) and Hackable Animals (2019), Alex Urso’s Grand Hotel Europa Part III (2019) and Daily Bread (2019).


Nathalie de Gabriele Ferrante


As a child, Nathalie could rarely be seen without a book in hand. She surrounded herself with all kinds of stories until, at the age of 12, she tried her hand at writing a story, instead. Taking on different personal projects, ranging from lyrics to poetry, and from short stories to full-length novels, Nathalie has experimented with many a writing style, be it in English or in Maltese.

Using her vivid imagination as a coping mechanism for stress and the troubles of life, she has continuously matured and has even published a couple of her short stories online and in the Tahziz 2018 anthology. However, she hopes to keep creating new sources of literature that will help readers like her find a release from their regular lives through stories that can inspire hope.

Her mentor is Chris Gruppetta

Chris Gruppetta has for the past twenty years been the publisher and editor at Merlin Publishers. He studied law at the University of Malta, followed by a Masters in Publishing Studies in Aberdeen where he researched the science of children's book cover design. His career at Merlin has been marked by efforts to professionalise the industry with focus on content, editorial and design aspects of the book, and a fresh approach to book marketing. He lectures at the University of Malta on literary editing and on the history of children’s literature.

Photo by Mark Zammit Cordina. 

REA (Rachelle Deguara)

REA is a product of the emerging hip-hop scene. From an underground form of expression to being chosen for a literary biennial event, REA is a 22-year-old woman who has been producing songs and poetry on themes of social justice and emancipation.

Her mentor is Annalisa Schembri

Annalisa Schembri is a freelance professional in the creative, entertainment and education industry, coming from Malta but working across Europe. She has been in the event management and event production industry for the last 12 years, producing and working on a variety of creative jobs ranging from theatre to film and live TV, contemporary dance, live concerts, festivals, musicals, conferences and large-­scale events.

Annalisa is also a speaker, a soft skills trainer, an SDG (Sustainable Development Goals) broker and a part-time lecturer on creative production, Conference and large scale event organising, as well as the co‐founder of  a  recent  start­‐up  that brings together storytellers, creatives and the business community to create the best pitch for the next big presentation.

As an active citizen, she has served in leadership positions, developing young people in a number of different NGO’s including JCI - Junior Chamber International, where she held various leadership positions on a European level, including chairing the 2017 European Development Council and being the European Partnerships Appointee for 2018 and 2019. Currently, she is sitting on the Conference Organisation Committee for the 2020 European Conference in Dublin and is also chairing the 2020 Conference Organising Academy in Estonia.  JCI is a worldwide community of young active citizens committed towards creating positive change.

Sheldon Saliba

Sheldon Saliba is a 19-year-old student from Tarxien. His interest in Art  began at an early age and won first prize in the Dreams of Beijing Olympics art competition in 2008. He started studying arts formally in 2017. Recently he head the opportunity to exhibit his work at the Visual Arts expo young Artist (2018) and during Ħolqa 2019. He has also participated in a workshop led by Vince Briffa as part of the Venice Bienale Malta Pavillion.

His Mentor is Tom Van Malderen


Tom Van Malderen‘s work ranges from buildings to objects, installations and exhibition design. His practice probes the intersections between art, design and architecture, and looks at the material gestures of everyday design and the construction of social space. After obtaining a Master in Architecture at Sint-Lucas Brussels, he worked with Atelier Lucien Kroll in Brussels and Architecture Project in London and Valletta. He forms part of the contemporary art platform FRAGMENTA Malta and the KINEMASTIK international short film festival, and regularly contributes to international magazines. Since the summer of 2018 Tom runs his own studio. Alongside his visual art and exhibition design practice, he consults in the fields of architecture and design.

Gabriel Lia

Gabriel’s interests include creative writing, poetry and prose, the performing arts and visual arts. He’s interested in the wider practice of all which is art and performance. He likes walks in the countryside and finds walking and travelling as a source of relief and inspiration. In 2014 Gabriel was awarded the Award Frans Sammut for creative use of the Maltese language. This served as an encouragement to persevere in writing.

Gabriel took part in several productions, and his writings were read at events organized by Għaqda tal-Malti. His creations were also featured at the Malta International Arts Festival and Notte Bianca.

His Mentor is Glen Calleja

Glen Calleja is a Maltese artist with a special interest in poetry and the book as object. His work often involves alternative book structures, found content and performative elements. Glen is co-founder of Studio Solipsis. He has led and participated in a number of interdisciplinary projects and is currently continuing his formation in traditional bookbinding techniques. His poetry books include eki t’eki (2002), IR-RAĠEL (2010, 2012, 2017), kull flgħaxija kif mal-għabex tnin u tmut saħħet il-jum (2014) and Iswed Assolut (2016).

Here are the 10 Artivisti for 2018:


Keit Bonnici, 25, Visual Art (design)

Keit Bonnici recently graduated with a BA in Design, with 1st Class Honours, from Goldsmiths – University of London. The artist’s background includes studies in Design/(thinking), Art and Engineering. He has also received formation in circus arts and movement.

My aim is to carve out my own creative interdisciplinary practice; and become a freelance designer working with the space between art and design.

Luke Camilleri, 19, DJ Funky Monkey – Music (DJ/Producer/Beatboxer)

Luke Camilleri started off playing the althorn and piano. At age 14, he got interested in electronic music and his focus shifted onto DJingHe also produces his own music. In 2015, Luke launched his first single Back In Town, which features in his upcoming debut album The Beginning (14 tracks), to be released on 14 July 2018Records. Another single from the album, was released in September 2017, along with itsmusic video. His latest single, with Russian born artist Abel Nesian, is titled Robustus.

“Within the next three years, I would like to experiment more with the art of DJing as well as collaborating with more artists to find my sound, resulting into more creative and professional mastered productions.

Joanna Portelli, 24, Fine Arts

Joanna Portelli completed her degree in Fine Arts, 1st class qualification, at the Institute for the Creative Arts in 2017. Her diverse work encompasses painting, photography, sculpture, video and multimedia installation.

“ To strengthen and develop artistic skills, included but not limited to fine art painting, to become more knowledgeable about the local scene and its exhibitions, and to participate in such an exhibition within the next year or so...

Diane Cutajar, 18, Literature / Writing

Diane Cutajar is a first year Maltese and Psychology student at the University of Malta. Besides furthering her studies in Maltese Language and Literature, she is focusing on the human element. Joanna participated in Taħżiż 4 creative writing programme, with the opportunity of peer discussion and creating in a team.

Throughout the coming years, I would not only like to succeed in my academic studies, but explore new genres and techniques in creative writing, not only to share my work with an audience, but to find myself as a writer and express my thoughts and ideas in the best way possible...

Michel Angelo Muscat, 16, Voice (Tenor)

In 2011, Angelo Muscat started out with the young section of the Chorus Urbanus. The following year, he was asked to join the Tenor Section, and he soloed in the Christmas concert. In 2014, Angelo started taking professional vocal lessons under the tuition of Juliette Bisazza. In 2016, he soloed with the MPO, under the direction of Mro Dr John Galea. This summer, Angelo performed in feasts around Gozo.

I’d like to further my studies in vocal and music as well as doing my exams in voice and studying acting and theatre. I would like to take opera as my professional career path in the future.”

Matteo Depares, 23, Music Production

Matteo Depares studied for an MA in Songwriting and Production at the University of South Wales. He now works as a freelance music producer through his brand Matteo Makes Music. Throughout this last year, he has worked on a number of projects for local upcoming talent and for main Maltese music festivals including L-Għanja tal-Poplu. He has also worked on a number of projects within the local community, including a project for the Salesians of Don Bosco in Sliema and for the University’s student council (KSU). Most of his days are spent at Wicked and Loud studios, where he works as an assistant to the established local composer and producer, Elton Zarb.

“Within the next three years, I aspire to be one of the leading influencers within the Maltese music scene. I would like to collaborate with the island’s top musicians and artists to create works that resonate with local listeners and have already started working towards this, by actively producing work with up-and-coming artists within the community.

Gabriel Buttigieg, 24, Visual Arts

Gabriel Buttigieg studied art at the Junior College under Caesar Attard. He studied at the University of Malta under a number of artistsincluding Robert Zahra, Lino Borg and Vince Briffa. He participated in a number of collective exhibitions, hosted at St James Cavalier, Palazzo De La Salle and Studio 104. He also held two solo exhibitions: Paintings (2016at Heritage Maltaand Nudes (2016) at Pjazza Teatru RjalAnother exhibitionin November 2017, at Marie Gallery in Mosta is also in the pipeline. He is also planning an exhibition of large‐scale paintings for June 2018. He was an active member of the Xarolla group of artists. His works can be found in private art collections in Malta and the UK. Gabriel has just embarked on a degree in Psychology at the University of Malta.

“Over the next three years I intend to keep learning my craft, acknowledging that I am very much at the start of a long journey towards achieving excellence and a professional career in the arts.”

John Cutajar, 16, Music (Piano, Trumpet)

John Cutajar has been playing the piano for 10 years, and is currently studying for the ATCL Diploma under Sr Benjamina Portelli. He has now also started playing the trumpet under Mro Ryan Mallia. John has already made a name for himself as a young pianist, and has performed in a number of prestigious events.

My goal is to become a renowned versatile musician where I can perform in many different concerts and in different venues. My dream is to take my music all over the world – both in the classic world and the jazz era.”

Maria Gauci, 24, Dance

Maria Gauci has been training in dance since the age of seven, when she started her training with Alison White Dance Studio. Her first training choices were Ballet, Jazz and Tap – which she continued to study for 11 years. Maria also trained in Spanish dance with Ingrid Sciberras and Janet Vassallo for four years. In 2014 Maria joined Opening Doors Association, with whom she travelled to Poland (2015) for the ART IS interdisciplinary art project. With Opening DoorsMaria has continued to train in Ballet and Contemporary dance and performed in Aħdar Id-Deżert at The Box – A Creative Arts Space (2016), Teatru Salesjani (2017), Art-Is Festival (2015), Disability Week (2015) and This Is Ability Arts Platform at Spazju Kreattiv, Valletta. Maria has also participated in a workshop with Street Elements Hip Hop Dancers during 2016 as part of ‘Premju Soċjeta Ġusta 2016’ at Hotel Meridien in December, and in Valletta square in November 2016. Maria was also one of the dancers performing in a folk dance created by Alison White in 2017. This performance was part of an international conference organised by the European Agency for Special Needs and Inclusive Education and the Ministry for Education and Employment, as part of the EU Presidency programme hosted in Malta.

“I would like to be involved in more performances both in Malta and abroad. I want to have more training on a regular basis to expand my skills in danceI want to express rhythm through my body. I would like to learn more tap dance, to strengthen my body for dance and develop greater technical ability, to watch and learn from other creatives and collaborate with them. I would like to someday participate in a professional musical.

Martina Joy Azzopardi, 18, Dance (Flamenco)

Martina Joy Azzopardi started out with ballet, at the age of three, under the tuition of Alison White. At seven, she ventured into other genres, particularly tap, hip hop, flamenco and modern jazz. Martina soon realised that her true passion for dance lies with flamenco, and started taking classes at Alegria Academia de Baile Flamenco. She attended a number of workshops with visiting flamenco maestros, and in 2015 she was awarded a summer flamenco workshop with Puerto Flamenco. Martina has performed in various Alegria Academy performances, charity events and private functions. She aspires to travel to Spain to get a feel of the pure flamenco, and to be able to attend workshops – especially to the Jerez Flamenco Festival and the Biennal de Seveilla. Martina has also concluded her piano and theory exams at the Johann Strauss School of Music.

Having now completed my Flamenco coursework it is now time for me to step up my development. This will involve attending master classes particularly with international artists... I will continue to explore and grow in other forms of dance which combined with flamenco would result in an artistic project which can be shared and enjoyed by a mature and young audience.”