The State of the Arts – Malta National Symposium is back this October, marking its third edition, and, as we look back at and critically engage with what has been achieved in the past editions, we would like to renew our common pathways adopting a hands-on and solution-oriented approach.

The aim of the symposium is to co-create a safe space that can reshape individual and collective efforts, leading to a more thriving artistic and cultural sector. Earlier this year, Arts Council Malta published a post on its social media channels, inviting the public to share their thoughts on what themes feel urgent and crucial to discuss at the Symposium. This has informed and inspired the content thematics and development of the Symposium’s programme.

As the organisation and planning of the Symposium move into a more comprehensive and intense stage, and to keep our proposed co-creative approach alive, we would now like to invite Malta’s Creative and Cultural Sectors (CCS) as well as the general public to propose their contributions to help facilitate a meaningful and sustainable exchange of good practice, suggesting practical solutions on how to overcome the current challenges that the sector encounters.

The Symposium will take place at the University of Malta – Valletta Campus on the following days:

Thursday 24th October 2024, 9:00am to 3:00pm
Friday 25th October 2024, 12:00pm to 5:15pm




In our making and organising of creative and cultural processes:

- How can we transform ourselves as individuals to transform the wider system?
- How can the transformed system transform our individual realities?

Making things with others and recognising our interdependence is a practice of commoning.

The commons are all around us, quietly shaping our lives. These tangible and intangible assets exist in our Maltese neighbourhoods, in Mediterranean cities and in the wider European and international context. But what exactly are they? The commons are the natural, cultural and social resources held in common by a community and accessible to all members of a society, supporting the quality of life. Practical examples of the commons include: air, forests, rivers, the sea and a liveable Earth; local parks and community gardens; a local language and shared knowledge; user generated contents on the web and open source software; an artistic movement and public art; security and justice.

Sometimes the understanding and engagement of the commons emerge from cooperation, other times from conflict. At its core, the commons benefits society as a whole, transcending individual, sectoral or generational interests, recognising planet Earth not as a mere shared treasure but, moreover, as an equal co-player. The concept of the commons invites us to act as citizens within interconnected social webs. However, in our contemporary political landscape, scepticism looms. Individual freedom in private markets often overshadows the role of citizens serving, engaging with and passing on the commons in good condition – a responsibility called commoning.

Art and culture provide tools to dream and reimagine ways of doing and being, allowing people to connect and share. How can art and culture keep the commons alive and how can the commons sustain art and culture? As inspired by the thoughts that the public shared earlier this year, the Symposium puts forward the theme Renewing Common Pathways, which is further unpacked in the next section below.

Call for Contributions 

Topics and tracks of interest, which unpack the overall theme Renewing Common Pathways, include, but are not limited to, the following questions:

- How can a practice of commoning sustain the socio-economic status and working conditions of creatives?

- How can commoning processes challenge the current limiting and limited art funding structures?

- How can spaces and infrastructure become more available, accessible and affordable through commoning practices?

- How can shared values and an ethics of care open up access to a wider group of practitioners with different needs and experiences, leading to better equity?

- How can a process of commoning provide a wider variety of artforms and practices, relevant to more diverse audiences? 

- How can a practice of commoning unify and consolidate efforts towards the development of formal and non-formal learning?

Contributions may focus on more than one topic and can also be cross-sectoral.

The selected contributions will be invited to become part of the Symposium programme on either 24th October or 25th October. The organisers reserve every right to allocate a specific date and time to every selected contribution, depending on its relevance to the overall programming of the Symposium.

Arts Council Malta highly appreciates proposals from artists, researchers, academics, policymakers, activists, creatives and other art workers from the CCS and from shared interest sectors (including, but not limited to: the Social Sector, the Education Sector, the Health Sector, the Sustainability Sector, Local Government, and Civil Society) – representing a range of backgrounds including gender diversity, sexual orientation, age, diverse abilities, cultural diversity, diverse beliefs, socio-economic backgrounds, educational backgrounds, fields of expertise/experience, geographical backgrounds – to submit workshops, initiatives, good practices, possible strategies and solutions, performative and other artistic practices, and questions for exploration and discussion during the 3rd edition of the State of the Arts – Malta National Symposium. Contributions need to have a clear and direct connection to Malta’s CCS.

Deadline for contribution submissions: Monday 22 July 2024, 5pm. 

All submissions must be submitted through this online form.

Download the Call for Contributions here

Any questions regarding the Call for Contributions should be addressed to