The Project Research and Development Scheme is one of Arts Council Malta’s tools to enable individuals, groups and organisations to plan, develop, be represented in, and deliver on Council’s strategic goals and ongoing strategy – primarily addressing creative professionals and communities by:
• Nurturing creative potential and supporting its development, by encouraging co-creation, collaboration and experimentation.
• Investing in artistic excellence, by encouraging levels of creative risk, experimentation, and active engagement of communities – supporting quality projects, as well as identifying talent and encouraging its development.
• Documenting and carrying out research into Malta’s past and present artistic and cultural communities, as well as Malta’s artistic legacy.
The scheme forms part of Arts Council Malta’s funding schemes which aim to invest in exploratory projects that allow creative professionals and communities to experiment, test their work, engage, be duly represented, collaborate, and develop their ideas further. Applications submitted may form part of the initial phase of a wider project/body of work or can be self-contained.
This scheme will comprise of two main areas of focus. Applicants may choose to focus on one or more of these areas within their projects:
1. Artistic practice - Research into artistic concepts, techniques, and subjects - Exploratory research adopting innovative or untested approaches in the conception, creation and development of artistic work - Research into Malta’s artistic communities, with a view to document Malta’s artistic legacy in an open and sustainable manner.
2. Community and audience engagement - Exploring participatory approaches to audience engagement in order to deepen engagement with existing or new audiences - Experimenting with innovative methods of experiential engagement with audiences - Research into ways to improve access to the arts and promote inclusive participation and greater diversity within the arts.
Who can apply?
Creative professionals/individual artists; Entities registered with the Malta Business Registry (including companies, partnerships, foundations and organisations/associations); Groups, collectives and consortia; Registered cooperatives; Voluntary organisations enrolled with the Commissioner for Voluntary Organisations.
The deadline to apply is Monday 27 June 2022 at noon. Late application cannot be accepted.
Applicants are required to register a new profile as from January 2021.
Application Deadline: 27th June 2022
Applicant: ARC Research & Consultancy
Reference number: PRD17-22-1713
Project Title: Groundwork for European proposal through mapping of arts festivals in Malta and Gozo
Amount awarded: €7,880
This research project will enable a mapping of Malta’s arts festivals, looking at short, medium and long-term challenges for these festivals with a focus on reskilling and upskilling, sustainability, and the digital and green transition. It will also enable the groundwork for a European proposal that aims to enhance the level of collaboration, engagement, and sharing of resources within a network of European festivals. The ultimate aim is to benefit local festivals through the creation of new opportunities and exchanges with their European peers.
Applicant: Ryan Falzon
Reference number: PRD24-22-1742
Project Title: SOLASTALGIA
Amount awarded: €7,240
This is a six-month research project based on the concept of Solastalgia. It looks at the seasonal identities and the long-held perceptions and beliefs about the Maltese summer and the islands as a dreamy Mediterranean paradise defined by promotional campaigns pushing Malta as a dreamy island, stereotypes of friendly, mellow characters and ruralism. The project is led by Ryan Falzon as a visual artist working with various media. Ryan Falzon will be collaborating with Glen Calleja on various outcomes including artworks and artist books. He will be conducting various interviews and focus groups to try to understand the perceptions of various people. Mr Falzon will also look at various promotional campaigns over the years. During the six months he will keep an open collaborative process with Mr Calleja and the general public.
Applicant: Jacob Saliba
Reference number: PRD27-22-1748
Project Title: Ta’ taħt fuq
Amount awarded: €6,546
Ta’ taħt fuq aims to research and further develop a narrative based on local netherworld legends, ‘id-dinja ta’ taħt’. The scope is to identify the origins of the netherworld’s soundscape, taking into consideration site specific acoustics from documented locations such as caves, crevices, landscapes, flora and fauna. The fieldwork seeks to navigate juxtapositions and assumptions which led to the creation of these legends. The project focuses on building a basis for a depictive soundscape extrapolated from the narrative. The Netherworld will be interpreted over a 16.1 spatial audio system, in its essence a 3-dimensional experience. The technical research and development envisioned will test scalability, structural designs and Material, Software and hardware maximisation, audio-visual compatibility whilst opening up the opportunity to experiment with audio interactivity.
Applicant: Chewing Productions
Reference number: PRD12-22-1707
Project Title: Pastizz x’jaħbat? – Investigating Audience Engagement & Theatre-Making Strategies for Young Adults in Malta
Amount awarded: €5,816
Using Pastizz x’jaħbat? – a new play created by Kurt Gabriel Meli and Alex Weenink – as a case study, Chewing Productions will be investigating and testing theatre-making and audience engagement strategies for young people in Malta between the ages of 16 and 25. An initial phase will include the studying of research material and the distribution of a survey investigating young adult interests and behaviours related to theatre in Malta. A focus group with a sample of the participants will also be held. Findings will be implemented into page-to-stage workshops focused on the development of Pastizz x’jaħbat? which will work towards a public semi-staged reading of the play. A concluding dissemination campaign will see analyses and other material collected into a document that will illustrate the project's main findings. This material will also be curated into a collection of digital content that will be shared on Chewing's online platforms.
Applicant: Take 2
Reference number: PRD26-22-1747
Project Title: Research and Development of Malta’s first International Series Co-Production
Amount awarded: €6,460
This project aims to research and develop the first Maltese international co-production of a television series entitled: ‘Blu Skies – Season 1: The Jenny Wilder Tapes’. Since this will be a first locally, Take//Two will be exploring the creation of synergies and the best way to develop the story, as well as the project, with their German co-production partners at Storyhouse. Moreover, during this time, financing, sales and distribution strategies will be consolidated, while building a solid foundation between the core teams. Furthermore, bringing the German team over to Malta will give Take//Two’s co-producers a taste of the texture and culture, as well as the talent this country has to offer.
Applicant: Keit Bonnici
Reference number: PRD05-22-1681
Project Title: Design as Research
Amount Awarded: €4,500
How can design be a tool for critical observation, analyses, engagement and mediation within the ‘zones of conflict’ of public vernacularity in Malta? This is the point of departure and the research question to analyse public spaces through the lens and the methodologies of Speculative Design. ‘Designs for Zones of Conflicts’ aims to offer new critical ways of looking at the fabrications of public spaces in Malta to create participatory, provocative and transformative objects to imagine different future(s).
Applicant: Tamara Fenech
Reference number: PRD25-22-1745
Project Title: Frank (Working Title)
Amount Awarded: €6,690
FRANK is a research proposal for a site-specific, interdisciplinary and collaborative project by visual and performing artists that celebrates Maltese modernist artist, designer and creative revolutionary, Frank Portelli, within his own studio.
Application Deadline: 28th February 2022
Applicant: Tyrone Grima
Reference number: PRD04-22-1033
Project Title: Depicting women in a patriarchal society
Amount awarded: €7,943
This artistic project aims at creating a space of dialogue to reflect on the role of women in a patriarchal society, and in a male-dominated Church, through theatre and the visual arts. The stimulus will be the figure of Mary, as well as other female characters in the Bible. The research phase will guarantee that the work is relevant and relatable to the narratives surrounding contemporary women. This will be through interviews, consultation sessions with academics, workshops and readings, leading to a reflection of how women were depicted in the history of Christian art over the ages, sketches of the paintings that will be used in the performance and a development of a first draft of a performative text.
Applicant: Chantelle Micallef-Grimaud
Reference number: PRD22-22-1181
Project Title: Research and Development for Walking Home
Amount awarded: €8,000
‘Walking Home’ is a devised performance that explores the politics and tensions within the issue of sexual offences and assaults against women. This project comes as a reaction to the tragedies that are Sarah Everard’s journey home, Sabina Nessa’s murder in London and most recently, Paulina Dembska’s murder in Malta, amongst many others. The research will involve secondary and primary research - all interviews and anonymous online questionnaires will contain trigger warnings around assault and will be sent out to participants of all genders. This research will then be taken into an R&D period with a cast of four actors of different genders. This will serve to clarify the idea that this situation will only improve if all of us come together to address the situation. It is a deep-rooted issue that can only be improved by the collective.
Applicant: André Agius
Reference number: PRD27-22-1187
Project Title: A Developmental Process of Creating New Socially-Relevant Theatre Scripts in Maltese
Amount awarded: €8,000
This project will focus on providing support for a long-term developmental process of two new socially-relevant Theatre Scripts in Maltese. Mr Agius, as the future director of both productions for Teatru Manoel, will work with Simone Spiteri and Immanuel Mifsud on “A Doll’s House” by Henrik Ibsen and “Animal Farm” by George Orwell respectively. This development will allow both playwrights a longer period of time and support, both in terms of working on the dramaturgical aspect with the director and also on further developing and adapting the works, through opportunities such as staged readings and workshops. By utilising the theatre’s already available resources through their Creative Learning department, this project also aims at creating opportunities to further develop and refine the script up to a final rehearsal draft - before it moves onto the next stage to be performed.
Applicant: Bettina Hutschek
Reference number: PRD14-22-1158
Project Title: Grognet AR
Amount awarded: €7,391
"Grognet AR" departs from Ms Hutschek’s ongoing project entitled "Encountering Atlantis“ with focus on Giorgio Grognet de Vassé’s life and heritage. Grognet was famous for building the Mosta Dome and for forging evidence to prove that Malta was Atlantis. The beneficiary’s artistic research explores the possibility of developing an Augmented Reality (AR)- experience in Maltese public spaces to merge Grognet’s heritage, Plato’s Atlantis-myth and contemporary Malta. These different historical levels are interconnected via AR accessible to anyone who owns a smart device. The project looks at questions such as: What is truth? How do we identify fake news? How can virtuality shape a more radical understanding of truthfulness? The research outcomes will be shared through i) a website ii) presentations in collaboration with Unfinished Art Space, FRAGMENTA and Farfara 2031 and iii) a presentation at UoM. The research will pave the way to develop further AR experiences.
Applicant: Daniel Vella
Reference number: PRD19-22-1177
Project Title: Playing Maltese History
Amount awarded: €8,000
The project’s aim is the design of a location-based, AR mobile game, in which the players work hands-on to discover Maltese history, heritage, and culture through interactive storytelling. The player assumes the role of an academic detective who peruses the archive and visits historical locations throughout Malta to piece together stories from the past by means of AR mechanics and mini games.
Applicant: Anton Saliba
Reference number: PRD24-22-1184
Project Title: 1565: The Great Siege’s Legacy
Amount Awarded: €8,000
1565 seeks to question the narratives of the great siege as well as the event’s legacy in our contemporary Maltese society. Though the siege holds a special place in our identity, the project looks to peel off the manipulated narratives that have been passed down over the centuries, revealing a series of diverse perspectives that can shed a different light on the events that unfolded, as well as the way that this affects the various communities that inhabit Malta today. This research and development phase will be geared towards the construction of a multi-disciplinary theatre piece that will be based on these findings.