The Arts Support Scheme forms part of Arts Council Malta’s support portfolio that invests in diverse artistic and cultural expression and in the development of Malta’s cultural and creative sectors. The scheme enables individuals, groups, and organisations to plan, develop, be represented in, and deliver artistic projects in line with ACM’s Strategy2025, primarily addressing communities and creative practitioners.
The scheme pursues Strategy2025 by actively seeking to:
• Nurture creative potential and support its development, encouraging co-creation, collaboration, and experimentation;
• Invest in artistic excellence by encouraging creative risk-taking, experimentation, and active engagement of communities while supporting quality projects as well as identifying talent and encouraging its development;
• Document and explore Malta’s past and present artistic and cultural communities, as well as Malta’s cultural and artistic legacy;
• Promote and support diversity, inclusivity, and community development by enabling collaborative arts projects, knowledge development, and dissemination of good practice;
• Provide disadvantaged groups with accessibility to a wide range of artistic and cultural experiences and opportunities for meaningful engagement with art and culture
• Facilitate the creation of platforms for young promising talent, intergenerational engagement, as well as intercultural engagement.
In line with ACM’s overarching commitment to cultural rights, this scheme recognises the central role of artists and cultural and creative practitioners in the creation and production of diverse artistic and cultural expressions. The scheme encourages applicants to address specific community needs, such as cultural participation, solidarity, social justice, environmental responsibility, sustainability, community development, and increased holistic well-being. The Arts Support Scheme supports artists, cultural and creative practitioners, and communities to:
• Take creative risks to discover new opportunities, develop their knowledge, and develop new work through experimentation and collaboration;
• Carry out exploratory research projects that allow them to test new work, engage, be duly represented, collaborate, and develop their ideas further.
Submitted applications may:
• Form part of the initial phase of a wider project/body of work;
• Be self-contained projects;
• Consist of a series of projects within a programme of activities.
This scheme comprises of two main areas of focus each subdivided into three types of activities. Applicants may choose to focus on one or more of these areas or types of activities within their projects:
1. Artistic practice and/or research, namely:
o Artistic projects – including the production and programming of quality-driven creative work – which push the boundaries of engaging creative experience for the artists, cultural and creative practitioners, the relevant sectors, and the communities;
o Research into artistic concepts, techniques, and subjects adopting innovative or untested approaches to the conception, creation and development of artistic work;
o Production and/or research relating to Malta’s artistic communities, designed to document Malta’s cultural and artistic legacy in an open and sustainable manner.
2. Community and audience engagement, namely:
o Artistic production and/or programming which enable and promote cultural participation, creative expression, and/or awareness and appreciation relating to the collective memory, and the cultural and artistic legacy of the community;
o Exploration of participatory and innovative approaches to audience engagement set to deepen engagement with existing and new audiences through artistic practice and/or research;
o Exploration of ways to improve access to the arts and to promote inclusive participation and greater diversity within the arts.
This scheme provides support to artists, cultural and creative practitioners, and communitiesthroughout the development and implementation phases, and covers the time and resources needed for creative professionals and their collaborators to develop their projects.
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.
Applicants are required to maintain their anonymity in the requested sections (Criteria 1 and 2). Failing to do so will make your application ineligible.
The deadline to apply is Tuesday 1 August at noon. Late applications cannot be accepted.
Click here to download Access Support Top-up guidelines.
Applicants are required to register a new profile as from January 2021.
Application Deadline: 1st August 2023
Applicant: Tamara Fenech
Reference number: ARTS47-23-2822
Project Title: Frank & I
Amount awarded: €30,000
Frank & I is 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 which has recently undergone an award-winning redesign by Valentino Architects. A theatrical production is being curated by Andrew Borg Wirth, with an original script written by Maria Theuma and directed by Rebecca Camilleri. The project seeks to open up the potentialities of the studio and dissect the archive left by the artist and founder of the Modern Art Circle. It seeks to do this by repositioning historical objects within the heart of contemporary art practice. Frank & I is the result of a long research project in collaboration with art historian Elizabeth Isabelle Borg, archivist Nathalie Formosa, the family and heirs of Frank Portelli and an extensive artistic team.
Applicant: BB Operations Ltd.
Reference number: ARTS54-23-2836
Project Title: XENOGRAFIJA – weekend intensive
Amount awarded: €21,198
XENOGRAFIJA - weekend intensive is a project focusing on the art of scenography. The project consists of an intensive programme of activities happening between the 8th and 10th of March 2024. The idea behind this project is to shed light on scenography and to offer the opportunity to students, established practitioners and to the public to engage with the discipline in different ways by means of workshops, presentations and networking opportunities. The efforts - put together - will help generate some momentum around the subject and offer several different opportunities (formative, knowledge-exchange, networking and others) to engage. On a broader level, this project will constitute the beginning of a more ambitious and sustainable venture supporting the development of theatre technical skills in the Maltese islands. The project will also consist of a qualitative research process leading to a presentation about the status of technical skills in the Maltese islands.
Applicant: Tricia Dawn Williams
Reference number: ARTS16-23-2751
Project Title: ToyPiano+
Amount awarded: €27,833
Toy Piano+ explores the artistic potential of the toy piano as a concert instrument. This project consists of three main strands: i) a toy piano recital with electronic music and percussion; ii) a concert which combines the toy piano with grand piano and a backdrop projection of video-art; iii) an outreach program of 8 concerts for children taking place in schools and local councils - featuring a storytelling narration accompanied by a live toy piano soundtrack. Toy Piano+ involves the participation of 13 Maltese and international composers, 3 visual artists as well as the collaboration with writer Trevor Zahra and actor Joseph Galea. The 13 new compositions especially commissioned for this project will be recorded in Malta and produced as an album by international label Parma (USA). The album will be distributed on all music streaming platforms.
Applicant: Luke Saydon
Reference number: ARTS07-23-2709
Project Title: Il-Każin tal-Imqarbin
Amount awarded: €13,440
How can a new Maltese musical become the nation's first memorial to authentically document and honour the lost lives of closeted gay men in 1980s Malta during the HIV/AIDS epidemic? This research and development project aims to create a new Maltese musical that exposes a disregarded section of our history - gay men lost to AIDS. Collaborating with academics and activist groups, a comprehensive research study will uncover the stories of Maltese closeted gay men in the 80s, contributing to an authentic documentation. With Malta having the highest HIV diagnoses in the EU in 2022, workshops for young adults will explore the musical's social commentary on Malta's sexual health landscape, using the musical as a platform for change.
Applicant: Daniela Attard
Reference number: ARTS22-23-2780
Project Title: MIGRATION NATION
Amount awarded: €17,890
MIGRATION NATION is an extensive project and exhibition on Climate Migration by London-based and internationally active Maltese artist IELLA, curated by Margerita Pule', with contributions from the Malta Community of Illustrators and experts from multidisciplinary arts and sciences. The artist will explore and interpret the challenges faced by populations forced to leave their homelands due to changing climate patterns, compounded by other factors such as political instability, conflicts, poverty, and capitalism. The exhibition showcasing the artist's most extensive collection will present narrative illustrations and symbolic imagery. Following a residency and small exhibition in regional Sydney, Australia, in late July 2023, the artist will bring a significant exhibition in late 2024 at Spazju Kreattiv, supported by a short graphic novel and an installation piece in collaboration with various illustrators from the Malta Community of Illustrators and the public.
Applicant: Michael Azzopardi
Reference number: ARTS50-23-2826
Project Title: Tfal tax-Xemx
Amount awarded: €26,902
Tfal tax-Xemx is a musical collaboration to create a collection of Maltese songs for young audiences. The songs aim to spark a wave of inspiration amongst present and future generations of young musicians so that they can contribute to a vibrant future of the local musical community. The project involves artists of different ages, the youngest being 7 years of age. The songs, which are written and composed by singer-songwriter Michael Azzopardi and arranged by Veronique Vella, are orchestral, playful and eclectic, featuring the voices of The Malta National Children’s Choir and offer a variety of instrumental contributions by members of the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra. The finished article will include a release of the music on all major streaming platforms, a physical release on vinyl to be made available in record stores and online, a live performance at Robert Samut Hall, and a short documentary.
Applicant: Unfinished Foundation
Reference number: ARTS27-23-2791
Project Title: Beyond What Drifts Us Apart
Amount awarded: €29,795
Unfinished Art Space will produce a 15 month-long interdisciplinary programme, incorporating two research-based, site-specific, community-engaged projects overlapping visual arts, performance, literature, cartography, sonology and cultural heritage with ecological and cultural narratives. The programme includes two international artist residencies (four artists hosted locally), performative events, community gatherings and project-specific workshops. Spread over the last quarter of 2023 and most of 2024, the programme will bring together two non-profit organisations (one local and one international), a local curator, and ten artists (six Maltese and four international artists-in-residence) as well as diverse communities - all with the backing and support of an international visual arts festival and a large European network of curators and artists. The primary objectives of the programme include creating dialogue, expanding research and exchange, and developing a new body of work in relation to the post-Anthropocene, speculative futures, ecological thinking, (in)tangible heritage, threatened landscapes and non-human communities.
Applicant: Christine Zerafa
Reference number: ARTS
Project Title: A detailed insight into the solo works of Karl Fiorini: developing an informed performance practice approach and collaborating on a new work for solo piano through an artistic research process
Amount awarded: €28,971
This artistic research project aims to explore the piano writing of Maltese composer Karl Fiorini from various perspectives and through detailed research work by pianist and researcher Christine Zerafa along with a strong collaboration between the composer and pianist. The published research outcome will serve as an example to future pianists who also get to work on such repertoire, and it will serve as a foundation to further collaboration between the composer and pianist, leading to the commission of a new work for solo piano.
Applicant: Sarah Chircop
Reference number: ARTS55-23-2837
Project Title: DREAM [of] LAND
Amount awarded: €28,971
DREAM [of] LAND is an interdisciplinary project combining narratives of identity, belonging, familiarity and home through the complex overlap of art-making and crafts. It brings together a body of work which explores the tangible manipulation of materials through traditional acts of weaving, moulding and sculpting, not only of conventional materials, but also of narratives, memories and legacies. The project, curated by Elyse Tonna and Sarah Chircop and managed by Margerita Pulè, is an invitation to reflect upon the past, present and future, whilst engaging audiences to explore subjective narratives, and appropriate them to build unique and personal experiences. The direct references to traditional modes of production, elevate this intangible knowledge to a level of universal understanding. In (this) dreamland, the imaginary and ideal are interwoven and juxtaposed, boundaries and binaries are blurred; the knowledge bearers and mothers of inventions of our past, become inspiration for our future.
Application Deadline: 05th May 2023
Applicant: Francois Galea
Reference number: ARTS85-23-2560
Project Title: Il-Beżżul Bieżel
Amount awarded: €23,074
Il-Beżżul Bieżel is a satirical project focusing on deep and philosophical work with humoristic twists around social commentary. It contains different forms of art, mostly underground comics (70% comics and illustrations). The newspaper will feature content created by the applicants as well as other comic artists within particular sections of the newspaper.
Applicant: Nikolai Azzopardi
Reference number: ARTS63-23-2517
Project Title: The Great Dictator
Amount awarded: €30,000
The Great Dictator is a theatrical adaptation of Charlie Chaplin's iconic 1940 film. This production aims to explore the enduring themes of war and its impact on the individual, with a particular emphasis on propaganda and its use to warp minds into dehumanizing the "other." Malcolm Galea will adapt the film to delve deeper into these themes. As part of this project, the beneficiary will explore the possibilities of adapting early cinema aesthetics to a live performance context. The team, including Movement Director Jacob Piccinino, Director Malcolm Galea, and Pianist Aleandro Spiteri Monsigneur, will collaborate with the performers to develop a visual language that enhances the production's aesthetics. By bringing Chaplin's masterpiece to a new audience, the beneficiary aims to facilitate an important conversation about war and propaganda, which has become more relevant now than ever before. The project promises to provide a unique theatrical experience that is thought-provoking, entertaining and engaging.
Reference number: ARTS95-23-2579
Project Title: The Glasshouse Project
Amount awarded: €27,000
The glasshouse project is a five-phase collaborative project conceived by Robert Zahra, Jesmond Vassallo, Gilbert Calleja and Caldon Mercieca. The four are long standing friends and collaborators. In this project they draw parallels between studio space and glasshouses to explore the different cycles of life and how they can inform experimental image-making processes. Central to this project are notions of laboratory work, biospheres and the organic evolution of ideas and creative processes. Starting with drawings, paintings and collages of interior spaces as complex sites, they study objects, figures and other elements that constitute domestic spaces and personal experiences of the mundane. Sketches produced in the preliminary phase show a shared concern with the representation of (pictorial) space as a multi-layered, multidimensional construct and materiality. The project includes a series of exhibitions, workshops, public presentations, open studios, meet-the-artist events, focus groups and publications supported by a purposely-designed audience engagement strategy.
Applicant: Brandon Terribile
Reference number: ARTS35-23-2458
Project Title: Snow Globe: A Multi-Sensory Theatre Production for Autism and Neurodiversity
Amount awarded: €22,389
A Multi-Sensory Theatre Project for Autism and Neurodiversity is a project leading to making a ground-breaking multi-sensory theatre production specifically created for Autistic and neurodivergent audiences, that intends to provide access to people with special needs in the theatre, both as performers and as an audience. In collaboration with Opening Doors, the project is divided into three phases: training, workshops, and a performance held at Spazju Kreattiv.
Applicant: Chewing Productions
Reference number: ARTS50-23-2493
Project Title: 2X2 | A Double Bill of New Theatre
Amount awarded: €8,186
Chewing Productions has commissioned two pairs of artists to create original theatrical performances centred on the theme of ‘21st Century Connection’. The two shows will be produced as 2X2 | A Double Bill of New Theatre at Theatre Next Door on the 22nd, 23rd, and 24th of September 2023. Blackout, by Diellza Ilgner and Brendon Thearle, is a multidisciplinary performance that combines video, audio, text, movement, and digital interactivity to tell a story about media addiction, communication, and connection with the real and virtual world. Re/Connect, by Steffie Weenink and Robyn Vella, is a new play that combines poetic dialogue with movement and soundscapes to tell a story about relationships, memory, and identity. Both performances will feature light and sound design by Thomas Dempsey and Gianluca Bianco, and a set design collaboratively designed by the team to fit the needs of both performances while creating an aesthetic connection between them.
Reference number: ARTS94-23-2578
Project Title: The Cruelty of the Gods
Amount awarded: €21,286
This project will see the creation of a new piece of theatre by Ignite. The trigger for the devising process will be Aesop’s Fables, a mix of moral tales that either relate to gods and goddesses exercising power over mortals with little care for the consequences, or use animals, for example The Hare and the Tortoise, to put across simple messages. The finished production will be devised theatre with social and political satire embedded in a visually stimulating comic piece. It will be staged at an outdoor venue which is suitable for site-specific work and allows for the active engagement of the audience. To ensure accessibility to deaf spectators, Maltese Sign Language will be incorporated into the production alongside Maltese and English.
Applicant: Soċjetà Filarmonika La Stella Gozo
Reference number: ARTS92-23-2573
Project Title: West Side Story – A landmark musical project for the Maltese Islands
Amount awarded: €30,000
West Side Story is in a class of its own. It has built a reputation as the Mount Everest of Musicals. And rightly so. With its full-scale orchestra of between 19 and 28 players with over 60 instruments, a cast that requires the best of dancers and the most legit of singers, it has been described as a hybrid of Opera and Musical. It requires similar large elements of cast and musicians. It is no wonder then that every production of this show is considered a major event. The time is ripe for Teatru Astra to present its own unique version of this contemporary story of Romeo and Juliet. Ambitious in scale and contemporary in outlook, this new version will update the show to the present day. The place is no longer the West Side of New York, rather the tribal world of Facebook, and TikTok, where gang fights are broadcast for all the world to see, and hate speech, unknowing, unreasoned hate speech, are the driving force behind two gangs of teenagers.
Applicant: Culture Venture
Reference number: ARTS83-23-2555
Project Title: The solo projects
Amount awarded: €29,336
The solo projects will explore the one-person performance genre, through translation, new writing and performance. The first project will be a translation in Maltese and staging of the 2023 Olivier nominated play Age is Feeling by Haley McGee. Translated by Claire Azzopardi and performed by one of Malta’s leading actors, in her first solo performance, the play is inspired by hospices, mystics and trips to the cemetery and wrestles with our endless chances to change course while we are alive. It is a gripping story about how our relationship with mortality shapes the way we live. The second project entitled The sunshine girl will focus on the R&D of a new solo musical. Kris Spiteri as composer and Simon Bartolo as playwright will collaborate to bring to life the story of a group of queer individuals that took Malta and Italy's drag scene by storm in the 1980s. The creative processes will be shared with practitioners in a masterclass series.
Applicant: Take 2
Reference number: ARTS78-23-2547
Project Title: Take//Two x The Monteverdi Project
Amount awarded: €25,520
Take//Two x The Monteverdi Project is a unique bridging of different disciplines to produce the film score of the feature length drama/thriller ‘Castillo’. Take//Two’s sound designer, Mirko Galea (Limestone Cowboy, Miraklu and Merjen), together with composer Analise Mifsud and The Monteverdi Project’s choir, directed by Marco Mencoboni and Gillian Zammit, aspire to create Malta’s first film score of approximately 45 minutes, based solely on the human voice. Galea aims to record the score in one of Malta’s churches rather than ‘in studio’ in order to maximize the sound quality of the pieces. The choir’s performance will be filmed to create a top-notch music video which will feature Castillo’s visuals, showcasing some of Malta’s finest actors: Mark Doneo, Simone Spiteri, Mark Mifsud and many others.
Applicant: Nicholas Bonello
Reference number: ARTS54-23-2497
Project Title: A Lily – Saru l-Qamar
Amount awarded: €8,209
The project aims for a split-release of the new album ‘Saru l-Qamar’ by A Lily, between James Vella's label ‘Phantom Limb’, and Maltese Label ‘Kewn Records’. Being a very Maltese-centric record, and using both labels' extensive distribution channels, it will be distributed to record stores across Europe, targeting the Maltese communities abroad, not unlike the way the source material was in the 60s. The project will also feature performances and discussions at Embassies across Europe on the importance and relevance of Għana in 21st century music.