This study is one of a number of initiatives undertaken by the Arts Council Malta in an effort to map the working conditions of artistic, creative and cultural practitioners in Malta. It is driven by the ACM’s commitment to champion the advancement of the status of artists, and other cultural and creative practitioners, and to support the professional development of the creative sector through evidence-based research. The study employs a statistical analysis of the data captured by the Malta National Statistics Office Creative & Cultural Practice Survey, where 1,019 persons completed a Computer Assisted Telephone Interview (CATI) during the last quarter of 2019.

The analysis reveals that around one in five respondents in Malta consider themselves to be artists,  a ratio that resonates with similar studies. Strong associations are found between self-assessment and more objective descriptors, lending weight to the position that it is plausible to rely on self-assessment to identify artists in Malta - albeit an imperfect proxy. If artists are to be defined by any other single metric (such as being formally trained, belonging to an artistic, cultural and creative organisation, or even earning a living from the arts), then the percentage of people who can be considered as artists would be smaller. If all artistic, cultural and creative practitioners were to be included in the definition of artist, then the number of artists would double. Artists are more likely to be in employment, have a higher education, and are more likely to be male than the general population.  Self-assessed artists also report a higher-than-average level of life satisfaction. Strong links between art and wellbeing are found among those practising on behalf of a voluntary organisation. Furthermore, artists who apply their skills at work report a good work-life balance.

This thematic report was commissioned by Arts Council Malta as part of the work on the Cultural and Creative Practice Survey, and authored by Marie Briguglio and Gilmour Camilleri.

For more information the full report can be downloaded here. This is a publication by Arts Council Malta.

The findings can also be visualised using the new online data dashboard, which can be used to create customised charts and comparisons using the survey dataset.