Dreaming of going freelance but scared to take the plunge? Recently graduated and considering various career pathways?

This session will look at the good, the bad and the ugly of working freelance in the arts in Malta. Six arts professionals will speak about their experience of freelance life, common fears and mistakes, opportunities and challenges as well as providing tips and advice for those looking to start out on their own.

This session will take the format of a panel discussion, with each of the six panellists sharing their experiences as freelancers (five minutes each) and then opening the discussion to the floor.

The panel will consist of arts strategist and actor Toni Attard, musician Luke Baldacchino, visual artist Kristina Borg, writer and actor Malcolm Galea, art dealer and consultant Maria Galea and film maker Kenneth Scicluna.

Drinks and nibbles will be served.

The session will be held on 26 July at 6.30pm at Iniala5, 37, Old Treasury Street, Valletta, Malta. Drop us a line on fundinfo@artscouncilmalta.org to book your free place.

Photo credit: Darrin Zammit Lupi, Birds on a Wire (Gozo College Secondary School, supported through Kreattiv)

The Panellists

Toni Attard is the founder and director of Culture Venture - an advisory, production and training company for the cultural and creative sectors. Toni worked for 11 years in the public sector in Malta, leading numerous cultural projects, establishing 10 public arts funding programmes and creating national strategies for the cultural and creative sectors in Malta. He was the first Director of Strategy at Arts Council Malta and was responsible for the leadership of the strategy team that created and developed the Council's Create2020 strategy. He is also one of the authors of Malta’s cultural policy and a visiting lecturer in arts management at the University of Malta. On an international level, Toni is currently chairing the International Advisory Programming Committee for the World Summit on Arts & Culture to be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 2019. He graduated from the University of Malta with an Honours degree in Communications and Theatre Studies. As a Chevening scholar he completed his postgraduate degree in cultural management and policy at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh. Toni is a founding member and board member of Opening Doors, an NGO for the artistic development of adults with learning disabilities and co-founder and board member of the Cultural Policy Designers Network. He is also an actor and theatre director and served as Festival Director of ŻiguŻajg international festival for children and young people for four editions, until 2015.


A full-time musician, Luke Baldacchino is a multi-instrumentalist, arranger, composer, bandleader, vocalist, and music educator. Luke’s musical journey started at the age of four, and today he holds a first class BA (Hons.) degree in music performance from the University of Malta. In 2012 he participated in a jazz course in Italy, which included master classes conducted by some of the best jazz artists in Europe. Luke has also been awarded a Board Prize (ABRSM) in advanced level violin performance. Luke has performed and recorded for a wide variety of artists and companies including the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra, Nafra, Soundscapes, Mro Dominic Galea, Moveo Dance Company, and many others. He has performed in numerous festivals including the Malta Arts Festival, Għanafest, various editions of Evenings on Campus, Modern Music Days and Rockestra. He has performed as a session musician in Italy, Slovenia, Austria, Brussels, India and China. In 2015, Luke formed his own band The Tailors, with the aim to provide professional music entertainment for weddings, functions and public events. For the band he acts as director and music arranger, drummer, and backing vocalist. Luke holds a post-graduate certificate in education from the University of Malta (P.G.C.E). He teaches music, drums and percussion to countless children and youth, and conducts percussion workshops and drum circles in various schools on the island. He is involved in the Manoel Theatre educational programme. Luke is passionately committed towards the active involvement of persons with learning disabilities in the performing arts. He is actively involved with Opening Doors Association, and has been leading the Music Group since its birth. His services extend to many Resource and Day Centres around Malta and Gozo. Luke composed original music for Deep Shelter Project and occasionally provides musical therapy in hospitals and clinics. Luke was awarded the ‘SDG Conscious Artist Global Goals Award’ for his contributions towards social welfare as a musician in 2016.

Kristina Borg is a fulltime freelance visual artist and an art educator. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Art Education from the University of Malta (2009) and a Master’s degree in Visual Arts and Curatorial Studies from the Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti, Milan (2015). She employs an interdisciplinary artistic practice that focuses on socio-political issues in urban-collective spaces. Her research strives to create projects involving experiential processes through which she seeks to relate and enter into direct dialogue with the community and/or the place. Kristina is currently managing the community project Naqsam il-MUŻA (Sharing MUŻA) as part of Valletta 2018 European Capital of Culture – the scope of this project is to connect the local communities to the national art collection. Kristina is involved in several community art projects and is currently creating, curating and managing several artistic projects as artist and/or projects manager. She previously created and coordinated various art projects for children and teens, including a socio-communitarian art project for young inmates. Her works have been exhibited in Malta, Milan, Salerno, Perugia, Munich, Dusseldorf, Vienna, Vorarlberg, Leeuwarden, Haarlem and Brussels. Kristina also placed first in the 3rd edition of Divergent Thinkers (2014) - a project for emerging artists based in Malta - and in 2017 she was chosen as one of the first two Maltese participants to take part in the Salzburg Global Seminar's Forum for Young Cultural Innovators IV.

Malcolm Galea has been working freelance since graduation in B. Communications in 2002. Over the years his works have included radio presenting, drama teaching, acting, copywriting, playwriting, screenwriting, and directing - and he’s been fortunate to work on a number of exciting projects. In 2012 he formed More or Less Theatre, a theatre production company that also employs a number of freelancers. Additionally he still maintains a number of freelance side-projects. 

Maria Galea was born into a family whose business primarily concerns of ne art and its framing, she was exposed from an early age to a diverse range of styles and imagery. Fully aware of how di cult it is for artists to produce valid art and simultaneously promote it, Maria has translated her passion for art and keen business eye into promotion of a clutch of Malta’s nest contemporary artists. She then started managing her own MARIE Gallery5 based in Malta which quickly followed up by a representation of six local artists in New York and Miami during the same year. After completing her studies in Finance and the art market at the prestigious Sotheby’s Institute of Art in London, she published her own art investment program, which was included in her rst published catalogue representing 12 selected artists which is currently being launched on an international level. The catalogue under the name of Art Global MLT, aims at the internationalisation and promotion of artists and art as a direct investment. Having recently joined forces with INIALA founder Mark Weingard, Maria is now a managing director of Iniala5, the company focuses to support the local art scene and its education together with the internationalisation of the market, creating a constant momentum around the arts both in Malta and abroad. The company has started o by launching two gallery spaces in Malta: one in Mosta and the other in Valletta, which will follow by two more, one in Sliema, Malta and another one in Thailand. Iniala5 will also be contributing to charitable organisations through its events and businesses. Maria’s ambition and passion for the art world and its markets has given her the ability to explore various sectors of the industry. Her travels have taken her to experience the core of the art world starting from curating solo and collective shows, strategic marketing and branding strategies for artists, dealing directly in the auction market, art valuation for corporate clients and managing the gallery business. Maria’s abiding fascination for curatorial practice and supporting artists ignites her desire to explore the world of art on another level and view it as an open blank page where a lot is yet to be done and created. 



Kenneth Scicluna (1975) has made films that have screened at more than 60 festivals around the world. He is a Berlinale Talent (2013) and a member of the European Film Academy. Kenneth debuted in film with a student-feature called Genesis in 2001, the first Maltese film to be shown internationally since the 1970s. The Isle, a narrative short commissioned by Zentropa in 2004, was reviewed by TimeOut of London as a 'most pleasingly cheeky surprise.' Daqqet ix-Xita (Plangent Rain, 2010) won the Best Local Director award at the Malta International Short Film Festival (2011), and the Best Cinematography awards at the same festival and at the Oaxaca International Film Festival in Mexico. Eleġija (Elegy, 2014), a short film project initiated by Inizjamed and funded by the Valletta 2018 Foundation, is the first in a series of films inspired by Maltese poetry. In 2017 he directed MK, a short film about Mavin Khoo, and produced Selah, the first dance film by ŻfinMalta, the Maltese national dance company. Kenneth is currently writing new material. Passionate about film education, Kenneth is a visiting lecturer at the University of Malta, has been involved as a practitioner in several projects where children of various ages engage in filmmaking (through the Kreattiv fund of Arts Council Malta), and has pushed for the introduction of film studies from the earliest years of school. He is currently leading a project related to Valletta’s tenure as a European Capital of Culture in 2018, called Tafxnaf, through which more than 4,000 students were invited to write a story,  25 of whom have been selected to participate in filmmaking workshops and to make five short films. Kenneth was a member of the short-film juries of the Valletta Film Festival (2016) and the Kinemastik Short Film Festival (2012).