Arts Council Malta recognises that COVID-19 is having a significant impact on creative and cultural practitioners, groups, organisations, the audiences and society at large.

Funds, managed by Arts Council Malta have been redirected towards this Special Call in order to invest in projects which address with immediacy and on a long-term basis, the cultural and creative sector impacted by this situation. Projects may fall under one or more of the following: 

  • artistic development and production;
  • community-based initiatives;
  • cultural and creative sector support;
  • training or education development;
  • international exchange and collaboration;
  • artistic research. 

Applicants are encouraged, but not obliged to tackle themes such as Borders, Confinement or Isolation; applicants are also encouraged to adopt New Media and Digital Technologies in order to implement their projects.

The Grant is open to individuals, groups, companies and/or organisations.

Please click here to download the Malta Arts Fund Special Call guidelines 2020. The deadline to apply is Thursday 23rd of April 2020 at noon. 

Results and Vlogs

Application Deadline: 23rd April 2020

Ranking Order

Reference Number: MAFSC-83-20-4646

Applicant: Elaine Bonavia

Project Title: [V]Room of Requirement (working title)

Allocated funds (EUR): € 7,430

The [v]Room of Requirement (working title) is an open access anything place, a fictitious, replenishing architectural space between real and virtual worlds and across geographies. In response to the world’s Covid-19 crisis and subsequent social distancing measures, the surge in our dependency on digital infrastructure raises the question of what is digitally accessible space and how do we relate to it? The project will investigate ways of using Virtual Reality and remote collaboration to explore human movement constraints and habitation beyond traditional means. In his graphical architectural novel, “Citizens of No Place”, Jimenez Lai imagines alternate worlds and engages with architectural design through the medium of storytelling. Collaborators between Malta and Berlin will engage remotely through a virtual room swap, exchanging personal spaces, experiences and imagining new realities that extend beyond the confinement. Within the room, city, architecture, furniture and objects of no place take the stage. Through VR, architecture instantly becomes nomadic, placing the human in an alternative world, zerofying borders, transcending and interchanging qualities of place with the click of a button. Sensations of space are extended beyond borders and beyond physical boundaries. The documentation gathered from the swap experiment (images, video, sounds, voice or text) will then be used to inform the artwork - a 3D collage that transforms into a communal interactive space, to be constructed through the gathered experiences and data, creating an open source artefact of the crisis.

The [v]Room of Requirement is a place that seeks to enrich one’s state of being but also questions the now very blurred boundaries between private and public space. Could technologically engaged future humans find social refuge in morphing, multi-faceted, personal but public rooms of other-Earthly Delights? In this place, time can disappear, new instincts are awakened and the experience is an adventure in a dubious virtual world, somewhat reminiscent of Oswald Weiner’s fantasy Bio-Adapter from the 1960’s where consciousness is elevated to ‘become the self of the environment’. The project comes together with an exhibition of the work and event where everybody will be invited to access the [v]Room of Requirement in VR. Ultimately, the piece will be placed online and be accessible to everyone through mobile VR technology.


Reference Number: MAFSC-35-20-4598

Applicant: Octagon Communications Ltd.

Project Title: Planet hopping (Working title)

Allocated funds (EUR): € 7,500

Planet Hopping aims to give children acess to a myriad of activities while using their screens. These activities will not only educate children, but also stimulate their creativity, sharpen their problem solving skills and nurture their critical thinking capabilities. The project also aims to connect them in touch with other children their age. The project will introduce them to the worlds of science and the arts in a way they may have never experienced it before, while providing a platform for them to meet people outside their usual circle of family and friends.

Using scientific knowledge about biodiversity and the planets three e-storybooks about a girl in isolation who dreams of social contact, of laughing and playing with friends will be created. The stories will be a flight of the imagination into unchartered territory, new species and a search for a world where a child can dream up her own environment to stave away, loneliness, boredom and anxiety. One which is cluttered with life, fun, colour and exploration. She will need to think outside the box, use her critical thinking skills if she is to be successful in creating this ideal world showing audiences the increasing importance of diversity, knowledge and creativity, in today's uncertain world.  An online forum will allow the children to share their creations and solutions to problems which will be set.


Reference Number: MAFSC-32-20-4595

Applicant: Anton Calleja

Project Title: “tenacious sara”

Allocated funds (EUR): € 7,500

This project concerns the first part of the development stage of an animation series set in the 2080s about a ten-year-old girl who discovers the different and freer world of fifty years earlier, before a series of pandemics, starting with COVID-19, hit the world.

Reference Number: 

Applicant: Alex Vella Gregory

Project Title: RITWALI

Allocated funds (EUR): € 7,466

RITWALI seeks to map different paths to engender the (re)discovery of rituals, in an anthropological, cultural but also ethnographical exercise, to better understand what popular forms of ritual like the village festi come from, but also where they could go and what they could become, from an artistic and critical perspective, and as part of a larger framework and culture of rituals. The project seeks to engage a broader public into the narratives behind rituals. These can include issues such as community identity, shared beliefs, public space, and creative expression. Through digital means RITWALI brings together a complex web of narratives and ideas that is constantly unfolding. Rooted in cultural studies, the RITWALI project is based upon three pillars or foundations that are themselves outcomes that, in turn, organically contribute to one another, as well as research and development phases in their own right for what is intended as a contribution to both our cultural ecosystem as well as our cultural heritage:

  1. The Gathering (Il-Ġabra): of crowdsourced memories and remembrances that form the foundation and inspiration for writings, film and other artistic and critical works.
  2. The Lens (Il-Lenti): of academics, artists, practitioners, the religious and others with an interest in the spirituality behind rituals, cast upon the gathering.
  3. The Mast (L-Arblu): of dates, times and happenings to weave together all the rituals we’ve lost, lived through and are yet to create.


Reference Number: MAFSC-17-20-4580

Applicant: ARC Research & Consultancy Ltd.

Project Title: A Chronicle of a Spring Not as Planned: Resources for Online Theatre Performances

Allocated funds (EUR): €6,805.04

A Chronicle of a Spring Not as Planned takes its cues from the sudden shift towards online performance to devise an analytical study of the process by which an online theatre performance is devised and delivered. This study takes an online theatre performance as a case study, building upon existing research through interviews with the production team, as well as the actors and technical director. Following this, a documentary which sums up the process, a toolkit for creative practitioners as well as cultural and creative organisations, and a report targeting policy-makers will be developed and disseminated.

The project will explore various challenging elements within this online theatre performance, including the technical aspect of the online production, marketing and communications, audience interaction & feedback, sustainability of such a project and other relevant elements which will come up in the process.


Reference Number: MAFSC-56-20-4619

Applicant: The New Victorians

Project Title: A Collaboration EP

Allocated funds (EUR): € 7,500

Sister duo, The New Victorians, will write, produce and release a 5-track EP of Collaborations during this time of isolation. They will work on five original songs, with a different collaborator for each song. The aim of this project is to connect with people in a time of social-distancing; to make work that draws on the commonalities of all the artists involved. They will use the challenges that come from working within the limitations of their homes during “lockdown”, to write and produce songs that are reflective of these times, whilst drawing on the strengths of each individual involved. By fostering community and finding a common ground as artists, they aim to come together virtually to bring hope to listeners, and encourage them to recognise that we are stronger together, whether physically or remotely. The artists they will be collaborating with are: Sam Christie, a young up-and-coming Maltese folk singer-songwriter; Il-Lapes, a Maltese rapper with over ten years of experience in the local Hip-Hop Scene; Djun, an alternative band that creates atmospheric electronic pop with profound Maltese lyrics; Graver, Nu-Jazz rapper and saxophonist from London; and the Horvath Twins, Hungarian singer-songwriting brothers and multi-instrumentalists. They are interested in the fusion of styles that their collaborators will offer and they believe it will enable them all to grow and develop as artists. They believe that this body of work will build community by means of breaking boundaries between genres. The EP will be launched with an online event in the style of a webinar where people register to join. The event will feature exclusive behind-the-scenes footage, discussions with the creators as well as a first hearing of the songs. Rather than providing a "less-than" experience of the live magic of an album launch, this will actually be a much more intimate encounter with the artists, who will be able to share their processes, as well as their tracks from the comfort of the homes in-which they created them. Thus, the Live EP Launch can be an online celebration of the power of remote collaboration, that could go on to inform how they create work beyond these dark times. This will be an exploration of new ways of writing and releasing music in the future, reimagining the possibilities of the music landscape.


Reference Number: MAFSC-40-20-4603

Applicant: Fabrizio Ellul

Project Title: An artistic research in the use of visual narratives for graphic art and storyboarding through the use of international virtual workshops

Allocated funds (EUR): € 5,500

This project aims to produce an in-depth exploration of visual narratives into graphic art and storyboarding using elements derived from Maltese folk. This will be done by using the experience derived from Fine Arts methods into graphic art. The project will be implemented through a series of virtual workshops with Chief Nyamweya, a Kenyan based author and illustrator of ‘The Art of Unlearning’ at Freehand Movement which creates animated learning content. It will set the practical objective to create a small set of visual narratives in the form of a comic strip or storyboarding inspired from Maltese folk with no or very little text. A small e-book of around 35 pages will be created, based on Fabrizio’s experience working on visual narratives and world building during a period of isolation but collaborating from a distance that will be uploaded on the website, as part of the evolution of the Studio as an educational platform.  The virtual workshops will be used to explore and reinforce international collaborations, as a tool to overcome borders and distance in cultural collaboration and exchanges. He aims to start a communication channel with Chief Nyamweya on Kenyan and Maltese to explore the possibilities of collaborations/exchanges on this theme and understand if there could be possibilities to open Malta-Kenya cultural exchanges between artists.The project also aims to eventually also have a workshop at the Malta School of Arts in Valletta (free of charge) to the school’s students in addition to the three topics already agreed with the school. Any teaching material will be uploaded on for the general public, and so will any teaching material that will be used during these workshops, including any material that he might create during this period such as templates, graphic art with free royalties. Regular blog entries on the development of the project will also be uploaded on the website. The project aims to lay down the foundations for an eventual graphic novel, with the potential to be adapted in a feature animation or broken down into a limited series.

Reference Number:

Applicant: Lyanne Mifsud

Project Title: Residential Design for the Pandemic Age

Allocated funds (EUR): € 7,500

Few contemporary buildings manage to defy the norm and challenge the users’ behaviour. The unprecedented circumstances brought by the Covid-19 restrictions have forced on us drastic changes that should not only affect our modus operandi, but also our approach towards the buildings we design. Residential units, commercial buildings and urban spaces alike must be rethought in order to address our new needs. This proposal addresses the residential unit and treats the pandemic age as an opportunity – a tabula rasa to rethink how our households should be designed for this new era and its aftermath.


Reference Number: MAFSC-87-20-4650

Applicant: Jean-Marc Agius

Project Title: Inclusion and Universal Design for E-Learning in Performing Arts Training

Allocated funds (EUR): €7,216.70

This project undertakes a research process whereby through surveys, documentation, collaboration, training and consultation, Studio 18 aims to draw up a report of findings and recommendations with regards to access, inclusion and universal design when implementing E-Learning in training for the performing arts. In doing so, the study addresses the following key questions: 1. What is unconscious bias and how does it impact performing arts training?; 2. What are the overarching principles and approaches to Inclusion and Universal Design for Learning?; 3. How can E-Learning facilitate Inclusion and Access in the studio/rehearsal space?; 4. How do tutors adapt material to make it more accessible when delivering training solely via an E-Learning platform? In doing so, the project seeks  to understand the implications of learning and teaching in isolation, the needs of the tutor and learner, and how to adapt to a new reality where E-Learning may develop a new role in daily practices and practicalities.


Reference Number: MAFSC-67-20-4630

Applicant: Joseph Calleja

Project Title: Stabat Metric

Allocated funds (EUR): € 2,525

An empty church, a pair of stiletto heels to set the rhythm, a human voice that traces the outline of an 18th century work, and the general public invited to unravel it from home. Stabat Metric, is the artistic interpretation of the first movement of the Stabat Mater by Luigi Boccherini. In a childlike manner - that of deconstructing a toy, the artist, will perform this movement from the end, closing with the words retam tabats. A makeshift metronome set by the sound of a heel will singularly accompany this work almost trying to defy a memento mori countdown. In a playful attempt using freely accessible downloadable software, this work can be discovered individually, as it is reversed and experienced that way. 


Reference Number: MAFSC-69-20-4632

Applicant: Aidan Celeste

Project Title: Driven by Points Made Apart

Allocated funds (EUR): € 7,500

Driven By Points Made Apart, is an artist run project to support the makers of visual and contemporary art in a worldwide health emergency. The project invites artists who are displaced from their practice to join an online peer group and engage with playful experiments in making and writing. This involves the creation of a toolkit, and the hosting of a workshop about literacy for autonomous publishing, including new media.