In 2016, following a competitive call for proposals, 11 organisations and festivals active in the cultural and creative sectors were selected to become Arts Council Malta’s strategic partners during the years between 2017 and 2019.
During those three years, the 11 organisations received a total of over €1 million between them through the Cultural Partnership Agreement.
The agreement allowed cultural entities to plan ahead strategically and pave the way for the further professionalisation of the sector. After these three years bound by the agreement, none of the parties involved was obliged to renew the aforementioned agreement.
The selected organisations included the META Foundation, Teatru Salesjan, Opening Doors Association, BLITZ and Kinemastik. The selected festivals included The Malta Mediterranean Literature Festival organised by Inizjamed, the Malta Short Film Festival organised by the Malta Film Foundation, the designers’ component of the Malta Fashion Week, the Valletta Film Festival organised by the Film Grain Foundation, L-Għanja tal-Poplu and the Beland Music Festival.
Last year, a similar programme was launched to cover the years between 2020 and 2022. The programme now referred to as the Investment in Cultural Organisations (ICO) included necessary changes raised during a thorough evaluation and consultation process. It was important to look deeply into the workings of the previous programme and analyse both the beneficiaries’ feedback and internal perceptions of what worked and what did not work for ACM to establish to best way forward.
The selection from a total of 40 proposals led to the Investment in Cultural Organisations results. The process was arduous and challenging but Arts Council Malta said it was pleased to be part of a journey which will help 13 organisations develop, flourish and sustain their work.
This, it said, is ultimately what makes the ICO programme relevant; the possibility to offer a long-term commitment of much-needed support to a different range of NGOs and innovative ideas which make up the core of our creative ecology. The council said that it now looks forward to seeing the beneficiaries grow stronger and more resilient over the next three years, while striving towards financial sustainability and independence.
A total of 13 organisations are currently receiving support directly from the ICO programme, amongst which are eight new organisations and five repeat beneficiaries including Electronic Music Malta, FPEI (Federation for the Promotion of Entrepreneurial Initiatives), Gabriel Caruana Foundation, Għaqda Mużikali San Ġużepp Ħal Għaxaq, Għaqda Mużikali Santa Marija Ħal Għaxaq, Inizjamed, Kinemastik, Magna Żmien Foundation, Moveo Dance Organisation, Opening Doors Association, Soċjetà Mużikali Beland A.D. 1861, Teatru Salesjan and Wicked Comics.
From film to literature, contemporary art spaces to community theatres, pop art and electronic music to the performing arts, the selected festivals and organisations offer a broad spectrum of activities as well as geographical breadth. Between them, they number thousands in terms of practitioners, volunteers as well as audiences engaged. ACM’s current and active partnership agreements amount to 26 non-governmental cultural organisations with an investment that totals to €1,020,000 per year.
Furthermore, Arts Council Malta, in collaboration with the Valletta Cultural Agency, offered to invest in the next five-ranking organisations based in Valletta, in recognition of their invaluable contribution to the cultural and creative sectors which were deemed to require further minor financial support.
The latter five organisations included four repeat beneficiaries and one new, namely Blitz, Fondazzjoni Temi Zammit Community, L-Għanja tal-Poplu, META Foundation and the Valletta Film Festival amounting to an additional €210,000. From these five organisations, one declined, another is pending confirmation and three accepted the financial support for the years 2020, 2021 and 2022.
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This content was supplied by the Arts Council Malta