€1.3 million programme support scheme aimed at restarting the local arts sector

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Minister for the National Heritage, the Arts and Local Government José Herrera announced that Arts Council Malta has launched a special support scheme as part of a €6 million direct investment in the local cultural and creative sectors. The creation of this scheme derives from the additional €1 million special investment by the government announced during the last budget, further strengthening the government’s commitment towards a robust recovery of the sector whilst adhering to the necessary mitigation measures.

It was explained that the Programme Support Scheme, which forms part of the RESTART schemes by Arts Council Malta, is aimed at bolstering the local culture sector following the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is also aimed at addressing the recovery and resilience of the cultural and creative sectors. This scheme will enable the provision of broader accessibility towards financial support and investment for all the creative and cultural sectors.

Minister Herrera stated that the schemes are a result of consultation with the sector and its representatives. “We understand that behind every suggestion made, there are artists and creatives who are passionate about their art and we are committed to being of utmost support”. He reiterated that the livelihood of every operator in the cultural and creative sector is important and that all funding opportunities have been developed to ensure equal access and possibility.

Arts Council Malta Executive Chair Albert Marshall outlined the thorough process of consultation through which this scheme, along with others which will be announced during the coming weeks, have been designed. Mr Marshall said, “During the planning process for this funding period, Arts Council Malta has actively collaborated with the newly-formed Malta Entertainment Industry and Arts Association (MEIA) and other key stakeholders to make sure the needs of the local cultural and creative sectors are duly represented in the right form of government.” “I firmly believe that with everyone’s support and collaboration we are managing to transform this challenge into an opportunity for further growth and change, especially into the digital era”.

Funding and Strategy Director Mary Ann Cauchi explained that the schemes are primarily an investment in the sector, aimed at developing and creating new work while responding to the challenges currently being faced in order to deliver extraordinary hybrid arts experiences for audiences in the future. “Arts Council Malta is committed to safeguarding the sector whilst enabling an ecosystem that supports further growth, taking into consideration the new trends through which audiences consume arts and culture,” said Ms Cauchi.

The Programme Support Scheme is open to all cultural and creative operators, from individuals to companies and voluntary organisations. An information session will be held online on 11 February 2021 at noon. For further information, visit artscouncil.mt, call on 2334 7230, or email fundinfo@artscouncil.mt.

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