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EACEA National Policies Platform


8. Creativity and Culture

8.4 Promoting culture and cultural participation

Last update: 28 November 2023
On this page
  1. Reducing obstacles to young people's access to culture
  2. Disseminating information on cultural opportunities
  3. Knowledge of cultural heritage amongst young people

Reducing obstacles to young people's access to culture


Arts Council Malta facilitates young people’s access to cultural environments and foster their participation in cultural events and experiences through the following initiatives and funding programmes:

Creative Communities is a fund for community-led creative and artistic activities, primarily addressing local communities. It provides the opportunity for training, research and the development of artistic projects led by the community for the community, while celebrating cultural diversity.

Creative Communities aims to:

  • Boost art and culture in the community through projects managed by voluntary organisations active in the local community
  • Enable voluntary organisations to carry out projects related to culture and the arts in local communities
  • Encourage active participation of local communities in the culture and arts sector
  • Celebrate the cultural diversity found in the various towns and cities around Malta and Gozo 
  • Support projects that encourage cultural integration
  • Strengthen and increase knowledge of local tangible and intangible heritage

The projects the fund invests in are:

  • Informal Training and Development Programmes which boost the artistic development of the applicant organisation or which encourage the creative development of the community. This may include exchange programmes on a local and international level
  • Research related to aspects of the collective memory of the community and/or cultural identity of the community
  • Events, productions and/or exhibitions which encourage active cultural participation, boost the community’s creative expression or appreciation of its history and identity

Il-Premju tal-President għall-Kreattività provides recognition and support at the highest level of the State to organisations, especially those working with vulnerable and disadvantaged groups, to engage these groups in creativity and arts-driven projects and thereby increase their level of integration and engagement in society. The Award is managed by the Office of the President and Arts Council Malta.

The Award aims to:

  • Support organisations and institutions that target the social needs and well-being of the community at large, especially the more vulnerable sectors and hard to reach groups – with a special emphasis on children, youth, the elderly, hard-to-reach groups, people with different abilities, people from different ethnic backgrounds –through creativity and the arts
  • Provide accessibility to disadvantaged groups to a wide range of quality art experiences and art-engagement activities, as well as act as a platform for young promising talent
  • Incentivise the contribution of arts organisations towards community development and collaborative arts project

The Professional Development Grant is a new grant launched by Arts Council Malta as outlined in its Create2020 Strategy, with a particular focus on nurturing creative potential and supporting its development into professional activity. The grant programme forms part of the National Fund for Artistic Excellence

The Professional Development Grant supports the continuous professional development of Maltese or Malta-based artists and cultural operators who are active in the cultural and creative sectors and seeking to engage in short term professional training to improve their skills and advance their specialisation. The programme is also open to students engaged in the cultural and creative sectors, as long as the proposed training programme is not related to the full-time studies.

The programme reflects the drive towards further professionalisation of the sectors and the promotion of an entrepreneurial culture among creative professionals. It provides opportunities that can strengthen the knowledge base and strategies of cultural and creative enterprises. By investing in processes designed to improve the quality that is needed to generate artistic work of excellence, our goal is to support the development of a sustainable creative ecology, providing value added and job opportunities in the sector. 

The Kreattiv funding programme engages educators and creative practitioners in dialogue and collaboration while encouraging students and educators towards further engagement within the creative sector. Kreattiv aims to bring creative practitioners into schools to work with teachers and students to inspire, learn and create in a collaborative and innovative way.

The aims of the fund are to:

  • Initiate creative projects in classrooms, schools and colleges through collaborations between teachers, students and creative practitioners and, in so doing, to facilitate creative education as a key tool for holistic development.
  • Introduce children and young people to potential careers in the cultural and creative sector, through selected collaborations with higher educational institutions.
  • Embed cultural and creative entrepreneurship in schools as expressed in the National Cultural Policy.
  • Encourage collaboration between educational institutions, the culture and creative industries, and other relevant sectors such as science and technology.
  • Create employment opportunities for creative professionals.
  • Encourage creative collaborations amongst educational institutions, and partnerships with public and private cultural operators.

The Culture Pass is an initiative of Arts Council Malta through which every secondary school student in Malta is given the opportunity to experience a minimum of one artistic production a year produced by creative professionals and presented through a curated programme.

Divergent thinkers is an annual collective exhibition for young artists managed by Aġenzija Żgħażagħ in collaboration with St James Cavalier Centre for Creativity. Divergent Thinkers creates a platform for young contemporary Maltese artists to exhibiting and promote their work. Young artists between 18 and 30 years old are invited to submit their artistic proposals and be considered for public exhibition. Selected artists receive an honorarium and participate in a curated exhibition. The works are included in an illustrated catalogue accompanying the exhibition. The artist with the best work are awarded with a residency in an international art centre. The winning artist and runner-up are given support to set up their own exhibition.

It-Taħriġ Mużikali taż-Żghażagh fil-Każini tal-Banda is a project managed by Aġenzija Żgħażagħ  with the support of Għaqda Każini tal-Banda that offers financial assistance to band clubs to develop initiatives to bring more people into the teaching of music or to improve facilities which teach music.

The aim of Music Quest is to help young emerging singers, musicians and bands wishing to break into the music scene.  Young artists between 13 and 30 years are to submit a demo with an original song. Selected participants are given free coaching management and opportunities for live performance.  The winner with the best demo song is given financial assistance to help with the professional production in a studio.

Aġenzija Żgħażagħ together with Kunsill Nazzjonali tal-Ktieb organise the annual Konkors ta’ Kitba – Letteratura għaż-Żgħażagħ which is a writing contest that selects, rewards and publishes Maltese novels written for young adolescent readers. Submissions for this contest explore themes related to the different situations encountered by young people during this stage in their lives.

Organised by Aġenzija Żgħażagħ the Malta Youth Film Festival is aimed at young people between 16-30 years old interested in filming, production, and cinematography. Young artists are invited to submit their short film productions (not exceeding 10 minutes) in any genre. The aim of the festival is to provide a platform for young people who are interested in this sphere. Through this festival interested young people can participate in a number of workshops that guide them from the submission process onwards. awards are given for seven different categories including best script, actors and direction as well as a final evaluation to each participant to help them improve in this art.

Artivisti is a collaboration between Aġenzija Żgħażagħ and the Arts Council Malta and is intended to be a development platform for youth collaboration in the creative worls. Artivisti is designed to recognise the talent of emerging young artists in the creative and artistic field, and to foster their potential, creativity, talent, initiative and social responsability.

Taħżiż is a programme managed Aġenzija Żgħażagħ and the Għaqda tal-Malti of the University of Malta. Taħżiż creates an opportunity for young writers between 18 and 30 years old to participate in a series of three intensive residential seminars on creative writing. At the end of the program have performed work during the seminars publication.

ŻiguŻajg is an annual International Arts Festival for children and young people organised by Fondazzjoni Kreattività with the support of Aġenzija Żgħażagħ that aims to foster aesthetic and cultural awareness amongst the younger generation. ŻiguŻajg has a vision of positioning the creative arts for children and young people at the core of Malta’s creative ecology. The festival aims to do this by showcasing professional arts specifically designed for children and young people in various disciplines at a high level of excellence. It does this through the development of a national repertoire of works for children and young people and by creating an accessible and inclusive artistic programme which increases cultural participation. 

Young Talent Fund is an annual grant that supports the participation of young artists and performers in international platforms such as festivals, competitions, exhibitions and/or performances organised by Arts Council Malta.The Young Talent Fund aims to support the mobility of young creatives to explore, build networks and to engage in international collaborations; to encourage young creatives to actively engage in international platforms and to facilitate and expose young talent to other international practices.The programme is also open to young creatives engaged in technical skills within the creative sectors, such as backstage crew, audio visuals, set design, marketing and management. The fund does not cover short or long-term professional training or workshops.

The Young Artist of the Year Award is a collaboration between Aġenzija Żgħażagħ and the Arts Council Malta as part of the council’s National Arts Awards.

Malta Youth Film Festival is an annual festival organized by Aġenzija Żgħażagħ in collaboration with the Malta Film Foundation and the Parliamentary Secretary for Sports, Recreation and Voluntary Organisations. The Malta Youth Film Festival is open to all film genres including animation, drama, thriller, music video, documentary and others. Film duration is not to exceed 10 minutes. Participants must be between 16 and 30 years. Awards include best script; best direction; most original concept; best actor; best cinematography; best overall film; public choice award.

Għanja tal-Poplu Żgħażagħ is a collaborative project between Aġenzija Żgħażagħ, Għanja tal-Poplu the Akkademja tal Malti and the Ministry for Education and Employment.  This initiative is part of Għanja tal-Poplu a festival that celebrates Maltese popular song.

MalTeen is residency with a focus on young people organised by Spazju Kreattiv  in collaboration with Aġenzija Żgħażagħ. This residency is an opportunity for young people aged 13-17 to participate in a short project with creatives that are sensitive to work with younger people. MalTeen is a year-long arts programme geared towards active youth involvement and empowerment.


Disseminating information on cultural opportunities

Arts Council Malta also organises regular information sessions on its funding programmes to inform the young people and the general public on the opportunities it offers as well as regular meetings, networking and matchmaking. These sessions entitled ACMlab taking place monthly serving as a platform to share information and good practices, debate cultural matters and facilitate networking between peers and other stakeholders. In these sessions young people have the opportunity to learn about opportunities available that may be offered by other organisations external to Arts Council Malta.

The Youth Information Portal a service provided by Aġenzija Żgħażagħ is an online information service provided through the web portal of the National Youth Agency. The portal provides information on a number of topics, one of which is culture. Young people can also find information about events related to youth related to both young and even youth organizations.


Knowledge of cultural heritage amongst young people


Aġenzija Żgħażagħ offers the Karta Żgħażagħ to all young people aged between 13 and 30. Karta Żgħażagħ forms part of the EYCA Card network and offers discounts to a number of cultural activities in 36 different European countries. 

Heritage Malta introduced the Heritage Passport for all secondary and post-secondary school students. Students receive a card at their respective schools and will eventually receive a passport on their first visit to a Heritage Malta site or museum.

The passport will be stamped every time the students visit a site or museum. Ten stamps will entitle the student to a ‘visa’ which will allow them to access a site which would normally be closed to the general public. Twenty stamps will allow access to two of these sites.

When the passport is stamped 27 times, students will be given a special visa which will allow them to visit the Ħal-Saflieni Hypogeum UNESCO World Heritage Site with one adult for free or a gift from Heritage Malta.