National Heritage, Arts and Local Government Minister Owen Bonnici and Parliamentary Secretary for Local Government Alison Zerafa Civelli announced six Cultural Regions Strategies.
The Regional Cultural Strategies were developed from the regions and have been run by Arts Council Malta in collaboration with the Local Government Division and the Malta Local Councils’ Association. Every strategy is dedicated for every region in our country and they focus on cultural themes and the areas which are most important for the regions themselves as from 2022 onwards. There are six Regional Cultural Strategies – Gozo, North, East, West, Port, and South, all of which address their specific region.
“Our country’s rich culture and art are reflected in the regional cultural strategies, through which we will be working towards the strengthening of the cultural and creative sectors. With an initiative of this level, we are increasing accessibility in this sector as well as increasing professionalisation,” stated Minister Bonnici during the launch.
Dr Bonnici concluded, “the strategies were developed with the Local Councils, cultural NGOs, Public Cultural Organisations, cultural practitioners, as well as local residents so as to maximise the potential not only of the regions but also of the cultural and creative sectors.
“The six cultural strategies will be of guidance for the design and plan of each cultural region program, which will ensure that the unique traditions, talents, characteristics and historical elements of each Maltese and Gozitan locality are well celebrated” stated Parliamentary Secretary Zerafa Civelli. She also praised the Local Government Division, Regional Councils, and the Local Councils’ Association for their contribution in designing the cultural strategies.
These strategies are in line with UNESCO’s affirmations in this regard and are also inspired by how the European Commission establishes “the essential role that culture has in local development, particularly in the reduction of opportunities between different areas in Europe. Three main transversal cultural themes have also been drafted across the country, which are talent development, audience involvement, and the innovation of historical heritage. These themes are common among all regions and introduce specific priorities for each region.
The Director for Funds and Strategy within Arts Council Malta, Mary Ann Cauchi, stated that these “strategies will lead to the sharing of experiences, knowledge, and the development of more opportunities and initiatives within this region and sector. Besides this, with these regional cultural strategies, the vision of Arts Council Malta’s Strategy2025 is also being implemented, that is, that art is at the core of our future.”
The six Regional Cultural Strategies may be found on Arts Council Malta’s website; one may obtain a copy of the strategy from the respective region from January 2023.