During a press conference addressed by the Minister for the National Heritage, the Arts and Local Government José Herrera and Arts Council Malta (ACM) Director Funding and Strategy Mary-Ann Cauchi, it was announced that the first call for the Programming Support Scheme 2022 is now open. This scheme forms part of the Resilience Funds which also include the Events Assurance Scheme and the Seat Utilisation Scheme published in December 2021.

The Resilience Strand of ACM’s portfolio of schemes is key at providing local artists and creatives the necessary assurance in the development and production of projects during times of uncertainty brought about by the global pandemic situation,” said Minister Herrera.

Whilst our main aim remains focused on the creation of a sustainable and more resilient sector, as a government we understand the need to provide peace of mind to artists via funding, to continue supporting the sector in the short, medium term,” continued Herrera.

Arts Council Malta Director Mary Ann Cauchi reiterated that the Council’s commitment towards the creative and cultural sectors includes providing artists, creatives and cultural practitioners with the necessary tools to implement programmes that reflect the growth of the sectors which was already happening even before the pandemic. “We must look forward towards the future with the ambition of creating a more vibrant, sustainable and professional programme for the months and years to come,” said Cauchi.

The first call of the Programme Support Scheme covers programmes taking place between May and November 2023. This call which closes on the 23rd of February 2022 is one of three calls spread throughout 2022. Applicants will need to provide a proposed programme of related activities with a common objective, which may include events, productions, performances, exhibitions, festivals, community cultural initiatives, training and development initiatives aligned to a budget forecast.

The Programme Support Scheme aims to facilitate more financial and strategic flexibility, security, collaborations, innovative audience engagement, skills development and logistical service acquisition while minimising the risk of unexpected losses that occur due to unexpected restrictions related to public health or related matters. Cultural operators – whether they operate on a small, medium or large scale – would be able to plan ahead in their programming while adapting to the new realities and taking into account the possible uncertainties in a strategic and financially feasible manner.

Health and safety measures are to be given utmost importance, keeping in mind that these are contingent upon the situation in the respective periods. Therefore, applicants are encouraged to submit their proposed programme of activities whilst keeping in mind the current scenarios.

This Scheme will also enable a compensation for seated ticketed events which would have to operate below full seating capacity due to public health restrictions. The capped compensation works around the difference between the projected ticket sales in circumstances without public health restrictions and the projected ticket sales with the current public health restrictions (which may vary over time).

Applications which do not opt to include the seat compensation through this scheme may consider submitting a separate application through the Seat Utilisation Scheme.

Moreover, the Resilience Strand includes the Events Assurance Scheme which is aimed at providing the necessary assurance for cultural and artistic professionals in case of any potential re-introduction of restrictive measures beyond the current ones. The scheme will provide mitigation on measures that can have a devastating impact on the industry and will provide support to cover investments in terms of time and equity in the preparation for the organisation of activities/events.

The Seat Utilisation Scheme and the Events Assurance Scheme are open throughout 2022 with specific deadlines. To stay up to date and participate contact the Malta Business Agency team.