Previously known as the Malta Council for Culture and the Arts (MCCA), Arts Council Malta (ACM) is the national agency for development and investment in the cultural and creative sectors.

Larger and more structured than the MCCA, the ACM operates through three specific directorates. The creation and development of strategies for the sector falls under the Strategy Directorate. The Directorate is built on five strategic focal points which include internationalisation and business development but also research, education and training and diversity and communities. These points also run through the council’s national strategy for the cultural and creative sectors for the years 2016-2020, which was published recently.

The directorate also focuses on the management and development of the funding portfolio, which currently includes nine national funding programmes amounting to around 1.5 million euro. A brokerage team also assists operators in the cultural and creative sectors to maximize their potential.

The aim is the creation of a one-stop shop for culture, a service hub for those working in the sector, mainly characterized by micro-enterprises and individual operators.

Festivals fall under their own distinct directorate, whose role it is to focus on the management and development of the diverse festivals portfolio of the Council. With a brief which ranges from ensuring that festivals’ development is built on solid ground to issues such as audience development and cultural participation, this directorate also aims to create a partnership with existing festivals, with the view of eventually increasing the number of festivals in the calendar.

The third directorate – Corporate Affairs – provides all the support services for the effective and efficient functioning of the other two distinctive directorates and the Public Cultural Organisations.

The change within the national arts body comes at a propitious time. In recent years, the cultural and creative sectors have been going through an exciting period of growth and change which have brought about corresponding challenges for the sector. With events such as the Seventh World Summit on Arts and Culture later this year, the Maltese Presidency of the Council of the European Union in 2017 and Valletta as the European Capital of Culture in 2018, a reorganised and effective Arts Council Malta is poised to be a major player in what promises to be one of the most energetic and bristling sectors in the years to come.