The President of Malta George Vella and the Minister for the National Heritage, the Arts and Local Government Owen Bonnici presented the President’s Award for Creativity to four organisations, Gabriel Caruana Foundation with the project Whereabout Are You From for the year 2021, while Inizjamed with the project Niġru Ġrajja, Outlook Coop with We Are All Story Tellers, and Fondazzjoni Sebħ with See My Voice are the beneficiaries for the year 2022.
While congratulating and wishing the winners well for their commitment, the President of Malta noted that the main goal in these projects should be “to stimulate creativity, spark imagination, and encourage our communities to live creativity also through their participation.”
President Vella said that creativity should be a commitment for each and every one of us, regardless of whether we are part of an institution or not. “The search and achievement of quality should not only be on national projects, but it should also apply to every layer of our society”, added the President.
The President’s Award for Creativity is part of a series of initiatives by Arts Council Malta intended to strengthen inclusivity, community development, and well-being through cultural participation and creative expression.
“We firmly believe that access to culture is a fundamental right of every human being, and, through such initiatives, we are continuing to promote the knowledge and pursuit of diverse narratives while continuing to increase opportunities so that our artists and creatives can roam further,” said Minister Owen Bonnici during the award ceremony.
Dr Bonnici mentioned that in the past seven years, the sum of €640,000 has been invested in community projects through the President’s Award for Creativity, which is divided into two parts: one for capacity building and development, and the other focused on projects / Programmes that embrace the goals of the award.
“Since Arts Council Malta started collaborating on this initiative with the Office of the President, there have been a total of 56 beneficiaries,” said the Director of Funding & Strategy, Mary Ann Cauchi.
“Through the President’s Award for Creativity, we are also addressing one of the objectives of the Strategy 2025 strategic goals, that art and culture reach more people in every aspect of their lives, in order to have a more diverse and innovative cultural and creative ecology, which is appreciated by the community that embraces it.”
This initiative continues to emphasise the promotion of cultural rights and offers more opportunities for people to get involved in creative expression, which Arts Council Malta continues to promote continuously in its work.
These principles are reflected in the projects implemented through the President’s Award for Creativity. The project Wherebout Are You From involves the engagement of an officer for the Gabriel Caruana Foundation to develop initiatives in the community, understand the respective needs, and develop the community’s involvement. Inizjamed’s Niġru Ġrajja brings together different sectors of the Ħamrun community, including adults, youths, and migrants, with a special focus on human stories.
The participants of Spero within Outlook Coop will have a safe space created for them through the project We Are All Storytellers. This project will involve visually impaired participants in workshops led by professional artists. The project culminates in a production for local television. See My Voice consists of a series of workshops designed to help women, children, and youth who are victims of domestic violence within Fondazzjoni Sebħ. The project will include art and dance as forms of creative expression and alternative skills.