A COVID-19 Transition Arts Task Force has been set up by the Ministry for National Heritage, the Arts and Local Government in collaboration with Arts Council Malta.
Over the past months, the cultural and creative sectors have faced and continue to face numerous challenges relating to the cancellation of events, the closing of cultural venues, the calls for digital shifts, as well as the development of artistic practices in extraordinary circumstances.
A successful transition in these circumstances demands to establish camaraderie networks and knowledge-sharing, as the sectors look towards the new realities in which artistic practice can develop in the future, the long-term impacts on audiences and their readiness to interact with the sectors, and the new demands which have formed as a result of new normals.
Based on these three principles - camaraderie, knowledge-sharing, and support - the Task Force will consist of the ‘Idea Generation and Knowledge-Sharing’ phase in which artists, creative practitioners and audiences are beIng asked to share their challenges, contribute their suggestions, and/or put forward concerns and queries through the online platform https://www.covid19transitionarts.mt/ - in order to identify key issues being faced by practitioners and audiences alike.
These issues will then be followed up by the ‘Advisory and Consultation’ phase, in which key experts and sector stakeholders, including but not limited to Public Cultural Organisations, Investment in Cultural Organisations beneficiaries, Gozo Cultural Support Programme beneficiaries, arts education consultants, community arts consultants, and cultural managers - are being invited to participate in working units that seek to discuss and propose recommendations, discover solutions and provide guidance whilst creating a balance between optimizing operations and keeping people safe. This advisory group will consist of three working units (venues-based, events-based, and disciplines-based), which further split up into three smaller working groups tackling different focal points. Each working group will consist of a provocateur, moderator, and rapporteur whilst artists, creative practitioners and audiences will be able to view the outcomes of each session on the online portal and contribute with further feedback.
The recommendations and potential solutions put forward through a collective effort by sector stakeholders will support the Ministry for National Heritage, the Arts and Local Government, the Arts Council Malta, and the Malta public health authorities to devise tangible outcomes in both the short and longer terms. The nature of these outcomes will be determined accordingly and may include but is not limited to the provision of support through training, specific funding programmes, toolkits, and changes at strategy level.