Arts Council Malta has been entrusted to formulate the six-month cultural programme for the Presidency of the Council of the EU 2017.

The announcement was made during the launch of the Malta Showcase 2016-2017 Maltese Presidency of the Council of the EU edition yesterday.

The Malta Showcase 2016-2017 will in fact be one of the tools available to the working group responsible for the cultural programming of Malta’s EU Presidency, which will be led by Arts Council Malta and which will also include the Presidency of the Council of the EU 2017, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and MUŻA (Heritage Malta).

The Malta Showcase is a curated collection of contemporary dance, music, visual arts and performance all created in Malta and available for programming internationally by cultural organisations, Maltese diplomatic representations overseas, ECoCs, International festivals, theatres, museums and more. This year’s edition includes 54 projects from various genres including dance, theatre, music, works for young audiences and, for the first time, visual arts.

The Malta Showcase launch was held during the annual meeting of the European Cultural Networks representatives which was being held in Malta. After the launch, Maltese artists forming part of the Malta Showcase discussed ways of exporting their work with representatives from 11 European cultural networks. These included IETM (International Network for Contemporary Performing Arts), CAE (Culture Action Europe), IMC (International Music Council) Res Artis, Gasworks, Trans Europe Halles and more.

“One of the five goals in our newly-published strategy is to ‘connect Malta to the international artistic community.’ Through today’s event, we are directly implementing six of the 10 actions relating to internationalisation – which we promised to deliver by 2020,” said Arts Council Malta executive chair Albert Marshall.

After the first edition of the Malta Showcase last year, ACM invested further in internationalisation opportunities for the cultural and creative sectors by providing an intensive training programme on internationalisation with UK partners Visiting Arts. ACM also supported ŻiguŻajg – Malta’s International Festival for Young Audiences – to host international programmers and network with the Showcase participants. A total of 28 projects were also supported through the Cultural Export Fund – ACM’s internationalisation fund – in 2015.

Five major projects forming part of the External Cultural Programme for the Commonwealth Heads of State meeting were selected through the Showcase as well as other projects presented at the Milan Expo.

The Malta Showcase is organised by Arts Council Malta in collaboration with the Valletta 2018 Foundation, Fondazzjoni Kreattività and the Parliamentary Secretariat for the EU Presidency 2017 and EU Funds.