Malta to host World Summit on Arts and Culture

Malta Council for Culture and the Arts,
16 January 2014, Malta

The Malta Council for Culture and the Arts has been announced as the host of the 7th World Summit on Arts and Culture, to be held in Valletta in October 2016.

Co-hosted with the International Federation of Arts Councils and Culture Agencies (IFACCA), the World Summit will welcome around 500 delegates from 80 countries to discuss the major issues impacting the arts. Coming in the run-up to the Maltese EU Presidency in 2017 and Valletta as a Capital of Culture in 2018, the World Summit will usher in an exciting period for anyone involved in the Maltese and international cultural and artistic landscape.

The announcement was made at the conclusion of the 6th World Summit on Arts and Culture in Santiago, de Chile, by the Chair of the International Federation of Arts Councils and Culture Agencies (IFACCA), Alan Davey.

The bid, submitted early last year by the Malta Council for Culture and the Arts (MCCA) was chosen by the board of IFACCA based on the published selection criteria.

The MCCA will be co-producing this mega cultural event with the cooperation of the Parliamentary Secretariat for Culture.

“At a moment like this, when my country is being entrusted with hosting such a prestigious event as an IFACCA Summit for culture and the arts, I must declare my full commitment,” said parliamentary secretary for culture Jose’ Herrera, who was present at the announcement. “I will ensure that my country - my city - fully exploits the benefits of playing host for this encounter. Only good can come from exposing Maltese artists to global influences, networking and the sharing of ideas. Winning the right to hold the 2016 Summit is the equivalent, for Maltese artists, to hosting the Olympics,” he said.

“Bringing the world back home in 2016 and engaging with so many different peoples from so many different countries will surely be a special celebration - a fiesta of the arts, understanding, culture and collaboration.”

Commenting on the MCCA’s winning bid, MCCA Chair Albert Marshall said that: "The MCCA senses an urgent need to workshop with the international community innovative and progressive ideas about how to manage the cultivation of concepts related to the cultural and creative industries as part of our national cultural policy - a relatively new discourse for Malta's artistic community and cultural administrators."

Mr Marshall added that “the IFACCA experience is not only going to be timely but also an important point of reference as we go through the task of addressing this pressing issue that is to determine our future cultural management policies.”

In recent years, Valletta, a UNESCO world heritage site, has become the country’s undisputed artistic capital, with new artistic spaces opening up, creating exciting interactions between the capital’s rich cultural heritage and the contemporary arts.

The World Summit will be held at the Mediterranean Conference Centre in Valletta, a 16th century building originally used as the Sacra Infermeria or hospital by the Knights of the Order of St John. The sensitive and innovative restoration won international acclaim with the coveted Europa Nostra award for its successful blending of the fine old architecture with modern technology.

For three days, national arts councils, ministries of culture, arts and cultural policy makers, artists and community leaders from around the world will exchange experiences and ideas about vital issues affecting public support for the arts and creativity at a national and global level.

Previous World Summits on Arts and Culture have been held in Ottawa, Canada (2000), Singapore (2003), Newcastle Gateshead, England (2006), Johannesburg, South Africa (2009) and Melbourne Australia (2011). The 6th World Summit has just come to a conclusion in Santiago, Chile (2014).

IFACCA is the worldwide network of national arts funding agencies dedicated to improving good practice in arts and cultural policy development, arts funding, audience development and public access to the arts.