140 PROJECTS TO CELEBRATE VALLETTA EUROPEAN CAPITAL OF CULTURE
Next year, over one million tourists are expected to visit the capital city of Malta, Valletta, European Capital of Culture of 2018. Visitors will have the opportunity to experience or even participate in various cultural activities taking place during the whole year.
The Valletta 2018 Foundation launched the Cultural Programme of 2018: a collection of more than 140 projects and 400 activities that will occur during the year of the European Capital of Culture.
The program will initiate on the 20th of January with a series of spectacular activities in Valletta and its surroundings inviting audiences to participate in this feast spread across the island. The programme is inclusive and diverse, involving several communities and consisting of projects from different disciplines, including music, visual arts, dance and performing arts.
The Foundation has invested strongly in a varied programme that brings together the involvement of about 1,000 local and international artist, curators, artists, workshop leaders, writers, designers, and film producers. Whilst a number of international artists are collaborating with local people during the 2018 programme, Maltese artists are travelling to the twinning European Capital of Culture, Leeuwarden in the Netherlands, as well other cities in Cyprus, Japan, Poland and Greece.
The 2018 programme is based on a direct investment of € 10 million in the cultural sector that includes several infrastructural projects such as MUZA, the Valletta Design Cluster, The Market City and Strait Street planned to go beyond 2018.
Over recent months, the team of Valletta 2018 grew from a group of five people to a combined team of 45 people working on full-time, part-time or freelance basis.
The Chairman of Valletta 2018 Jason Micallef said: “We have invested a lot of energy to shape a programme that provides equal opportunities for all; to ensure that culture is not reserved to the elite making inclusiveness not only a priority, but a necessity. The year 2018 promises to be period of increased activity and cultural celebrations not seen in the country since the Independence celebrations “.
Joanne Attard Mallia, Programme Coordinator of Valletta 2018 said, “2018 will be a unique year. We are looking at a 12-month programme designed to explore and enlarge our understanding of culture and the arts by combining traditions, forms of art and concepts in innovative ways that are at times even unusual. She also stated, “This programme invites everyone to participate, experiment and contribute whether as an artist, a workshop participant, a volunteer or part of the audience”.
Mario Philip Azzopardi, the Artistic Director of Special Events said, “after years of planning, preparation and hard work involving hundreds of artists, artisans, organizers, technicians, volunteers and a good dose of will and good determination, the time has come for our Valletta to take the title of European Capital of Culture. As from the 20th of January, the city will become a spectacular place for international exhibitions and street entertainment by local artists, musicians, singers, dancers, all contributing to create a feast for everyone. The time has come; let us start the feast… you are welcome to join!”.