During his budget speech, Finance Minister Edward Scicluna announced that the legacy created by Valletta 2018 will be carried forward in the coming years with the establishment of the Valletta Cultural Agency. As the Valletta 2018 Foundation’s work concludes this year, the Government will establish the Valletta Cultural Agency to serve as a main reference point for the development and for cultural activities in the Capital, and to carry forward the legacy created by Valletta 2018. The Agency will also follow up on Valletta’s cultural regeneration, with a view to up the level of infrastructure and services.
Today delegates gather at Fort St Elmo to discuss the legacy of Valletta 2018 – and compare it to that of other European capitals of culture. The participants will discuss sharing economy, pedestrianisation and green spaces, community involvement and similar topics. You can follow fresh updates from the conference on our Twitter profile: @evemalta, as well as using the conference hashtag, #stl2018.
Valletta 2018 has stimulated all senses, Deo Debattista, whose parliamentary secretary mandate covers Valletta 2018, told at the conference, as a unique tactile exhibition that evens out the artistic experiences of people with and without visual impairments is ongoing at University of Malta Valletta Campus.
In the meantime, let’s look at some of the highlights of Valletta 2018 during this exciting year. The Valletta 2018 opening celebrations brought together the Maltese international DJ Tenishia and the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra in a celebration that sprawled to the streets from four main squares. Poetry events elevated mundane potatoes to a new cultural height, connecting Malta and the Netherlands along the way.
Valletta 2018 was an occasion for arts superstars to visit Malta, from a famous Italian harlequin to a Grammy-winning violinist and, coming soon, Marina Abramović. An underground installation attracted numerous visitors and was later shortlisted for an international award.
Art events left concert and exhibition halls and flooded various unusual spaces – from catacombs to people’s homes for Altofest. Mewġa Mużika went on to invite the general public to become musicians Darba Waħda connected generations in storytelling, and a new digital archive of people’s memories is being born. A brand new opera in Maltese tackled the topic of asylum, and related issues were also addressed artistically in various Rima workshops.
Some events changed the look of the city – if only for a few days. St George’s square has been a beach volley ground and a floral carpet. In case you’re not yet convinced how desperately we need greenery and flowers, there was an art exhibition to visualise, among other things, the future if environmental destruction continues (read an interview with one of the environmentalist artists here). And for those still struggling to navigate the grid of Valletta’s streets, there are subjective maps now.