The Malta Independent 21 August 2019, Wednesday

Giuseppe Schembri Bonaci named artistic director for Strait Street regeneration

Monday, 27 April 2015, 16:43 Last update: about 5 years ago

The Valletta 2018 Foundation announced the appointment of Dr Giuseppe Schembri Bonaci, a Valletta-born arts academic, to oversee Strait Street’s long-term sustainability while it is being transformed into a permanent hub of activity.

Addressing a press conference, Valletta 2018 Foundation Chairman Jason Micallef said “Strait Street is fast becoming a hub of social life and creative activity in Valletta while restoration and regeneration works are underway”.

This was the vision of the Valletta 2018 Foundation from the outset when it was announced that Strait Street will be turned into a buzzing zone of social activity and entertainment. In direct coordination with the Valletta 2018 Foundation, Dr Schembri Bonaci is overseeing the organisation of cultural and artistic activities linked with Strait Street as well as the bridging of events. This includes activity which will be taking place at the Valletta Design Cluster, to be established at the area known as il-Biċċerija, in 2018 and beyond.

In discussion with the Valletta Rehabilitation Project – responsible for restoration and regeneration works – Dr Schembri Bonaci is contributing knowledge and direction on the street’s aesthetics while helping interpret history with a focus on the contemporary.

In Dr Schembri Bonaci’s words, Strait Street is to become a tradition and institution; a brand name of art and culture. This will be sustained by a programme of quality events and continuous activity”.

Dr Schembri Bonaci will be supervising the coordination between all venues, bars and restaurants and street hubs while creating links with all interested potential partners including the University of Malta, MCAST, the School of Art, the School of Music, museums, Teatru Manoel(and other theatres), the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra and root/popular culture sectors including new bands andgħannejja, among others. Activites will include exhibitions, theatre productions, seminars, symposia, talks, street theatre, night events, jamming sessions, direct meetings and networking sessions with artists.

The regeneration of jazz music, cabaret, theatre and urban culture is among the programme’s objectives, which will see the participation of international artists on a regular basis. The rehabilitation of Strait Street as an activity centre; architectural restoration reflecting its character and history; the re-establishment of entertainment and urban culture life; and the rehabilitation and conservation of historic wall paintings and signs, is among the work that will be carried out.

In line with the ongoing work, study and archival research on the street’s history and uses is taking place. The clustering of various artistic activities in different locales in terms of management is meanwhile being studied.

While infrastructural works are underway, a number of events are planned over the coming weeks as part of a gradual programme build-up.



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