The Malta Independent 17 February 2020, Monday

Eight social and community projects win President’s Creativity Awards

Thursday, 23 January 2020, 08:41 Last update: about 25 days ago

Eight projects are benefiting from the 2019 edition of the President’s Creativity Awards.

“The initiative provides recognition and support at the highest level of the State to organisations, especially those working with groups from socially or economically deprived environments, to engage the groups in creativity and arts-driven projects and increase their level of integration and engagement in society,” a statement by the Office of the President read.

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The Award is managed by the Office of the President and Arts Council Malta.

A total of eight projects will be receiving over €55,000 in the 2019 edition of this award. The beneficiaries were announced during an awards ceremony held on the 21st of January at the San Anton Presidential Palace in Attard.

The ceremony was addressed by President of Malta George Vella, who showed appreciation for the commitment shown by different bodies to help people experiencing various difficulties in their lives.

While addressing the ceremony, Minister for National Heritage, the Arts and Local Government José Herrera said that the Award has helped in the creation, growth and nurturing of a number of organisations. He said that it embraced their continuous dedication and accompanied them in the development of ethical and professional practices. The Minister said that there was an investment of more than €55,000 in this edition of the initiative.

Minister Herrera said that the government will continue investing in the cultural and creative sector. In her address, the Shadow Minister for the Arts Therese Comodini Cachia said that the support of the President through this fund, in collaboration with Arts Council Malta, shows maximum support for the important role of the arts, on a social level as well.

Awardees 2019

Spero

Ir-Raġel li Jara b’Widnejh

This project aims to use theatre as a medium and develop Spero service users’ abilities while contributing to their overall well-being through drama. Spero is a training and activity centre for blind and visually impaired people. The play “Ir-Raġel li Jara b’Widnejh” was scripted by Martha Vella and directed by Josette Ciappara.

Fondazzjoni Wens 

Empowering through murals: Using murals to empower, team build and create a place of public memory for residents

The aim of this project is to bring an element of creativity to the home in Fgura (Merħba – Fondazzjoni Wens), through artworks created by the residents themselves. Every step of the project will be accompanied by the artist, James Micallef Grimaud and a youth worker. The artworks created in this project will focus on the narrative, related to different memories the residents have of the yearly seasons.

St Jeanne Antide Foundation

A Stitch in Time

Handmade Maltese Bobbin Lace is a dying art. This project aims to  revive this cultural tradition and create spaces for community, sharing, healing and inclusion through the learning of this local art form. The project is targeting women with multiple and complex needs that St Jeanne AntideFoundation offers other services to.

Step Up for Parkinson's

Step Up for Parkinson's is a Voluntary Organisation that provides free specialized movement classes to people with Parkinson's Disease and their Caregiver. These classes are proven to be beneficial through case studies that have been conducted over the past decade, most notably by Dr Sarah Houston, a lecturer, and researcher at Roehampton University. These classes improve the overall quality of life physically, psychologically and socially. The participants work on their motor skills, balance, weight shifting, gait, freezing, initiation of movement, and facial expression.

Karl Vella Foundation

Shaping Dreams Together

The project consists of 122 ceramics sessions spread over 127 weeks for children coping with loss or serious illness within the family which affects them socially and psychologically. Together with Alka Ceramics, the project uses clay following Patricia Sherwood's handbook “Clay Therapy” which provides direction to use the powerful medium of clay to help children work through many core issues such as anger, grief and fear.

Theatre Anon Arts Foundation

Restorying Lives: Creative Stories for Persons Living with Dementia

Services for people with dementia have grown over recent years, but are far from enough. There are hardly any activities employing creative means, including in day care centres and in homes, and these lives are often lived in relative isolation and silence… stories, narratives and lives forgotten or untold. This project seeks to employ creative storytelling in the bid to: stimulate memory; reduce social isolation through an inclusive creative space; support and empower caregivers, notably families to work with, support and stimulate members living with dementia.

ŻfinMalta – National Dance Company

Get Loose

Loose is a call to loosen the tight boundaries of labels and compartments in our minds when it comes to identifying people. This mission will be carried out through the project’s process as well as through its presentation. ŻfinMalta have engaged Gabriel Galindez Cruz, a Columbian choreographer based in Berlin, who has extensive experience in working with children who have no experience in dance. Bringing in Gabriel’s expertise in the field of movement, the final aim of the project is to present a piece which engages audiences to reconsider the coding of gender by placing participants and performers in the same universe.

Young People’s Unit

Shout Out For Mental Health

In the first phase the children and adolescents at the Young People’s Unit will be engaged in a weekly group session which will be led by an Occupational Therapist and a Psychiatric Nurse, whereby young people will be encouraged to talk about their own experiences in relation to mental health. The sessions will be attended by Gianluca Bezzina and Paul Bezzina, and participants will be guided in the basics of song writing and lyric writing. In phase 2 the singer/songwriter will produce a final song from the lyrics and music created during the 32 sessions. A focus group with all the participating young people will be organised in order to discuss the final song, to re-assure that this song would be a true representation of their emotions and experiences.

 

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