30,000 students to benefit from 50 productions submitted for this year’s Culture Pass
Minister for Justice, Culture and Local Government Owen Bonnici and Parliamentary Secretary for Youth, Sport and Voluntary Organisations Clifton Grima have launched the 2019/2020 edition of the Culture Pass at St Benedict Primary School in iż-Żurrieq.
This edition will once again be for all kindergarten, primary and secondary school children, and aims to reach 30,000, students. In fact, due to its popularity, there has been around a 55% increase in its budget allocation, totalling to €200,000.
Speaking at the launch, Minister Owen Bonnici stated that, “the Culture Pass has become another opportunity to incentivise cultural producers to produce new productions and artistic activities devised specifically for children and young people. While last year, 33 productions formed part of the Culture Pass, there are 50 productions available for this year programme.
More than half of these were new productions. The producers range from those who are veteran to talented new artists to public cultural organisations, such as the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra, Teatru Malta and ŻfinMalta. This forms part of our strategy to make this sector more available to everyone, especially from a young age and also as part of audience development, by creating new audiences across different genres and styles.”
The productions included for this year’s programme vary and represent all forms of art: dance, theatre, music, visual arts, literature, film and heritage.
A theme which will be explored for the first time in the Culture Pass programme, is Maltese poetry through Maltese folk singing (għana). Early next year, Malta is expected to submit the second application to UNESCO to inscribe Maltese folk singing on the humanity list of intangible cultural heritage. The Culture Directorate takes the opportunity of the Culture Pass programme to promote our intangible cultural heritage with school children and għana in particular.
In fact, a large activity involving għana and Year 8 students will be held prior to the submitting of the application in March, to explore the prose and poetry found in it.
The themes vary widely and touch globalisation, multiculturalism, diversity, domestic violence and human rights. Workshops and educational resources for teachers and students are also an essential element of these productions.
Parliamentary Secretary for Youth, Sport and Voluntary Organisations Clifton Grima stated that this initiative will give students access to Malta’s culture in an artistic manner, enhancing the practice of informal learning. This scheme will help students become aware of various issues which include historical and environmental topics, amongst others. This way our students will develop a better sense of identity and wellbeing.
“The Culture Pass has several objectives. It supports educational growth, because the emphasis is to relate productions with the school curriculum. Thus, the engagement in cultural and artistic activities complement the learning outcomes of the National Curriculum and add value to cultural education and other curricular subjects,” concluded Parliamentary Secretary Grima.
The Culture Pass programme is expected to be very successful during this scholastic year. To ensure this success, schools are encouraged to nominate a teacher on a voluntary basis to act as a cultural ambassador within the school. The experience gained last year has shown that the role of these teachers was a key factor in the success of the programme. This year, the response from schools to nominate the cultural ambassador was overwhelming, confirming that schools are finding the Culture Pass a valuable experience in a win-win scenario.
Schools may start booking the productions immediately from www.culturepassmalta.com. Events may take place at the school or outside the school. Schools are at liberty to choose any production and most productions are available throughout the year; with some having specific dates. Each production indicates to which audience is suitable. For further information, schools are urged to contact the Culture Directorate on firstname.lastname@example.org or on 25674211.