ABOUT InnovAiR 2022 @VDC

The Valletta Cultural Agency considers creativity as an essential part of a vibrant and healthy society and through its artist residencies aims to nurture experimentation and support research while promoting the Valletta Design Cluster (VDC) as a community hub for cultural and creative practice. The VDC is based at the renovated Old Abattoir in Valletta and promotes entrepreneurship and projects dealing with positive social impact and user-centred design, where design is understood as both an innovation trigger and a multi-disciplinary approach towards problem-solving creating positive impact on everyday life.


InnovAiR2022@VDC has three primary objectives:

• to develop projects linked to sustainabilityin terms of environmental matters, climate change and the circular economy, including through making technologies or sustainable design practices (both innovative and traditional);
• to support projects addressing urban culture in terms of liveability, accessibility, infrastructure and placemaking within an urban setting steeped in history and heritage, including innovative public engagement with public and green spaces in the city;
• to promote community-focused projects by celebrating cultural and social diversity and engaging creatively with various social groups, through inclusive, participatory and empowering processes. Communities may include but not be limited to youth, elderly, residents, makers, persons working or studying within the field of design, sustainable food making practitioners, environmentalists, placemakers, operators active in the social sphere.

Duration: One to three months, depending on the project proposal.
Outcome: While each residency is unique, the VCA asks for a number of tangible outcomes, from each project, namely:

  • A clear process of engagement with the relevant cultural, social and Valletta Design Cluster members network in Valletta / Malta
  • At least one knowledge-sharing / participatory workshop open to a number of participants from the local community and/or persons working or studying in the field of design;
  • One public event where the outcome of the residency is shared

The VCA will consider favourably proposals that are able to integrate digital means of documenting and dissemination of the artistic process engaged with during the residency through online platforms and other media.


Networking: support to familiarize with the local context if necessary and assistance in establishing artistic and professional connections that best support your work and career.
Accommodation: a room within a communal apartment as well as a well-equipped shared kitchen and bathroom, bed sheets and towels, located at the Valletta Design Cluster. In view of the current COVID-19 situation, each successful applicant will be granted the use of a private bedroom, except in cases where artists apply together as a group. Artists applying as a group or bubble will be asked to share dormitory style rooms.
Facilities: Access to the Valletta Design Cluster’s facilities indicated on https://www.vca.gov.mt/en/valletta-design-cluster/our-facility and WIFI
Marketing & Promotion of the outcome


  • Financial Support;
  • Flights to and from Malta;
  • Local transport;
  • Insurance: travel, personal, health and personal equipment insurance is the artist/s’ responsibility.
  • Visa Arrangements: non-EU Artists will have to secure any Visas and documents required for travelling to, and staying in, Malta for the duration of the residency.
  • Cleaning services: cleaning arrangements are not provided since the accommodation is self-catering.
  • Anything which is not specified in the WHAT WE PROVIDE section here above


We are looking for proposals that respond to one or more of the three primary objective: (a) sustainability; (b) urban culture; and © community-focused projects.

The VCA accepts proposals on an ongoing basis throughout 2022 for residencies taking place between April/May 2022 and March 2023. Proposals coming from all art forms and disciplines are considered, with a preference for proposals that engage creatively through a multidisciplinary approach. Proposals are reviewed 4 times per year with submission deadlines on the 15th of the following months: March, June, September and December.

Evaluation– an evaluation committee will assess the strengths and merits of proposals submitted. At this stage applicants who are considered favourably and obtain a minimum of 60 marks may be contacted by the VCA for an online pitch to present their proposal in greater detail. Following the online pitch, the VCA shall make a final decision on the selected applicants.

Priority will be given to applications which are:

• Innovative (in methodology, in thematic approach, in tools and technologies to be used) (max 20 marks)
• Clearly engaging with one or more of the residency objectives, and clearly demonstrating this through artistic research and engagement with the wider cultural and artistic community. (max 30 marks)
• Collaborative in nature, engaging with local practitioners in relevant areas and/or with the community of members at the Valletta Design Cluster (30 marks)
• Interactive and participatory, turning audiences into participating publics, opening the creative process to discussion and interaction, and using in-person and online tools to engage with various publics and disseminate process and results (max 20 marks)

Publication of results: Final decisions shall be communicated in the first week of April 2022 / July 2022 / October 2022 / January 2023


Who can apply?

• Artists that are at least 18 years of age at the time of the application;
• Individual artists or groups of up to four artists working together;
• Have an artistic concept/idea to develop within the Maltese context with local communities and/or artists and/or other entities such as NGOs;
• Be able to communicate adequately in English.

What your proposal should include…

Applicants should send the following material on opencalls@vca.gov.mt, writing “innovAiR2022@VDC” as the subject of the email. Large documents (over 5Mb) may be sent via filesharing services such as WeTransfer. Links to cloud storage systems will not be considered.

• A project description which clearly states the discipline and elaborates on the residency goals and the work to be created during the residency, including:

 timeline of actions
 format and description of the public sharing events (e.g. presentation, lecture, performance, screening, exhibition, etc.)
 any other document supporting the artistic proposal

• Copy of Artist’s ID Card or passport;
• Artist professional CV and a short Bio;
• A portfolio of related works (Visual artists: images or video links; Performing artists: a synopsis of previous works, video links and reviews; Literature: a list of publications and professional acknowledgements);
• State if the residency project is getting any third-party funding; if yes, please indicate the name(s) of the funding partner(s) within your proposal, what they will fund and the amount which is being provided.

*Kindly Fill in the application form with all the requested information. Incomplete applications, including applications with missing mandatory material will not be considered.


• Candidates must submit all the requested materials in the Application Section of this Call to be considered eligible.
• As this is a competitive process, the proposals received will be evaluated by a specifically-appointed committee according to the timeframes indicated.
• The Artist retains full ownership of the artwork and may decide to retain or donate it. Any costs arising from this decision, including shipping, are the responsibility of the Artist.
• The VCA retains the right to make the final decision on the total number of selected applicants through each evaluation cycle, based on a number of internal considerations, which may include but are not limited to Public Health considerations, availability of residency space, and quality of applications received.

For any queries, please send us an email on opencalls@vca.gov.mt