A money management session for artists, organised by Arts Council Malta and JA Malta Foundation, together with HSBC Malta Foundation, was held at Spazju Kreattiv, Valletta, on Friday 24th March, as part of International Money Week 2023. The session, titled “Managing and Maximising Finances as a Performing Artist”, consisted of a series of panels moderated by Vanessa Macdonald and Ray Calleja, aimed at helping young and emerging artists to recognise the need for proper money management, and its essential role in facilitating the creation of art.

The first panel, moderated by Vanessa Macdonald, and featuring Patricia Busuttil (HSBC Malta), Marika Tonna (Business 1st), Giselle Borg Olivier (Zaar) and Mark Weingard (Iniala Group), focussed on investors in the Arts, and was followed by a presentation, led by Natalie Meilak (HSBC Malta), on why financial literacy is an asset, and not a burden.

Marika Tonna, Mark Weingard - Managing and Maximising Finances as a Performing Artist
Marika Tonna (Business 1st CEO) , Mark Weingard (Founder at Iniala Group) – Photo credit: Sebio Aquilina

The second panel featured professionals of the Visual, Performing and Literary Arts community, such as Lee-N Abela (theatre practitioner), Francesca Tranter (contemporary dance professional) and Dr Ramona Depares (freelance content service provider and mentor). Moderated by Ray Calleja, the panel examined the relationship between creativity and financial stability. This topic is of especial significance for artists, due to their inconsistent income. JA Malta’s very own Petra Ellul Mercer delivered a presentation just after the second panel, on Our Relationship with Money, which explored how our subconscious attitudes colour our financial habits.

Panel three, moderated by Ray Calleja, saw three emerging professionals detail their lived experience as young artists, and highlighted the part proper money awareness has to play in supporting their way of life. The artists in question were Gabriel Lia, writer and radio broadcaster, Luke Camilleri, artist and record label owner (141 Records), and Martina Camilleri, cultural practitioner and community outreach professional (Gabriel Caruana Foundation).

Audience - Managing and Maximising Finances as a Performing Artist
Photo credit: Sebio Aquilina

The session was closed off by Matthew Caruana (JA Malta’s CEO), and Mary Ann Cauchi (Arts Council Malta), who stressed that it is critical that financial literacy be learnt early on in life, and that this responsibility should not only fall on schools, but on academies and organisations that form part of our community, and enrich our culture. JA Malta is at the forefront of the nation’s entrepreneurship, money management and work readiness scene, and is constantly engaging with the government, business and the public, to kick off a debate on Malta’s Entrepreneurial Education Policy.