First edition of teen arts event currently underway at St James Cavalier

The halls and corridors of St James Cavalier Centre for Creativity are swarming with teenagers this weekend as the first edition of #malteen – a new arts event focusing on teens – is currently underway.

Teenagers swarm St James Cavalier for #malteen
Teenagers swarm St James Cavalier for #malteen

During the weekend event, large groups of teenagers – aged 13 to 17 – are being immersed in an arts-filled programme which puts their aspirations and passions at the centre.

From music concerts to dance installations, from theatre productions and scriptwriting workshops to human board games and abseiling and other challenges, the event celebrates teenagers’ creativity and need for expression.

Outside St James Cavalier, too, a group of teenagers are camping in the carpark. They are charged with documenting the event and creation of a short film and are currently hard at work scripting, acting and filming with the help of a group of filming professionals. The film will be premiered at the closing party on Sunday.

#malteen aims to immerse teens in art at an age when their life is often full of distractions and when they are beginning to develop their own adult identities. “We want #malteen to be about teenagers, their dreams, aspirations and how we can encourage and enhance creativity in all its forms,” #malteen project manager Maria Spiteri Zahra said.

“That is why we have focused on the things that they are passionate about and that best allow them to express their creativity.”

Teens often wear masks, Jamie Cardona, a child actor well-known for his role in plays such as the recent Il-Kappillan ta’ Malta, said. Cardona was also part of the team of teenagers who contributed ideas to the programme, resulting in a weekend designed by teens for teens.

#malteen is being organised for the first time by Fondazzjoni Ċelebrazzjonijiet Nazzjonali, Aġenzija Żgħażagħ and St James Cavalier Centre for Creativity.

The event was opened today by parliamentary secretary for youth Chris Agius, Aġenzija Żgħażagħ CEO Miriam Teuma, Fondazzjoni Ċentru għall-Kreattivita’ Chairman Rupert Cefai and representatives from a number of cultural entities. 

READ MORE: Interview with Miriam Teuma

READ MORE: Interview with #malteen participant Leanne Ellul