Owen Bonnici – (Minister for the National Heritage, the Arts, and the Local Government.)
One of the greatest Presidents that America ever had, Ronald Reagan, came up with an outstanding last public speech before he stood down from his second term in the famed Oval office. It was January 19, 1989 and President Reagan was speaking at a medal of freedom ceremony.
“The torch of lady liberty ,” he said, “symbolises our freedom and represents our heritage [as Americans], the compact with our parents, grandparents and our ancestors. It is that lady who gives us our great and special place in the world.”
Then he goes on:
“For it is the great life force of each generation of new Americans that guarantees that America’s triumph shall continue unsurpassed in the next century and beyond,” he goes on to say. “Other countries may seek to compete with us, but in one vital area, as a beacon of freedom and opportunity that draws draws the people of the world no country on Earth comes close.”
“This,” he says, “is one of the most important sources of America’s greatness. We lead the world because unique among nations, we draw our people our strength from every country and every corner of the world. And by doing so we continuously renew and enrich our nation. While other countries cling to the stale past here in America we breathe life into dreams we create the future and the world follows us into tomorrow.”
President Reagan explains: “ Thanks to each new wave of arrivals into this land of opportunity we’re a nation forever young, forever bursting with energy and new ideas and always on the cutting edge, always leading the world to the next frontier. This quality is vital to our future as a nation. If we close the door to new Americans our leadership of the world would soon be lost.”
He explains: “Those who became American citizens love this country even more. And that’s why the statue of liberty lifts her lamp to welcome them to the golden door. It is bold men and women yearning for freedom and opportunity who leave their homelands and come to this new country to start their lives over. They believe in the American dream and over and over they make it come true for themselves, for their chidlren and for others.”
“They give more than they receive. They labour and succeed and often they are entrapreneurs ... but their greatest contribution is more than economic, because they understand in a special way how glorious it is to be an American. They renew our pride and gratitude in the United States of America the greatest, freest nation in the World, the last best hope of man on Earth,” he concludes.
With the arrival of summer just around the corner, Festivals Malta has unveiled their summer cultural calendar for 2023, which promises to deliver a diverse range of high-quality events for both local and international audiences.
Among the events scheduled are the Ritmu Roots Festival, the Malta International Arts Festival, the Malta Jazz Festival, and the second edition of Dance Festival Malta. The festivals have become an annual appointment for many due to their artistic diversity, and Festivals Malta is committed to investing in culture and supporting the creative and cultural sectors to enable artists to grow and develop their talents.
The calendar kicks off with the Ritmu Roots Festival, which runs from June 2 to June 10, under the artistic direction of Andrew Alamango. The festival will feature contributions from many Maltese artists and international artists of the folk and fado musical genre. For the first time, an exhibition commemorating the legacy of the late Mikiel Abela, il-Bambinu, will also be held during the festival. A week later, from June 16 to June 25, the Malta International Arts Festival takes place, under the artistic direction of Ruben Zahra. This multidisciplinary festival will showcase many international artists, including Guilhem Desq, who will play the hurdy-gurdy, and Thomas Bloch, who will play the glass harmonica.
The Malta Jazz Festival will return to Ta' Liesse and the City Theatre from July 10 to July 15, under the artistic direction of Sandro Zerafa. This festival will feature internationally renowned jazz musicians, such as Immanuel Wilkins, Kurt Elling, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Dmitry Baevsky, Laurent Coq, and Samara Joy, the winner of the Best New Artist Grammy Award. The second edition of Dance Festival Malta, under the artistic direction of Francesca Tranter, will close the summer calendar from July 27 to July 30. This festival will feature dance performances in various genres by local and international experts in the field.
The announcement of Festivals Malta’s summer cultural calendar for 2023 is great news for culture enthusiasts and artists alike. For many years, these events have been highly anticipated by both local and international audiences, thanks to the artistic diversity that characterizes them.
We are commited to delivering high-quality cultural events that are both enjoyable and engaging for everyone who attends.
The Chair of the Agency Aaron Zahra, the Chief Executive Annabelle Stivala, and the entire Festivals Malta team have demonstrated their commitment to investing in the cultural and creative sectors by supporting artists and providing them with opportunities to develop their talents. I would like to express my gratitude to them.
Festivals Malta’s summer cultural calendar for 2023 promises to be another successful season of high-quality cultural events that will continue to attract audiences from all over the world. These events will continue to be an annual appointment for both locals and tourists who seek to experience the richness and diversity of Malta’s cultural offerings.