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The power of performing arts for children

With applications now open for the third edition of the Maltese Islands Festival, organiser Luke Mercieca highlights the benefits of the performing arts for a child’s development.

It’s no secret that the performing arts can have a lasting, positive impact on a child’s life. The stage is a creative escape to an imaginative world that initiates the development of invaluable life skills and cherished memories.

The highly-anticipated Maltese Islands Festival will be held between January 23 and 27 at St James Cavalier and the Valletta Campus Theatre (ex-MITP).

“The performing arts build confidence in young people, thus encouraging them to step outside of their comfort zones and into a world of creative expression,” Mr Mercieca says, adding that children learn to master their nerves by building a sense of trust and self-reliance that can be carried through to school, social activities and their future careers.

“In addition to this, children may also learn important life skills, such as teamwork, concentration, effective communication and listening skills, within a safe, fun and supportive environment.”

Art programmes also help children to express and understand different emotions, situations, people and manifest empathy by teaching how to see things from varying perspectives.

Ahead of this unique performance opportunity – which is open to artists aged 4 to 18+ who have a passion for singing, dancing, acting or music, Mr Mercieca says: “The festival has an amazing atmosphere bursting with budding artists who are showcasing their work and talents. It’s a super place to support one another, meet other performers and inspire each other.”

As a proud member of the British and International Federation of Festivals – which has been supporting community festivals and creating performance opportunities for children and young people for almost a century – the MIF 2019 helps young performers as it is another experience for them to perform in front of an audience.

“Every participant will receive valuable feedback about their performance from the adjudicator who is sent over by the federation.”

The Maltese Islands Festival 2019 will take place between January 23 and 27, with the final deadline for applications being December 3. To apply, or for a full list of categories in each performance department, visit www.themalteseislandsfestival.com.

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