ŻiguŻajg International Arts Festival for Children & Young People is the only festival in Malta specifically aimed at children & young people, presenting an enticing programme of international productions and new commissioned work, annually.
Since its inception in 2010, the festival programme of ŻiguŻajg has grown from strength to strength, becoming a cornerstone of the cultural calendar both in Malta and overseas. The festival aims to keep developing a national repertoire of creative work for children and young people, whereby over the past 11 years we have commissioned over 80 new projects in a variety of genres and creative forms, and collaborated with local and foreign stakeholders to present work of high artistic excellence for young audiences! Just last year, as a reaction to the Covid-19 pandemic, the festival presented its first ever digital programme of events which saw thousands of children across Malta, Gozo and overseas tune into to our first ever online festival, breaking accessibility boundaries never before precedented for ŻiguŻajg.
In 2019, in collaboration with Spazju Kreattiv, ŻiguŻajg launched a full season of activities of high artistic excellence, aimed at schools, children and their families which has come to be known as the ŻiguŻajg Season, a sister programme to the festival which is now in it’s third year of programming.
Our vision is to position the creative arts for children and young people at the core of Malta’s creative ecology. We do this by:
- Presenting an annual programme of high-artistic excellence that celebrates creativity and diversity in the arts;
- Nurturing audience development and active participation through our practices;
- Providing professional development opportunities for artists seeking to work in the sector;
- Developing a national repertoire of creative work for children and young people;
- Championing social inclusion and accessibility in the creative industry;
- Establishing international networks and collaborations with strategic partners.
ŻiguŻajg is proud to be a member of a number of international networks that focus on developing programmes and events for children and young people. Thanks to the talent and effort of the ŻiguŻajg team and our collaborators, we have received a number of awards recognising the hard work that everyone has put in over the years.
ŻiguŻajg is a member of ASSITEJ International Association of Theatre for Children & Young People – which unites theatres, organisations and individuals throughout the world who make theatre for children and young people. ASSITEJ is dedicated to the artistic, cultural and educational rights of children and young people across the globe and advocates on behalf of all children regardless of nationality, cultural identity, ability, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or religion.
ŻiguŻajg in collaboration with Spazju Kreattiv is a member of IETM – the main international network for contemporary performing arts, with over 500 members worldwide. The membership gives our team access to exclusive material as well as opportunities for networking and professional development.
ŻiguŻajg was awarded the European Festival Association (EFFE) Label for the year 2019-2020. It is an important acknowledgement that makes ŻiguŻajg part of the international Festival community and provides online visibility of the Festival on www.effe.eu for audiences globally interested in the arts of all kinds.
ŻiguŻajg 2016 was awarded the Premju għall-Arti 2018 (National Arts Award) for Best Artistic Programme. The awards acknowledge excellence in artistic work premiered during the preceding year and are unique in their focus on culture and the arts. by Arts Council Malta in 2018.
In the year 2020, ŻiguŻajg has won the special edition of Premju Għall-Arti 2021 for Best Production during COVID-19 pandemic.
Have a look at what our supporters, collaborators and audiences have to say about ŻiguŻajg!
“ŻiguŻajg is a wonderful festival. Its staff works tirelessly to bring amazing international art experiences to Malta’s children, while at the same time, working hard to strengthen the infrastructure of arts in education throughout the country. We have performed a number of times in the festival, and each time we are struck by everyone’s dedication and belief.”
Erik Kaiel Artistic Director, Arch 8 (Netherlands)
“I attended ŻiguŻajg festival for children 2017… The shows were very diverse, surprising and extremely creative. All shows were full house and I was observing the happiness of the children who were very well prepared by the festival team. ŻiguŻajg is one of the best children’s festival around the world now. Congratulations!”
Mohamed El Ghawy, Artistic Director and Founder at AFCA for Arts and Culture (Egypt)
“The British Council is proud to support the ŻiguŻajg theatre festival: the only theatre festival in Malta for children and young people. The artistic programme is always varied and on a high level… We simply cannot imagine Malta’s cultural calendar without ŻiguŻajg: the benefits of exposing young people to performing arts are huge.”
Ingrid Eomois, British Council
“We are avid followers of this festival both as a school and personally with our families. The hard work and dedication to your work is most evident in the crowds you pull and the quality of the performances you organise. This year’s ŻiguŻajg Festival was the perfect mix of talent, artistic planning and grind!”
Hilary Caruana, Managing Director, Kidstart Childcare & Development Centre