Mobility and artist – in – residence programs.

Mobility opportunities and more specific, artist-in-residence (AiR) programs, have become of major importance to professional artists as an essential part of their artistic development and professional careers. AiR programs provide artists with opportunities to exploretheir creative process with peers from other countries and cultures, produce work and extend their professional network. AiR programs are firmly embedded in the local and regional infrastructure of the arts. Therefore they provide opportunities for an intense expansion of circulation of artistic mentalities and artistic products, not only among peers but also among a wide range of public. Although residence programs operate non-commercially, they potentially extend the professional art market of visiting artists. In general residence programs nurture the open mindset of guest artists, as well as hosts and public, and in doing so they encourage the international exchange of diverse experiences and (inter)cultural expressions.

On-AiR – A European tool for artists; mobility workshops and training programs on artist-in-residence (AiR) opportunities.

In the On-AiR project cultural workers involved in AiR programs cooperate and share their expertise to create, as a European team;

  • innovative workshops and training programs for professional artists in European countries. The tailor made workshop and training programs provide artists with intelligence and skills to successfully select, access and participate in mobility and more specific in AiR opportunities. The input and expertise of the partners guarantees the quality of the workshops,
  • a platform to facilitate the dialogue on cultural specifics in their countries, for direct and productive encounters where knowledge and experiences are exchanged and shared. A platform where cultural differences are discussed and bridged,
  • mutual understanding and commitment of the team will lead to a situation in which the workshop and training programs are imbedded in a sustainable context. This context will also benefit future co-operations of the partners and indirectly contribute to improve the cultural infrastructure in the partner countries.

Through the project, the team aims to bridge elements of the imbalance within the EU countries as identified by ERI Carts in the “Mobility Matters” research. The workshops and seminars bridge the differences in intelligence and capacity among artists in need of this expertise throughout Europe and beyond. The longer term perspective will contribute to strengthen the local cultural infrastructure in each participating country and connect it to international partners.

At the same time the input from the participating countries will improve and refine the mutual understanding of the partners on the infrastructure and artists’ needs in the countries of their colleagues in the On-AiR project.

The On-AiR team.

The 17 partner organisations in the On-AiR project work in 15 EU member and applicant countries.

The expertise of the partners cover all artistic disciplines and covers all EU regions. The partners represent diverse cultural backgrounds and art professional perspectives, ranging from governmental organisations to residency and workshop host organisations. The partners all play a key role in the mobility infrastructure in their countries.

They are:

  • artist-in-residence program directors. Their programs provide a diverse range of AiR programs, from discipline specific (residences for graphic artists, performing artists or media artists) to interdisciplinary residencies focusing on work in public space and/or community orientated projects,
  • art professionals in charge of arts educational programs at master and/or art school/universities,
  • directors of artists’ run programs. These programs play a key role in the mobility infrastructure on the grass root level,
  • art professionals within governmental organisations who are in charge of the policy lines to support artists’ mobility and/or funding opportunities on a local, regional or national level,
  • directors and co-ordinators of resources for artists on mobility issues,
  • members of, and actively participating in, international mobility/residence networks.
For the On-AiR project the input and feedback of artists is crucial: they are not only the target group of the project, they will be invited to contribute with their experience to the project. Artists from different backgrounds, disciplines and phase of career will be invited to the workshops and to the seminars to share their own AiR experiences with lesser experienced artists and with the partners of the On-AiR team.
The partners in the On-AiR team each will host a workshop and will actively participate in the On-AiR network activities, together providing a truly European platform for knowledge exchange and  dialogue.  The expertise and input of the team-partners is based on know-how and experience with the situation and needs of artists in their countries, and this will guarantee the European dimension and contribute to the quality of the workshops and the discussions in the seminars as the platforms for dialogue.

The workshops

17 partner organisations have committed to the project by hosting a 1 day workshop/training program in their country. The commitment and expertise of the partners guaranty the high quality of the workshops and to effectively reach targeted artists.

The workshops and training sessions will all include basic information on “How to become an artist in residence”:

What are residency programs and what will they bring you,

How do you find the information on these programs,

How to define the criteria to select the residency program to match with your specific needs ,

How to proceed when you have identified the program,

How to go through the application process.

A checklist to lead artists step-by-step through this process.

The added value of the expertise of the EU partners provide for tailor made programs to best serve artists’ needs in the different EU regions. The programs aim to effectively balance the differences in intelligence and to provide artists in all EU regions with equal intelligence, skills and practical tools to successfully select, access and participate in mobility/ AiR programs.

The seminars .

Each co-organiser hosts a 3 days seminar. All partners in the On-AiR project meet in the seminars.

The seminars are the platforms :

  • for the dialogue between the representatives of the different EU regions where specific knowledge and expertise on cultural infrastructure and the artists’ needs in these EU regions are exchanged and shared,
  • for dialogues on cultural specifics in the EU partner countries and how to bridge the differences ,
  • to further develop and deepen the content of the workshops and training programs and mobility tool,
  • to evaluate the outcome of the workshops during the project and implement them in the new series of workshops and training programs,
  • to discuss the adjustments on  the Trans Artists website to serve the On-AiR project and its outcomes. The website is specialised in AiR programs, is open and easy to access. Artists use it as an open source where they have easily access, connect, share, commend, exchange information on all levels. The site can also serve as the tool for all partners to share, a tool where residency knowledge is shared for everyone to use, to link relevant information on their websites ,
  • to develop a longer term strategy for the implementation, continuity and sustainability of these specialised workshops and training programs and imbed them in an EU wide cultural perspective.

The dialogue will lead to a better mutual understanding on the cultural specifics of mobility and  especially the use of AiR opportunities. Mutual understanding and bridging differences are beneficial for the quality of On-AiR programs and serve the artists who participate in these programs. This developmental approach will also have a positive effect on the content and outcomes of the On-AiR project. On the longer term this mutual understanding benefits for future co-operations between the partners as key players in the European mobility infrastructure.

Target audiences are:

  • professional artists in all disciplines, living and working in the European and candidate countries regions,
  • cultural workers being mobility experts representing different EU regions,
  • AiR program directors from EU countries,
  • representatives of art educational institutes in Europe and beyond,
  • local, regional and national governmental cultural representatives involved in mobility of artists in Europe (as policy makers, providers of funding and or other facilities),
  • European mobility networks,
  • Cultural workers involved in knowledge resources for artists’ mobility.

The Trans Artists website will be the central portal to the On-AiR project and link to all partner sites. The partner organisations highlight the continuity of the project on their websites and keep their public informed on the progress and the results.

Outcome of the On-AiR project

To summarize the main results, the On-AiR project aims for:

  • international sharing of knowledge and fair use of the AiR sector by artists EU wide.
  • the creation of a tight and EU-wide balanced peer network of AiR expert organisations, dedicated to reaching out to potential users of AiR mobility schemes.
  • a dynamic platform of dialogue, continuously fostering the distribution of AiR intelligence and experience to those who want to make use of AiR opportunities.
  • international accessible publications documenting the On-AiR process and results, to the benefits of the artists, the partners of the On-AiR project, art professionals and organisations, and the wider public.
  • providing a springboard towards a EU wide, long-lasting AiR sharing infrastructure.