Checklist to start your AiR program
Imagine you start your own AiR program. Time and space to offer to artists: it seems such a simple concept. But.... what does it really take?
Artist-in-Residence (AiR) programs offer artists, art professionals, and researchers the opportunity to stay somewhere else in order to concentrate, to do research, to produce, to connect, or to collaborate. A residency working period can vary from a few weeks to even a year, or can be spread out over several periods. In general a distinction can be made between process-based and product-based residencies. The first type allows the artists unconditional freedom how to fill in their stay, the latter asks for a specific outcome, which might take the form of an artwork, an exhibition or publication. No AiR-program is the same. There is a huge proliferation of all kinds of AiR-models worldwide.
In the Netherlands many AiR programs are offered by artist-run organizations. But also individuals, governments, art institutions, museums and funds facilitate AiR programs. There are major institutions , such as the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam and the Jan van Eyck Academie in Maastricht. And there are small ones, such as Arthouse SYB in Beetsterzwaag, a tiny village in Friesland, and Kaus Australis, an artist-run space in Rotterdam. More and more alternative AiR concepts are developing, such as P.A.I.R. (Peer Artist in Residence), which offers a studio in portable containers.
Motivations to start an AiR program vary widely. This also counts for the profile of the organization, for the purpose of the program, for the expectations, for the resources and facilities. Nevertheless, each new initiator of an AiR program is confronted with comparable issues.
This checklist provides an overview of the questions and issues at stake while (thinking about) starting an AiR program. The list is the result of research carried out by TransArtists and AiR organizations in the Netherlands. The checklist can help each one thinking of setting up an artist in residence program about how to get it on the road.