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Devoted & Disgruntled 12: What Shall We Do About Theatre and the Performing Arts Now?

What makes a great artist/theatre residency? This includes those who have a political and social right to make work...and aren't!

Claire Webster Saaremets - 14 January 2017

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Skimstone Arts Multidisciplinary Theatre Company,through Elevate Arts Council funding, will be offering paid residences to support artists to ….?
What's the best way to create these residencies?
How can we advertise them to ALL artists and include those who may face barriers of mobility, health, social class, sexuality/non gender?
Do we set themes and parameters? Or offer an open call to see who and how artists respond?

Responses to creating ‘ a great residency’ from contributors included;
• Describe who Skimstone Arts so that artists can decide if they want to connect via the residency
• Use accessible language that gives details about the residency that can include agreeing the focus, understanding the space, support, resources, audience, possible barriers, established and found opportunities etc.

The terminology of the call out is crucial to be clear and accessible.

The networks for advertising should include companies that already promote the diversity of artists working with them.

Areas to consider are;
• Do we create a ‘theme’ or focus or allow complete freedom and see how artists respond to the call.
• 2 x min video as an application with other formats including e.g. signing etc as the application process
• positive communication around the relationship and offer e.g. to try out work with new audiences, Artistic critique, production networks etc.
• How can artists utilise the creative hub that our studio is part of?
• How can the residency promote quality and what does this mean?

Considerations for artists include;
• Do you need a ‘Space to escape’ / Freedom to question/ devise or consolidate a piece of work in progress?
• Who are or might your audiences be? Let's test this..
• How will the residency promote connectedness in the arts sector/ theatre/community settings?
• What could happen beyond the residency.

I welcomed the contributions and the ideas and experiences that will help to shape up a clear and hopefully exciting offer that can be given to those who haven't ever done or had access to a residency before.

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