HEADLINE UPDATE! We are excited to announce that DJERASSI RESIDENT ARTISTS PROGRAM is partnering with us in prototyping a potential pilot program for Spring 2014! This moves us much closer to our refinement goal:
To pilot ONE residency with ONE school/class with ONE artist/innovator by Spring 2014 = ONE Pilot Youth Artists + Innovators-in-Residence Program.
RESIDENCY PARTNERSHIP: After contacting several Bay Area residencies, we have already received very enthusiastic feedback from the DJERASSI RESIDENT ARTISTS PROGRAM in Woodside, California. We are excited to announce that Djerassi is partnering with us in prototyping a potential pilot program for Spring 2014. We met with Director Margot Knight and we are brainstorming on a way forward and will post through this site to get OpenIDEO's feedback as we progress. Djerassi has already suggested great builds such as a Djerassi-(or other residency) hosted Open House and final collaborative exhibition at the resident-school itself. THANK YOU DJERASSI for your support in refining this concept!
ARTIST/INNOVATOR PARTNERSHIP: We have spoken with a number of artists who are interested in submitting proposals for our idea. At our December 3rd REFINEMENT Palo Alto OpenIDEO meet-up with young participants (elementary and middle schoolers) we were able to gather some great feedback and refine our concept further (feedback notes posted above). During our meet-up, we discovered one of our own meet-up members is an artist with an innovative, collaborative (and unusually athletic) practice well suited to this idea. She is currently plugged in working with youth in a variety of artistic and social impact projects and so we agreed that she should submit a proposal and you can see it HERE. Thanks to Palo Alto OpenIDEO meet-up members for help refining this idea and we are working to further incorporate their feedback.
Next steps: We think that the best initial format for a PILOT program structure is easily testable and determined as part of a more formal Call for Proposals through the residency network. For example, as part of our call, we would ask artists to choose to submit proposals for TWO basic options, something along the lines of—
1) SHORT-TERM: Adult artist/innovators-in-residence propose to work collaboratively with a class for a shorter time frame. This would involve visits to the classroom for a more intense 1-2 week period. To follow, the younger artists/innovators-in-residence visit the residency for a 1 or 2 day field trip/retreat to further develop their collaborative ideas. After this initial exchange, any remaining work is honed remotely while the adult artist is in residence for the remaining 4-6 week period. The residency concludes with a final collaborative work presentation at an Open House hosted by the residency at the school.
2) LONG-TERM: Adult artist/innovators-in-residence propose to work collaboratively with a class for a longer time frame. This would involve visits to the classroom (visit intervals determined between artist/students/teachers) over the span of a 2-3 month residency (approximately one school semester). Younger artist/innovators visit the residency for a more intense 3-4 day retreat-residency. The residency concludes with a final collaborative work presentation at an Open House at the residency and /or at the school. This option would involve a larger stipend and is a potentially good fit for a Creative Work Fund grant opportunity.
SCHOOL PARTNERSHIP: We met with K-12 Design Lab Network Director Susie Wise about ways we might further connect with schools in East Palo Alto for potential pilot program. Among other builds and suggestions, Susie directed us to the rich resources and tools available through Design Thinking in Schools. We then identified that nearby East Palo Alto Phoenix Academy already teaches design thinking and would be a potentially great fit for this pilot program. Other potential school partnerships for pilot: Castilleja School and Nueva School expressed their interest in this idea. We will pursue these options next.
We met with Principal Bill of Ohlone Elementary School and he expressed interest specifically in a residency partnership with an innovative, socially engaged project—a residency partnership with an innovator-emphasis. HELLO! We are currently soliciting draft proposals for our PILOT innovators-in-residence at the beautiful DJERASSI all you OpenIDEOers out there!
The Young Artists+Innovators-in-Residence Program partners schools with the vast and existing network of inter-disciplinary, international artist residencies currently dedicated to the creative process and fostering creatively confident innovating.
International Artists' Residencies invite visual artists, musicians, film-makers, writers, dancers, performers (and I would add specifically innovators to this mix) to live and work for a period of time together as a critical space to focus on their work and develop innovative ideas within a richly restorative (often beautiful), collegial and potentially collaborative environment. There is the great potential to collaborate with this network in building creative confidence in young people by establishing residency partnerships with middle and high schools, as well as undergraduate programs in the community.
We think young people could really be inspired working directly with artists and innovators-in-residence in the art-making and innovation process—and eventually showing their shared work in Open Houses and other exhibition opportunities.
At the same time, many of these residencies are struggling to remain viable both financially and in terms of their impact on their respective communities. How might schools and universities partner with this existing international residency network to create a Young Artists + Innovators-in-Residence Program and sustain and further invigorate these residency programs while also nurturing creative confidence in young people?
According to the Alliance of Artists Communities, 90% of residencies currently have programs that engage the local community and are very much interested in fostering and expanding the community-based aspects of their program.
Artist+Innovator Call for Proposals: Residencies could put out a call for artists and innovators from all over the world to visit and partner with a specific middle or high school in their community. The call asks artists and innovators to propose ways they would partner with a local school and draw upon the ideas of students in a larger art + innovation project. It is critical that the eventual project and culmination of their work together be presented in the existing regular OpenHouses put together by the residencies. This public component of the Young-Innovators-in-Residence with the larger public, seen in the professional context is vital to nurturing the young artists + innovators creative confidence and focuses the accountability of the partnership.
(It is important to note that a separate call would be put out for this program as existing artists-in-residence program are generally designed as a retreat to focus on their work—this specific position would attract applicants whose work critically engages collaborators as part of a larger social practice.)
The artist+innovator can visit the schools and also invite an exchange back to the residency with interested participants. The residency environments are beautiful, restorative places for the students to wander and nurture their own ideas in the context of internationally reknowned organizations and with the mentorship of creative professionals. In the San Francisco Bay Area alone we have Djerassi Resident Artists Program, Headlands Center for the Arts, Montalvo Arts Center etc. — many others exist all over the world.
FEEDBACK / UPDATES:
Meena suggested the great idea of having innovators working in-house at schools (ie. artists & innovators apply to a national / international program of in-school residencies) and prototyping at a single school for one semester. How could we further build upon this idea and draw upon the artist's residency network/resources?
Both Jeff and Anne-Laure mentioned the great potential of artists and innovators working with both play and games as these are often collaborative and creative confidence builders (see link with related example and inspiration—thanks!).
Anne-Laure brought to our attention specifically the collaborative potential of interactive, participatory performances with the students (citing Pina Bausch and this made me think of Stanford Visiting Drama & Performance Artist, Ann Carlson). All great examples of potential projects that would be a good fit for the Young Innovators & Artists-in-Residence—in-school residence and/or in-residence—or both. Now wondering what would be a good example of an innovator-in-residence or in-school project? And how would we work the in-school idea with the in-residence idea best?
*This idea was germinated during a recent Palo Alto OpenIDEO meet-up.