The chronicle of the artist in residency (AiR) programme
By Tom Scott
The artist in residency (AiR) programme has been a major part of ISTA’s offer for a number of years now and I’ve been lucky enough to manage the programme for the last six years. For those of you that don’t know, the AiR programme sends an ISTA artist(s) into a school for a day, or number of days, to work with students on a particular skill, specialism or to just support the current teaching. It’s a hugely popular choice, especially for schools whose budgets perhaps don’t allow them to engage in other ISTA activities such as festivals or TaPS.
Over the years the programme has developed into something we can all be very proud of. To see artists heading off to some amazing schools and places to create inspirational and thought provoking work gives me a huge sense of satisfaction. But for me personally to have been part of the journey that saw just 63 days booked a decade ago, to now be approaching the 200 days in 2019-2020 is remarkable and testament to the amazing work artists and teachers do globally to book, execute and promote this work.
We certainly have some shining lights who year after year book AiRs to complement their teaching and support our freelance team. We know how much teachers have to cover day to day and as amazing as they all are, sometimes you need that extra expertise which, as we know, ISTA has in abundance. It really is a special programme and makes my heart warm to know how valued it is by artists and teachers alike.