The London Artists in Residence program funds London-based artists to collaboratively develop and deliver in-depth, integrated arts-infused projects with teachers in the Thames Valley District and London District Catholic School Boards.
The London Arts Council has developed the London Artists in Residence (LAIR) program. The program funds London-based artists to collaboratively develop and deliver in-depth, integrated arts-infused projects with teachers in the Thames Valley District and London District Catholic School Boards. London artists in all disciplines had an opportunity to apply to be on a local roster administered by the London Arts Council, and artists from the roster have been selected to participate in the pilot.
LONDON ARTISTS IN RESIDENCE (LAIR) LAUNCH
The London Arts Council, Ontario Arts Council, Thames Valley District School Board and London District Catholic School Board are pleased to deliver this collaborative program focused on arts-infused learning in schools.
Two years in creation, the London Artists in Residence Program (LAIR) increases education, training and employment opportunities for professional artists, engage children and youth in the arts and promote the value of the arts to youth, school boards and the community at large.
“The London Arts Council contracts local artists to work collaboratively and intensively with teachers and students,” explains Catherine McInnes, Education Coordinator for the London Arts Council. “This program opens up a world of possibilities and greatly impacts London’s youth.”
Arts experiences can be a catalyst for learning for students struggling with traditional teaching methods. Students involved in creative projects demonstrate stronger problem-solving skills, tenacity and the ability to think outside of the box. Having artist-educators in classrooms is a professional development opportunity for teachers, sharing the creative process of a professional artist, giving a teacher the possibility of developing new creative skills and sparking ideas for arts-inspired teaching in various subjects.
The focus of the program is on student and teacher exploration and practice of the creative process, as outlined in the Ontario Arts Curriculum. The artists’ role is to facilitate, model, nurture and assist in creating the environment required for the creative process.
The Ontario Ministry of Education supports the Artists in Residence (Education) model. The collaborative nature of instruction between the teacher and artist is central to the effectiveness of the program. Research has shown that students’ ability to use the creative process effectively and independently enhances not just their skills in the arts in terms of artistic expression and production. The creative process skills transfer to other academic subjects that require critical analysis skills.
Seeing value in LAIR as a job creation and talent retention strategy, the London Economic Development Corporation has joined the team to support the program. “The addition of LEDC support for this initiative is a testament to the program and the valuable work coming from the arts sector,” states Andrea Halwa, London Arts Council Executive Director.
Part of the new culture strategy for the City of London, LAIR contributes to economic development through job creation for local professional artists. The LAIR program supports the artists and teachers connection- and develops a standard of excellence for artist-educators through a juridic process, providing quality assurance for the school boards.
Funding support to develop and create this strategic program was provided through The Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture & Sport Cultural Strategic Investment Fund and the London Community Foundation Beryl Ivey Endowment for the Arts.