One of the main challenges artists in Lebanon and the Middle East have is the limited opportunity to participate in artist-in-residency programs.
Various regional factors deny access to the many exceptional artists practicing in the region, and in turn deny these artists the unique growth opportunities that residencies afford.
To address issues as such, Haven for Artists was launched in 2011.
Haven for Artists now offers artistic residencies for local and visiting artists. We have partnered with residency programs from around the globe and envisions sending – with the procurement of funds – local artists abroad to partner organizations.
As artists and creatives, we believe that there is no “one way” to go about things, we believe in collaboration, trust and artistic exchange as the root of everything we do internally, including with the artists and creatives that we host as part of our residency program.
The creative team is here to link you with other artists, encourage collaborations with Haven’s wide network of local and international creatives and influencers, and introduce you to many platforms (our own venue and other venues, galleries and performances spaces, around Beirut and Lebanon).
Additionally, we can link you with our production team, teach production methods, proposal writing, budgeting, woodworking, social media outreach skills, marketing and presentation; these will assist you in realizing your final project and its creative direction.
You are at the helm, always.
At Haven, we would like to reflect this by offering assistance and guidance, and not the fundamental creative vision, or talent-related aspects pertaining to the project you wish to execute. The project is yours: you are the big picture and we are here to help you with the realization of your piece.
To put it in other words, we are a group of artists and art enthusiasts, and not curators in the typical and classical definition of the word. We want to encourage you to count on your own range of talents and vision to produce your final exhibition, rather than be forced to fit into a curatorial direction. We want you to exercise artistic freedom of expression. We are more than committed to the process by offering you tools that you can use accordingly in order to make your vision a reality.
Haven for Artists envisions a two-way cultural exchange; Less Talking – More Listening. One-time exchanges of exhibitions or performances are not enough. True cultural exchange offers the opportunity for a more profound and sustained engagement amongst artists and between artists and audiences.
Successful cultural exchange programming is bilateral. Our most successful programs occur when there is a true opportunity for the open exchange of ideas, experiences, and culture in the broadest sense, over a period of time that extends beyond a single performance or exhibition. The key component of successful international cultural exchange programs rests in the term “exchange.” In our effort to provide a deeper understanding of culture, we must make sure to demonstrate, too, that we are listening—that we are interested in learning about other cultures and creative backgrounds.
Content and context are key – the Haven for Artist residency program includes residency, educational, and networking components. The exchange we aim for is much more than simply presenting a performance/exhibition/ screening/reading. Contextualization of art leads to a more profound, long- term impact on the audience(s) – a more concrete and profound understanding of the artist is reflected when placed in a new (or alien) environment. This gives the art piece displayed an opportunity to expand, grow and coherently express issues, concepts and themes of the context they reside in. Discussion and the mutual process of reflection are critical.
While an audience may learn something about another culture by watching a performance of, say, Japanese Butoh dance, the experience only becomes a true cultural exchange when there is an opportunity for that artists to spend time in a community, meet with the public, discuss the nature of their work, how it reflects upon their traditions or their contemporary history, and to reflect upon how the “visiting” culture relates to the “host” culture. This deeper cultural dialogue or cultural exchange also provides an enhanced environment for achieving ‘cultural diplomacy’ – “a completely different creature but one that requires successful cultural exchange in order to succeed.” – David Fraher
The selection of artist residents is determined by three core factors:
• The artist’s potential to develop within their respective art forms and to implement a project which can in turn alter misconceptions, misunderstandings or the assumptions of what is portrayed as the truth or what has been normalized.
• The job of the artist is to illuminate a self-truth and encourage a sense of freedom towards will, expression and depth of thought.
• Their interest, accomplishments to-date and ability to make a social contribution through their work
• The potential benefits our residency would offer to their artistic growth and development.
The applying artists are accepted based on their creative project proposals, submitted to Haven for Artists for review.
Once reviewed, the Haven for Artists team proposes a production timeframe based on the proposal and the estimated timeframe suggested by the artists, this defines the residency timespan (regularly between 2-6 months).
The artist is required to present an exhibition of the produced project at the end of the residency term, organized and promoted by Haven for Artists.
The Haven for Artists residency hosts 4-6 artists at a time in the following manner: 2 Small Nooks: Capacity of 1 artist at a time
2 Large Lounges: Capacity of 2 artists at a time Rooms are tentative and dependent on availability.
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Haven for Artists Residency Program Objectives:
1. Create a global network of artist in residency organizations willing to partner with Haven by offering high quality residency experiences that are professionally operated, have well established programs with clearly defined goals and objectives, and that sensitively accommodate their guests.
2. Provide career development opportunities through artist in residency experiences, which are provocative, innovative and relevant.
3. Evolve the Haven residency program to push the boundaries of the traditional ideas; support subversive and controversial artists to create their art and to collaborate with other artists. Encourage and facilitate the cultural understanding and how to transcend borders ultimately advocating for “Cultural Diplomacy”.
4. Implement a systematic and rigorous evaluation process utilizing the meticulous application of methods to assess the design, implementation, improvement and outcomes of the residency program.
5. Cultural contextualization of creative initiatives for a subtle and enticing introduction of alien
Haven for Artist’s Residency Program Outputs
1. Haven for Artists residency program offers grass roots residency experiences that are locally operated, have a well-established program with clearly defined goals and objectives, and that sensitively accommodate the residents.
a. The number of residencies awarded each year is dependent on the budget. Residents who are not fully funded are supported to find further funding, with the full endorsement of Haven for Artists.
b. Our intention is to offer residency programs across the full gamut of artistic disciplines.
c. Deliver grass roots residency experiences determined by residency and artist expectations. d. Understand and manage the expectations and objectives of each resident.
c. Track the effect of the residency on the awarded artist’s career development.
Through years of executive experience, we have found that the most effective international cultural exchanges between artists, arts administrators, and cultural leaders in the performing arts, visual arts, literature, music and the media generally fall within the following categories:
Cross-cultural, cross-border collaborative projects.
Community-based artist engagements and residencies.
Networks of active local and international creatives—creating, curating, contextualizing and touring work.
Interactive networks for planning and programming or creating art and other uses of new mediums.
There are many effective approaches and programs in the field of cultural exchange managed by agencies and cultural institutions across the country. We offer the following projects, managed and implemented by Haven for Artists, as examples of what we believe are effective approaches.
In this manner – the Haven for Artists Residency Program hopes to participate in cultural and creative development of Lebanon and the region.