1st meeting - Melbourne

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Res Artis is glad to announce the inaugural meeting of the Asia Australia Europe Creative Residency network.

Res Artis, along with Asialink, our generous host, intend to create a network of creative residencies whose aim is to promote cultural exchange between these three regions.

Our initial gathering will focus on developing approaches to collecting data about artist residencies that will aid us in developing a comprehensive map of this vast region.

In addition, we will also begin to develop the means of creating assessment protocols for these immensely varied regions that are attentive to their cultural differences.

It is our pleasure to inform you in greater detail about the first Asia Australia Europe Creative Residency Network meeting to be held in Melbourne, Australia, May 9-12, convening experts to discuss the role of artist residencies for the exchange between Asia, Europe and Australia and to reflect on the goals and future sustainability of such a network for the three regions.

With the creative residencies on the increase in Asia, our membership in this part of the world has also grown: 15% in 2013 from 61 to 70 members. In Australia, our membership has increased in 2% regarding last year. Eventhough this is still a relatively small number compared to 267 members from Europe, which accounts for 54% of our membership. It seems vital to focus on the mobility between these three regions and to hear directly from the agents in the field to foster mutual learning opportunities and to produce supportive programming.

We are extremely grateful that the Asia Europe Foundation chose to support our engagement and awarded us with a grant last year that deems our undertaking valuable. This is the kind of support that is crucial not only in initializing these kinds of efforts, but also in providing long term sustainability, which will, of course, also be part of our discussion.

Two days of discussions and production

The program for the 9th and the 12th that you find below has been written in collaboration with Asialink and On the Move, and is supported by the Asia Europe Foundation and the University of Melbourne. 

Project partners of the Asia Australia Europe Creative Residency Network are Res Artis, Asialink, and the National Association of Visual Arts.

A Bit of Background

The Assessment Project started off as a co-produced discussion by the Alliance of Arts Communities and Res Artis to bring together global leaders from the field and beyond, like the private sector, to look at how differing residency programs address strategies for innovation and assessment of those strategies. The meeting was held at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center in Italy in April 2012 and continued at the Res Artis General Meeting in Tokyo in 2012 to look at the purpose of assessment, the audience for it (who demands this, the funders, the residency field, the artists?), and how it helps the field. This second meeting was written up into a contribution to the International Federation of Arts Councils and Culture Agencies publication ACORNS (D'Art Topic No. 45: International Perspectives on Artist Residencies, http://www.ifacca.org/topic/residencies-government-support-artist-residencies/).

Res Artis is invested in continuing to explore its role in the development of assessment standards with its membership as well as with other networks and policy makers within the cultural sector. We hope to look into cultural sensitive applications of such an assessment. What condition does an artist residency in China need to fulfill in order to be considered eligible to enter the field, or successful in implementing a residency, what qualifies a residency in England?

Since 2011 Res Artis has undertaken the task of comprehensively map the world of residencies. Through our Res Artis Mapping project, we graphically portray the field of artist residencies by mapping artist residencies organizations around the globe. In addition to information about each residency, whether it is a Res Artis member or not, the map also has the capability of graphically representing various layers that can be used to illustrate a variety of features such as the type of residency, affiliated cultural networks, and collaborative relationships established between different organizations related to the field of artist residencies and the mobility of creative people. The aim of our map is to provide information about current residencies and their relationships—to each other, to funders, to other institutions, etc.—in order to promote further collaborations.  After the Latin America mapping exercise, we have refined our criteria catalogue and are now entering a new test phase with mapping China and the Caribbean.

Day 1: Collecting data, cultural difference

On May 9 we bring together the mappers in the field with the goal to exchange on strategies, mechanisms and technical, legal or cultural challenges that we encounter when collecting data. What goal do the single mappers/mapping organizations have in mind and how do they collect data (including technical solutions)? Who are their partners and who are their sponsors? What are their limitations?
Res Artis will present its own global mapping project in order to share it with its members and other mappers, to get feedback and to inspire a common platform.

The central part of mapping, the very core of it, it seems, is the criteria catalogue with which we collect data. The information we expect to find or believe we can assemble, is connected to our cultural understanding of an artist residency. Here lies the connection to the other topic we urgently want to continue to discuss, the quality protocol for artist residencies. Res Artis has established a global standard within its Assessment Project, and is eager to look into culturally sensitive applications of it. This does not only concern ideas of what an artist residency is but also single aspects of successfully providing an artist residency program: For instance, we all might agree that a resident should be safe in an artist residency, but what sort of measurements does that include in Europe, in Asia, in Australia? Insurances and contracts, and if so what kind of insurance for (self-) protection from what?
Obviously a European standard is too broad a term, as much as it is inadequate to speak of an Asian residency norm.


Day 2: Support and exchange, funding and finding

On May 12th On the Move and Res Artis/Asialink invite you to participate in a Brainstorming Meeting on Access and Reciprocity between cultural mobility funders and the Asia Australia Europe Creative Residency Network.

Funding models for mobility today face a lot of challenges, old and new. Funding bodies connect (often vast) regions in the world that lie far apart, or they work with an intra-regional focus. However, access to local, national and international stakeholders and culturally sensitive expertise is crucial. What do funding bodies need to know to better service the people who depend on mobility support, like the artist residency field? What new partnerships are required to adapt funding instruments to the need established? Is a reciprocal model guaranteeing a more sustainable exchange and the involvement of new parts of the world in a (more) meaningful way? What can non-monetary solutions (i.e. information pooling, tool sharing) offer?

Reciprocity was not only a topic of a vibrant On the move meeting in Prague in 2013, it is also the fundamental modus operandi of artist residencies: the host opens his or her (home’s) door to an artist to live and work in their residency in exchange for the artist’s fecund participation in the residency program. Next to a contract, trust and the will for mutual wellbeing forms the basis of the residency practice. This exchange impacts the host organization, the local community, and a wider audience and will affect the artists’ local context upon return. What funding models are in place today that are based on the idea of reciprocity between regions or within one region, or even between funding organizations and funded projects or individuals? Does it make sense to expect back as a funding institution and in what way? What could be the role of artist residencies when working with public and private funders? How could their local knowledge be integrated in funding schemes?


Panel on current exchange between Europe, Asia and Australia through artist residencies

In the afternoon of the 12th (4pm), Res Artis is invited by IETM Asia Satellite to moderate a panel on latest trends in the artist residency field in Asia, Europe and Australia. We take this opportunity to adequately introduce the Asia Australia Europe Creative Network and its participants who will speak about aspects of exchange between the three regions within their programs, as well as latest tendencies in their field.

The goal of these two days that we meet in Melbourne (and the many occasion the rich context of programs offer us to convene and converse) is to establish a good understanding of what the Asia Australia Europe Creative Residency Network wants to achieve and how it can sustain itself.


Important links



“This project is supported by the programme ASEF Creative Networks of the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF). This project was selected for support from over 50 proposals submitted through a competitive open call in 2013.”


Res Artis in Melbourne
Mario A. Caro, Board President,

Lillian Fellmann, Program Director,
+31 633217522

Res Artis office in Amsterdam:
+31 617135449,

Asialink in Melbourne, local office

Eliza E. Roberts, Arts Residencies Manager at Asialink

+61 3 9035 4921,
+61 (0)412 725 594