The ‘PAiR’ Initiative - Performing Arts in Residence

During the last meetings of the networks Res Artis and ACCR, Schloss Broellin (Germany) started informally the discussion around residencies for artists of the Performing Arts, articulating the rising needs for European/international ensembles to meet and work at appropriate places.

From 12th –15th of September 2010, Schloss Broellin organised a work-meeting with directors and curators of residence places, representatives from cultural founding organisations, from the initiative “culture and creative economy”, from the International Theatre Institute, and from the “Initiative International Tourism Mecklenburg-Vorpommern”.

The main theme was - Performing Arts in Residence: New perspectives and ways of collaborations and funding – with the aim to create a permanent working group PAiR.

If we are dreaming about intercultural artistic productions, we need to provide the space and possibilities for its realisation. We have to create a new lobby for those artistic enterprises.

The work-programme and topics of discussion were:

  1. Definition of needs in the different countries from the point of view of artists and of organisers for residencies.
  2. Examining new models for collaborations with the tourism branch and economic policy/support
  3. Establishing collaborations between the organisations
  4. Establishing a constant workgroup/network within Res Artis dealing with Performing Arts in Residence


Traditionally we find Artist in Residence programmes as individual scholarships mostly in the field of visual arts, literature, and music. The reasons are mostly practical, very often connected with artistic programmes of historical sites which provide these programmes, with their facilities etc. In the last years dance companies got more and more possibilities to rehearse and live in residence at production houses – a basic need, since most companies have an international cast.

For the other Performing Arts, like theatre the situation is completely different. Only 10 years ago international productions were rare, one believed the language boarder would keep dramatic theatre in its national boundaries. This is not longer the case: on one hand, the public accepts more and more multi-lingual productions, on the other hand, language is not anymore dominant in most productions. For these international collaborations rehearsal facilities are rare.

And – such groups need not only the short timeframe of a production given at an established production house, they need first of all time and space to form the ensemble, the ideas, the artistic language.

Like painters, who need the calm atmosphere of an atelier for their sketches, international ensembles need this possibility of try-outs and common training. To provide this space is not easy. We are facing different problems:

  • groups are more expensive then individual scholarships
  • facilities must provide at least the studio space for training and rehearsals
  • work results are less easy to communicate, since they are mostly not presented as the final production at the residence centre for practical reasons. (An exhibition, a concert or a reading are easier to present at the centres.)

On the basis of these thoughts the initial work-group discussed during three days the above mentioned topics, which led to the foundation of a permanent work group, which is planned to be established in the frame of the international network Res Artis.

This work group is open to every new active organisation, which share the same interests!

Some points of discussion and open questions we want to share with you to continue the discussion:

  1. Is it useful to have places for residence apart from production houses?
    What is the difference? In the frame of a residence groups are free of the pressure of production. It is the time of research, of development. It is obvious, that any artistic production needs this phase. But to which extent a place can provide this freedom? How to be sure, that this freedom will be used in the right way, and not as vacancies? The image of a residence place and a production house is completely different. Not only speaking about technical requirements, it must be situated in a place with enough potential audience and/or must organise the tour and the “on-going life” of the production, including all problems with author’s rights on the production.We have two completely different images: the host or the producer. Further discussions are necessary to define the needs and possibilities of both models as well as the perspective of stable co-operations between these two forms, on national and international level.
  2. Differences between locations in rural areas and in cities.
    Both forms are important for artists for very different reasons. They lead to different strategies in the political and economic discussion. It seems, that there are good perspectives for collaborations of artistic centres with local authorities in rural areas. Still, much work is to be done. Several examples were given. Some positive effects are: cultural education in rural areas, touristic attraction, economic factors in the region through employment and visitors. Political impact: traditionally “the Other” is not well received in rural regions, the foreigner generates fears … only the positive encounter with “the Other” can change the situation on the long run. Residence places in rural areas are mostly engaged in local youth-programmes, and activities with the local community. Residence artists can find completely new ways of communication with a very different audience.
  3. Co-operation with Tourism
    We face different situations, whether the region is touristically developed or not. In both cases a great potential was identified: either for the basic touristic development, or the potential lies in the communication with hotels and local touristic enterprises to explain the win-win-situation of artistic activities during the season and the new possibilities for their off-season.
  4. Needs and wishes of artists and residence places
    After a fruitful discussion two questionnaires were developed to collect more voices through a survey.
  5. Synergetic effects of PAiR
    It became obvious, that residence programmes are not exclusively subject for cultural funding, and it is obvious, that special rural regions are not the ones to be addresses to support international artistic production. It needs practical surveys, studies, and a pilot project, how to combine sources, interests of economy, tourism and the arts. Practically Schloss Broellin envisions to conduct such a pilot project. Interested parties for collaboration are welcome! It will be useful to conduct similar project in other continents.

working group

On the occasion of the first work meeting at Schloss Broellin, Germany the PAIR working group was founded on the 15th of September 2010.

Artistic production is becoming always more transcultural and consequently mobile. This means that there is a growing need particularly for groups living in different countries to be able to meet in places that offer spaces and facilities for working. This trend however faces a reality, in which for various reasons residency programmes are still majorily aimed at single artists and even more so from the non performance based disciplines.

General objective:
To strengthen existing and support the development of new residencies for performing artists.

Specific objectives:

  • To lobby for residency centres and artistic mobility locally, nationally and internationally;
  • To support the communication and co-operation between residency centres for performing artists;
  • To strengthen the role of residency centres in their regions/cities;
  • To communicate and cooperate with existing networks in the intersecting fields of interest;
  • To make information on residencies within the artistic community more easily accessible.

First steps and actions to reach the set objectives:

  1. Diffusion of the present PAiR communication paper widen up to a larger number of participating organisations;
  2. Establishing an information platform within Res Artis: a database with information relating specifically to the performance art sector and a special section in the Res Artis newsletter
  3. Initiating an analysis of the status quo of residencies for performance art by launching two first surveys:
    - a questionnaire for artists who apply for residencies that will help to identify artists needs for mobility and residencies,
    - a questionnaire for residency centres that will help to identify:
       a) the relevance of residency centres in terms of artistic production
       b) the relevance of residency centres for the local/regional context in which they are located.
       c) the status quo of facilities
  4. On the basis of these data and information we intend
    - to contribute to the European Commissions definition of the objectives for the programming period 2013 – 2020.
    - to provide information for policy-makers, national and transnational funding.
  5. Researching as the PAiR work group the role and potential of residency centres in relation to the local and regional context in which they are located. Specific fields of interest include:
    - local economy and regional development
    - sustainable tourism
    - creative industries
    - transnational understanding and intercultural dialogue
    - education
  6. The PAiR group will explore new and innovative forms of cooperation within the fields listed under point 5, using as a pilot project the case Schloss Broellin. Concrete steps for cooperation will be implemented with by the Schloss Broellin team and the work group and analysed on their potential of transferability to other organisations within the group.

Founding members:

  • schloss bröllin e.V. / Germany
  • Akademie Schloss Solitude / German
  • Amareya Art Association / Poland
  • Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle Warschau / Poland
  • Culture Centre OZU / Italy
  • Motus, Alfred Theatre Prague / Czech Republic
  • PRAC - Pro Rodopi Art Centre/Pro Rodopi Foundation / Bulgaria
  • SIN Culture Centre / Hungary
  • UFA- fabrik Berlin / Germany

Supporting members:

  • IIT – Initiative internationaler Tourismus Mecklenburg-Vorpommern



schloss broellin e.V.
17309 Fahrenwalde OT Broellin 3
T: +49 (0) 397 - 47 56 50 21
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