Read the Analytical Report on COVID-19: Impact Survey on the Arts Residency Field here.
To assist artists and arts residency organisations in navigating this difficult time, Res Artis will endeavour to address your most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the impact of COVID-19 on the arts residencies field below.
We will update this section of the website regularly in response to new questions and comments. We encourage all members and website users to email questions, shared advice or lived experiences to email@example.com in order to grow our collective knowledge.
Please be aware that the information below does not constitute legal advice. Res Artis offers this information based on our experience and drawing on the knowledge and case studies of our members. If your case escalates, Res Artis urges you to seek appropriate legal or professional advice from relevant local services.
UPDATE FOR ARTISTS
Q. I am an artist scheduled to go to a residency soon. Is this even possible, and what do I need to be aware of?
Whilst parts of the world are opening up again, there may be restrictions depending on what passport you hold, what country you are travelling from, and what country you are travelling to. Please refer to the COVID-19 Travel Regulations Map and consult the World Health Organisation for current COVID-19 travel advice.
We would recommend checking in regularly with your residency host and even requesting that they write you a letter of recommendation to assist you. Keep in contact with your local authorities, your embassy/consulate in the country you are travelling to, and your airline, as things may continue to change.
Q. I am a stranded artist in residence and can’t return to my home country. What should I do?
First and foremost, speak to your arts residency provider. Try to negotiate an extended stay at the arts residency if you feel comfortable there. If you don’t feel comfortable, move to a hotel or safe space as soon as possible. Connect with your home embassy or consulate in the country you are stranded to seek assistance in getting emergency transportation home. Your residency may be able to assist in writing a support letter or connecting you with local authorities if required.
While you are waiting for a response, follow the advice of local authorities and minimise your risk of exposing yourself to COVID-19. Use online platforms to check in regularly with family and friends so that they know you are safe. Ask your family or friends back home if they can connect with relevant authorities in your home town on your behalf to try to expedite a safe journey home.
Q. I need to cancel my artist residency due to COVID-19. Can I get a refund?
Res Artis recommends you first attempt to resolve this matter directly with the residency operator in good faith. Res Artis is unable to offer any legal advice and we encourage you to seek professional assistance if the matter escalates. The situation of COVID-19 is unprecedented and everyone must make compromises. We would suggest deferring your residency to a later time rather than cancelling, as many residency organisations are not-for-profits or small businesses and the fees charged are to supplement their operational costs. Think of it like a credit note to be used in the future. If this is not an option, perhaps you could negotiate to split the incurred costs with the arts residency operator or recoup a small percentage.
Q. Is it safe to undertake a residency in my own country?
Every country and region is responding to COVID-19 differently. In most locations it is recommended that you don’t travel – even internally within one state/municipality or nation. Please refer to your country and locale’s official guidelines for instruction.
Q. My residency, scheduled exhibitions and awards have all been cancelled due to COVID-19. Is there any emergency funding assistance available to artists?
Many countries are beginning to offer emergency funding and stimulus packages to their citizens. These include funding for lost wages and income lost as a direct result of COVID-19. Most countries are also recognizing that arts and culture is a sector that has been particularly hard hit. We strongly encourage all artists to research funding options available to them in their region.
Q. When is it safe to travel again?
Nobody knows the exact long-term impact of COVID-19 and when it will be safe to travel again. We recommend artists refer to the World Health Organisation (WHO) to keep updated on the situation.
Q. Should I ever consider undertaking a residency again?
Absolutely! Once COVID-19 is resolved, arts residencies will play a critical role in the re-emergence of national and international exchange. Arts residencies are crucial to developing the health, vitality and inclusiveness of the arts ecosystem. Arts residencies are poignant professional development opportunities for artists in building international experience and creating pathways for experimentation, skills and knowledge transfer, new markets, increased networks, inspiration and inter-cultural understanding.
See the Res Artis definition of what constitutes an ‘arts residency’ here.
Q. What professional development can I be doing now to best prepare me for residencies after COVID-19?
Research, research, research! Spend your time in isolation looking at the amazing breadth of arts residency opportunities available around the globe on the Res Artis database of Member Profiles. Artists can access this information for free on our website and search by detailed categories such as ‘country’, ‘facilities’, ‘partner or family friendly’, ‘wheelchair accessibility.’ All Res Artis members are vetted for adherence to our shared set of Values to maintain quality across the arts residencies field.
Many arts organisations around the globe are moving their programming online at this time. Check out webinars on offer. Res Artis will soon introduce a suite of curated digital learning relevant to the arts residencies field, so sign up to our newsletter to stay informed.
Q. Why do residencies charge artists anyway?
Res Artis is a global membership network that comprises very diverse residency models of varying scales. Some of our members offer paid residency opportunities to artists and others request partial or fully paid placements. As a global network of more than 750 members in over 85 countries, Res Artis strives to be inclusive and diverse. Our vetted membership system and tiered fee structure helps facilitate this.
Arts residency operators, like artists, need to make a living. The economic situation of countries in some parts of the world does not allow for government funding or any other avenues for funding that would enable fully-funded residency opportunities for artists. Providing the fees charged are reasonable and the process transparent, Res Artis sees no issue or conflict of interest with arts residency centres charging for their services. Many artists are willing to pay for such opportunities, in exchange for a professional, safe and meaningful experience and increased networks. Many artists around the world have access to arts councils and other platforms to apply for residency funding. Most arts councils are incredibly supportive of funding residencies for artists, in fact some run their own residency programs. Conversely, arts council and government funding for arts residency operators is much harder to come by.
Res Artis actively encourages our members to offer transparency to artists, hence the detailed profile of each of our members and their fee structure on our website. Furthermore, all Res Artis members are asked to adhere to our shared set of Values, being Professionalism, Diversity, Transparency and Sustainability, to ensure both artists and arts residency operators are fairly represented.
Q. Why is Res Artis still promoting residencies at this time?
COVID-19 will eventually end and borders will re-open again. Arts residencies will play a critical role in the re-emergence of national and international exchange. Res Artis is the peak organization for arts residencies worldwide, and it is imperative we maintain and advance the visibility of the role arts residencies can play in contemporary society and the offerings of all our members. Some of our members are planning ahead and still posting open calls for future residency application rounds via our platforms.
FOR ARTS RESIDENCY ORGANISATIONS
Q. I have lost significant income/had to close my residency due to COVID-19. What funding assistance is available?
Many countries are beginning to offer emergency funding and stimulus packages to their citizens. These include funding for lost wages and income lost as a direct result of COVID-19. Most countries are also recognizing that arts and culture is a sector that has been particularly hard hit. We strongly encourage all artists and arts workers to research funding options for not-for-profits and small businesses available in your region.
Res Artis does not have the resources to assist with funding applications, however we are on standby to provide a generic Letter of Support to our members to strengthen their chances. Please email your request to firstname.lastname@example.org
Q. We are a small not-for-profit residency organisation. How do we deal with artist cancellations and requests for refunds?
Your starting point is the written contract you have in place between your organisation and the artist. You may have specific terms and conditions addressing cancellations and refunds. Even if the contract outlines that there is no entitlement to a refund for cancellation, Res Artis encourages you to consider how you might assist the cancelled artist-in-residence.
If you have the means, Res Artis suggests offering the cancelled artist a residency at a later date once the pandemic is over. Think of it as a credit note. If you have the operating budget to do so, you could also consider splitting the refund costs or returning a nominal percentage back to the artist. Everyone must make compromises in these extraordinary times.
Res Artis encourages you to actively communicate with the cancelled artists-in-residence and aim to resolve the matter in good faith. Res Artis is unable to offer legal advice and we encourage you to seek professional legal assistance specific to your region if the matter escalates.
Q. What can we be doing while our residency is closed?
Res Artis not only promotes the visibility and open calls of our members – we also encourage in-person and digital learning. While we can’t offer you the in-person learning right now, we have just announced a Save the Date for our next conference to be held in Bangkok, Thailand in early November 2020. We will be monitoring the COVID-19 situation over the coming months and confirm conference dates soon. We are also looking into options to enable virtual participation.
In the Members Portal on the Res Artis website, you will find an extensive array of digital resources to aid in your professional development. Use your time in isolation to browse our digital library, including the Res Artis handbook on setting up and running an arts residency comprising member case studies, templates and funding guides.
Also within the Res Artis Members Portal there is a new ‘Digital Learning’ area. Over the next few weeks and months Res Artis will be curating a suite of residency-related webinars and podcasts to keep up professional development for arts residency operators during this challenging time.
Q. What is Res Artis doing to help arts residency operators?
Res Artis is working with funders, other networks, peak organisations and like-minded partners to advocate funding for arts residencies at this moment in time. We are communicating more frequently with our members and developing digital resources to assist artists, arts residency operators and key stakeholders through the COVID-19 pandemic. Soon we will circulate a survey on the impact of COVID-19 on the arts residencies field, and look forward to sharing the results with you on this dedicated section of the website.
Q. We love Res Artis! We know you are a not-for-profit and very small team. How can we help you?
Like you, Res Artis has been hard hit by COVID-19. Although we are a diverse and large international network of more than 750 members across 85+ countries, we are a not-for-profit foundation that runs entirely on member income, donations and in-kind support. That money pays our overheads, operating costs and the salaries of our small 2.3 FTE team of staff.
Please stand with us! Renew your Res Artis membership or Join today.
If you have the means, please consider a donation to our 27 year old network who has supported, advocated and promoted the arts residencies field on your behalf.
Q. Where can I find further information about the impact of COVID-19 on the arts residencies field?
Res Artis has developed a dedicated COVID-19 section on our website to assist artists, arts residency operators and key stakeholders in navigating through this challenging time. We will update and add to this information regularly. We’d love to hear your feedback, suggestions for content and questions! Please email us at email@example.com
Q. My organization will be greatly impacted even after COVID-19 ends. Who can I turn to for professional business advice?
Res Artis and our network of members are here for each other. Please connect with us and each other, and make use of our very active Members Only Facebook Node.
Res Artis Staff and Board Members have extensive experience in the arts residencies field. We offer consultancy services to our members and the public relating to the arts residencies field.
Q. Where can I share my stories, personal insights and challenges with other Res Artis members?
We are all working through our own individual challenges at this time, but there is strength in numbers. We encourage all Res Artis members and followers to connect with each other via our communication and social media platforms:
Members, please continue to connect with us and each other, and make use of our very active Members Only Facebook Node.