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Social-Practice Residencies :: Vancouver Park Board

Vancouver Park Board

Vancouver Park Board - Fieldhouse Studio Program | Vancouver, B.C., Canada

The Organization

The Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation’s mandate is to nurture, maintain, and develop Vancouver’s urban parks and recreation system. This commitment brings sports and recreational programs, social and cultural activities, educational programming, and special events to the people through community and cultural centres, pools, rinks, golf courses, and specialty parks.

The Community

The Fieldhouse Studio Program brings artists into 13 parks citywide, working out of field houses, park facilities, marinas, and community centres.

The Residency Program

The Fieldhouse Studio Program provides studio space that places artists with community-engaged and social practices into neighbourhoods to create work in and with community. Evolving from a pilot project in 2011, the Fieldhouse Studio Program now includes over 50 artists (solo or part of collectives) that work out of 13 parks citywide, in field houses, park facilities, marinas, and community centres. The program provides a studio residency for Vancouver-based artists for 3 years, in exchange for 350 hours of community arts-based engagement (roughly 10 hours per month).

Believing art is a catalyst for building vibrant, engaged communities, the Fieldhouse program seeks to bring the everyday life of art into Vancouver neighbourhoods. It creates space to invite community, colleagues and curious visitors to share in intimate creative processes with artists through daily, shared arts experiences that are social, cooperative and collaborative. Lastly, the program aims to grow the field of community-engaged arts/social practice by connecting artists who work in or are interested in developing this creative work. 

Themes, Issues and Disciplines
VPB is looking for artists, artist collectives, and arts organizations working in all disciplines: including writers; composers; musicians; poets; choreographers; visual and digital media-, theatre-, environmental-, celebration-, multidisciplinary-, and performing artists; and those with a creative social practice. Artists interested in food security, environmental initiatives, and creative practices that encourage a relationship with nature are particularly encouraged to apply. 

Project Planning
Where appropriate, this program looks to build strong relationships between artists in the program and adjacent community centres, making creative use of park and community centre spaces. Artists are asked to develop creative initiatives involving community participants that emphasize social connection, creative expression, and art-making processes. Projects are developed in collaboration with Park Board Arts programmers and community centre programmers. The Park Board provides artists with support from a community arts programmer to liaise with neighbouring community centres to develop collaborative projects; liaise on any Park Board citywide arts initiatives; and assist with annual planning, review, and evaluation. 

Support Provided
VPB provides a studio space (with kitchen and bathroom), physical maintenance of the site, staff support, an exhibition, and promotion. 

Selection Process & Criteria
VPB has an open application process for Fieldhouse Residencies, and prospective residents are asked to attend an open house at one of the fieldhouses and an information session on the program before applying. A juried selection process involving artists, staff, and community members will determine the artists and/or artist teams awarded these residencies. Final selections may be based on interviews with short-listed artists. 

The Fieldhouse Studio Program is best suited to an artist or collective with an established, community-engaged/social practice that includes imaginative social encounters that engage, provoke and foster participation in the arts. Applications are assessed based on artistic merit; understanding, creative approach, and experience in community-engaged arts practices; demonstrated experience and ability to administer and oversee community-engaged arts processes; suitability of ideas for locations and communities; impact on the development of the artists’ practice and the community; and the overall proposal’s potential for meeting program objectives to activate the studio space, engage the community, and connect with other artists in the field. 

More information:

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