As part of its mission, BeMA involves diverse communities in cultural and educational programs for the service of building a committed and engaged civil society. It does so, by bringing together different narratives, fostering conversations and dialogue, in collaboration with cultural organizations and partners across Lebanon, the region and globally.
Therefore, and in the lead up to its opening, BeMA is developing a series of educational programs directed at the Lebanese youth which will ultimately support the national education policy by promoting concepts like dialogue, civic education, cultural diversity and intercultural understanding.
ARTISTS IN RESIDENCY PROGRAM FOR THE LEBANESE PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM
The artist residency for the public schools, consists in an immersive series of classroom sessions directed and led by an artist for a period of 6 to 8 weeks. The artist leads the students, with the support of the art teacher, in a creative process, and the residency culminates in a tangible outcome that the children work toward and produce.
The Artists in Residency Program for the Lebanese Public School System provides children and youth from different social and geographical backgrounds with unique opportunities to acquire new skills and widen their horizons, by accessing the arts and working directly with artists in their school environments.
The project, launched in November 2017, was received with great enthusiasm and described by the Lebanese Minister of Education and Higher Education as a “breakthrough” in the Lebanese public education system.
The artist residency for the public schools, consists in an immersive series of classroom sessions directed and led by an artist for a period of 6 to 8 weeks.
The artist leads the students, with the support of the art teacher, in a creative process, and the residency culminates in a tangible outcome that the children work toward and produce.
The theme of the residency can draw from any subject matter that the students are learning, spanning from the environment, to our shared humanity, allowing them to think creatively and critically about the topic and providing them with the possibility to work alongside professional artists while actively participating in artistic projects.
2017-2018 ACADEMIC YEAR
Under the theme of “Shared Imaginaries”, the Artists in Residency Program in the Lebanese Public School System for the on-going 2017-2018 academic year is being implemented in the following 7 schools:
Kamal Jumblatt School in the Chouf area, Äloula, Public School in Byblos , Haret Saida Public School (Sidon) , Tyre’s Public School for Girls, Zahle’s Al Jadida Public School, Emir Chakib Erslan Public School in Verdun (Beirut), and Rachel Eddé Public School in Sebeel, Zghorta North Lebanon.
Spanning from the North to the South, including the Bekaa, and the city of Beirut, renown and experienced Lebanese artists such as Collectif Kahraba, Studio Kawakeb as well as French-Iranian artist and architect Soraya Ghezelbash are accompanying students throughout this year’s program. A unique opportunity for children and teachers to work side by side with the most inspiring and forward-looking artists of Lebanon and the region.
By the end of the academic year, a total of 180 students would have benefitted from this unique opportunity and will have the final outcome of their collective work exhibited and celebrated by a public event, which the entire school community, as well as BeMA, the artists and the Ministry, will be invited to attend.
BeMA is carrying out all logistical aspects related to the smooth running of the residencies. It will also will cover the necessary funds to run the residencies as they are at no cost to the students nor the schools.
OBJECTIVES & LONG-TERM BENEFITS
Art residencies which are inherently based on the idea of collaboration and exchange provide a space for intensive interaction and dialogue, they promote the social and societal value of the arts as they foster participation in a common project, cultivate a sense of belonging to a larger community, and help reduce anti-social behaviors.
In addition to identifying and experimenting with different categories and mediums for artistic expression, it will encourage multidisciplinary learning as well as arts integration as it connects art processes and themes to other subject areas within the curricula.
However, the purpose of the residency is further than artistic development and transmission of a know- how alone, it aims at the developments of soft skills which are broadly applicable across disciplines and real life experiences. Those skills cast a different light on art and its relation to human values and highlight the ability of arts to inspire better understanding of the complexities of the world.