Artists in Residency for the Lebanese Public School System - Shared Imaginaries

OVERVIEW

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.



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.

Launched in 2017, the “Artists in Residency Program in the Lebanese Public Schools System” is a pilot project conceived by Lyne Sneige (Education and Programming Consultant to BeMA) and curated and coordinated by Maya Hage (Education Consultant to BeMA), in partnership with the Lebanese Ministry of Education and Higher Education.

Under the theme of “Shared Imaginaries”, BeMA has implemented an Artists in Residency Program directed at the Lebanese Public School System in 7 schools, covering the Lebanese territory from the north to the south, including the Bekaa, and the city of Beirut.

Kamal Jumblatt School in the Chouf area, , Haret Saida Public School in Saida, Tyre’s Public School for Girls in the city of Tyre , Al Jadida Public School in Zahle, Emir Chakib Erslan Public School in Verdun, Beirut, and Rachel Eddé Public School in Sebeel, Zghorta north Lebanon together with the intervening artists Collectif Kahraba, Chantale Fahmi, Soraya Ghezelbash and Studio Kawakeb have been BeMA’s partners of choice in shaping and disseminating shared ideas through collective artistic processes.

The artists involved in the project have led the young participants, through a series of immersive classroom sessions over the course of six to eight weeks, in a process that brought out shared affinities, hopes, values, and thus ultimately helped imagine innovative common perspectives and create counter stories.

Following the huge success of this pilot program, the committee has decided, upon the request of the Ministry of Education and High Education, to scale up this Artists in Residency Program in Public Schools over 10 years to reach more than 40 schools all over Lebanon.


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 media 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.

Please click here for the second edition of this program: Shaping Common Spaces 2018-2019.