Well-being Residency Think Tank – Project Plan


Well-being Residency Think Tank

Project idea:
Well-being Residency Think Tank is a capacity building project. During the 2 years organisations will create think tanks in order to create individualised tool-sets for ameliorating/starting a wellbeing residency practice. The main goal is to create a sustainable methodology for wellbeing residency practice for each partner and a basis for more general Tools that could help sharing this practice wider.

Starting point and Objectives

Art and culture are fundamental part of humanity.

Experiencing and making art in social and health care sector such as nursing homes can be challenging for many different reasons. One big problem is that art services provided by municipalities rarely go beyond the traditional arts environments such as museums and theaters or arts education institutions. This system exludes a lot of people which are incapable to access the services. Art activities in the health and social care settings are also often organized by the staff and are mainly stimulating activity. Expertise of art professionals are utilized mainly in short-term projects and activity will cease at the end of project funding. This rises a demand for a new approach which could provide sustainable model to offer long term cooperation with professional artists

Well-being residency is a concept which meets to this demand. It merges arts residencies and social engaged art. Residencies are usually tightly connected to social and healthcare organizations such as care homes, hospitals, prisons or receptions centers. Artists work includes art projects and use of arts-based methods with the people living and working in the community. In wellbeing residencies artists usually get a fee and the accommodation and the working costs are provided by the residency.

Well-being residency think tank project objectives
Create an environment for collective professional thinking and support for well-being residencies;
Developing adapted methodology for each residency place in collaboration with local healthcare specialists;
Gathering international point of view, encouraging artist exchange, and collaboration between artists;
Building a network for well-being residencies;
Mapping the possibilities for new well-being residencies in Barents region.

There will 5 think-tank meetings organised in each partner’s residency center. The overall objectives of these meetings is to research the local specificity of the possibilities of merge the wellbeing residency principle with the individual set of artistic goals of each residency. Even if there are some general rules about implementing the wellbeing practices, each case, the set of the audience (inhabitants of care-house, elderly house, hospital) is very different and needs specific needs. Sharing the knowledge and experience of each partner would help to generate a methodology adapted to the place. To insure the quality for the new made adapted methodology for each place, each partner will invite local health and wellbeing professionals to join the think-tank and contribute to the methodology. The main result would be not only enlarging the perspective of this specific, and relatively new practice, but to actually create a methodology and tool of sets adapted to each place and easily sharable with the artists residents.

Schedule (2018 – 2019)

7th and 8th June 2018 – First meeting in Finland hosted by the leading partner Cross-art Collective Piste.
“Introduction to wellbeing residency practices” and Think Tank n.1

17th to 19th September 2018 – Think Tank n.2 and open seminar in Luleå, Sweden hosted by ArtNorth from Region Norrbotten, Ruotsi, Norrbotten County Council

15th to 19th October 2018 – Think Tank n.3 and open seminar in Sortavala, Karelia, Russia hosted by The Social and Cultural Youth Center (RU)

March 2019 (dates to be confirmed) – Think Tank n.4 and open seminar in Riga, Latvia hosted by Sansusī residency center (LV)  and VSIA Rigas Cirks (LV)

May 2019 (dates to be confirmed) – Final meeting in Finland, public conference presenting the practices and the results of the project.

December 2019 (dates to be confirmed)  – Online publication with the case by case developed tool-set for wellbeing residencies.

Potential outcomes
Adapted methodology tools for running wellbeing residencies in each partner country
Role-model methodology tools adaptable for residencies wanting to develop the well being residencies
Partnerships between wellbeing institutions and professionals and cultural professionals and organisations
New residencies
Well-being residency network
Shared knowledge and new methods

After the two year project the partners would publish and online publication with case examples of the methodology developed for each residency. This set of examples and precise case studies developed by residencies and wellbeing and healthcare specialists would serve as a great learning tool for other residencies wanting to indulge in this practice.

Project partners
Piste  is a collective of artists and art educators who share a passion to do art in relation to their community. This shared interest has lead them create productions and performances, develope methods of art education and produce events for different audiences. Piste is based in the town of Rovaniemi at the Arctic Circle in Finnish Lapland, but performs nationwide and internationally. Piste has fifteen members, who all are professional artists or art educators. A dozen of other art makers also work for Piste yearly.

The Arts Promotion Centre Finland / Taike (FIN)
The Arts Promotion Centre Finland / Taike is an expert and service agency for promoting the arts. Taike together with its arts councils and boards awards grants to professional artists and subsidies to communities in the field of the arts. Annually, Taike allocates 34 million euros as grants and subsidies. Each year Taike receives 14,000 applications on which it makes decisions. These decisions are based on peer reviews within its expert bodies. Altogether, 250 peer reviewers are involved in the decision-making prosess. Taike has 80 employees. Half of these are administrative staff and half are regional artists working on arts promotion projects throughout the country on the basis of fixed-term employment contracts.
Taike operates under the supervison of the Ministry of Education and Culture and is funded from the state art budget. Taike has a head office in Helsinki, as well as regional and branch offices.

The Social and Cultural Youth Center (RU)
The Social and Cultural Youth Center in Sortavala is multifunction complex. It is the available and open space for any cultural and social initiatives. We organize different kinds of activities. We have orderly clubs and other formats of work, such as: seminar, concert, exhibition, camp, workshop, festival. There are several directions: dance, music, fashion, volunteers, «stand-up» genre, media and art in the Center. We have enough spaces for all kinds of activities: big concert hall, conference hall, celebration hall (exhibition space), rooms for rehearsals. Besides that we have hotel (Seurahuone) and cafe for our guests.
We have experience of holding and working social projects. Local social organizations collaborate with us in many projects. We have volunteers which can help in “well-being” direction. For example since last year they visit children which are being in hospital. Volunteers come there like clowns. We can upgrade this project including art and professional artists participation. Well-being residency is the big step to develop humanism and toleration in youth audience.

ArtNorth from Region Norrbotten, Ruotsi
ArtNorth helps profesional artists in Norrbotten County Council to be able to live and work as artists. Through working with education, assignments and spaces for exhibition the centre creates new deals and opportunities for the artists. The centre cooperates with artists, artist organizations, institutions, schools etc. One of the tasks for the centre is to build a residency program in the region and to coordinate the operators.

Sansusī residency center (LV)
Association Sansusī started running Alternative chamber music festival “Sansusī” takes place in each year Aknīste in the mid August in 2014. Festival gathered wide recognition from the audience, as well as positive reviews both from local people and professionals of music and theater. Festival has given a great importance to the inclusion of local audiences in the festival. Including the residents of local care house for people with mental and psychological disorders. There is a stable collaboration between the care-house and the festival. Since 2015 the association has started their first cross-disciplinary residency program. Knowing the proximity, association is looking forward developing its artist residency in the direction of wellbeing residency practice.

Rigas Cirks (LV)


Piste 2018-2019 / Well-being Residency Think Tank