The Artist in Residence (AIR) initiative was established by the Australia Council in 2008, initially as a four-year $5.2m initiative of the Federal Government. The overarching aim of the AIR initiative was to improve young people’s access to quality arts education by supporting professional artists to participate as ‘artists in residence’ in schools and universities. The AIR initiative was delivered through co-funding partnerships between the Australia Council and arts agencies in each State and Territory, who were the delivery partners managing implementation of a discrete and tailored AIR program within their jurisdiction. Based on early successes of the program, the Australia Council continued the AIR program from 2009 to 2016.

Fresh AIR was the 2014-2016 NSW partnership within the national AIR initiative managed by Arts NSW (now called Create NSW) in partnership with the NSW Department of Education and Communities (now called the Department of Education).

The NSW Fresh AIR initiative, managed by Arts NSW comprised two strands that involved:

  • STRAND 1:  3 x three-year sustained residency programs in schools
  • STRAND 2:  a three-year commissioned research program which aimed to evaluate the value and effectiveness of the residency programs AND identify best practice and estimate the value of AIR to school communities and student learning outcomes.

There were two additional aims of the NSW Fresh AiR Initiative:

  • to investigate best practice AIR models that could implemented by other schools and arts organisations
  • to foster a network of AIR schools to support the on-going principles of AIR that would be ongoing with the aim of the becoming a sustainable part of schools’ programs.

This research blog has been created by the research team who conducted the Strand 2 Research Study for use by arts and education organisations, researchers, teachers, artists and students.

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