ARTIST PARENT: Let's put some WIND AT YOUR BACK!

Being both a parent and an artist makes for a life rich with both inspiration and challenge. Our creative practices can undergo dramatic changes. Many of us long for more time and space to focus on our artwork. The demands of parenting can leave us feeling fragmented and continually half-effective at all we do. We'd love to get away and focus on our work, but traditional artists residencies aren't possible for many of us to attend any more (if they ever were). 

As an artist and mother myself, I have been convinced that there must be a way to make it work better for us, and that the solution must come in the form of more community and support for us as both parents and artists. From that conviction, the Integrated Artists Residency was born.

The Integrated Artists Residency gives you, artist and parent, intensive strategic planning and support to become an artist in residence in your own home and life, with a national community of support from other artist-parents. Unlike remote residencies which dump artists back into their everyday lives and into the same conditions they left behind, the strategies, tools and support systems created to support you during your at-home residency will serve you for life as a parent and artist. HERE IS WHAT YOU GET:

  • PRE-PLANNING In our residency design strategy calls, we'll plan through all the issues and leave no stone unturned: childcare, housework, paid jobs, relationships, time, space (and other laws of physics!) etc. We'll set tasks, solve problems and schedule and check-ins to make sure the residency is designed beautifully - so you can put your creative process and projects front and center in ways that are as nourishing for your kids and community as they are for you (yes, its possible!) This part of the process involves you reaching out to your friends, family and community for more support than you may normally think is possible; using the residency as a "frame" for your requests gives people an exciting way to support you. 

  • RESIDENCY SUPPORT During the residency itself you’ll get weekly individual coaching calls with me, and daily checkins with the artists in your cohort. You can troubleshoot interruptions and interferences that will inevitably occur, and get back on track. You can set weekly intentions, organize additional support and resources, and use me and the other artists for creative feedback and workshopping of ideas. 

  • FOLLOWUP INTEGRATION You’ll get post-residency coaching sessions to ensure that the lessons, tools, support systems and strategies for “arting while parenting” can be integrated into daily life beyond the residency. The value of this is life-long!

CURRENT OPPORTUNITY: JOIN THE PILOT GROUP OF ARTISTS FOR A FEBRUARY 2016 RESIDENCY!

Only 6 spots available: Come be a part of a pilot group of artists on residency for the month of February 2016!

As a member of this initiating cohort of artists we will spend part of January designing a period of intensive creative production (starting February 1) which is both nourishing to you as well as your family/child(ren); which activates communities of support and inspiration around your artwork that were previously invisible/impossible (really!) and lifts you up with support and resources for your creative practice - as a parent.  

Through the design process, group coaching calls with me, daily check-ins with artist partners, weekly individual coaching on issues ranging from creative critique to handling schedule interruptions to dreaming up your next steps, you'll be overloaded with support in those very places where many of us, as artists-parents, feel most alone.

There is much I cannot predict about what February 2016 will hold for each of us, but one thing I am certain of is that it will change your year and your sense of what is possible. Start your new year with some wind at your back as a parent artist, and have that additional  time in the studio, or with your instrument, or in the dance studio. Artist parents, our children need us...our jobs need us...but also, our souls need us to tend that creative flame - and the world needs our visions, our voices, our art, as parents and as artists.

Your investment in this intensive residency and coaching experience is just $400, which can be paid in a lump sum or in weekly installments. Email awalsh09@gmail.com to get on the list immediately! There are only 6 spaces available.

FUTURE RESIDENCY OPPORTUNITIES

I am working on 3 ways for you to do a residency: 1) self guided, 2) in a group of peers, and 3) individual intensive coaching. Each will have a different financial investment and set of resources and offerings.

Because of the unique structure of this residency (being at home, not away somewhere, and also involving intensive one-on-one and group support not often found in other residencies), it straddles the worlds of non-profit and fully funded arts residencies and the worlds of teaching, coaching and counseling. Because this format is unique, and I believe, new, and because its success is so incredibly close to my heart as an artist and parent, I have decided to engage my communities of artist-parents (whom I know personally and who I am connected to online) as I craft a way to make this as accessible to as many as possible and viable for me as a business model.

In the long term, I would like to partner with an organization that will assist with funding, and I would like a trained cadre of artist parent mentors to provide this service so that it can become a widespread and viable alternative to go-away artists residencies, supporting more artists right where they are. In the meantime, I am conducting a set of experiments, and building a focus group of others who are interested in seeing something like this succeed, to give feedback along the way. Please sign my mailing list above if you are interested in being one of these advisors.

About Amy Walsh

Amy is a long-time artist (sculpture, installation and participatory experiments), and mother (to a 6-year old boy) with a background that includes 10 years serving as a university art instructor and graduate critic , 10 years of leading artists support groups, and founding and directing a community arts center. She is also trained in compassionate parenting methods and equipped to address the parenting challenges and other important life and family issues which may be present for parent artists. She understands that a “residency” doesn’t erase the context of a family life; it is not an “escape,” but something that can be integrated into an existing life of presence and commitment to the ecosystem of a family. And most importantly, she understands that artists need time and space to make work - and to deny that is a disservice to themselves, their families and communities, and the world. Artist Parents, UNITE!



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