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Finally after part self-funding a research trip to Finland, developing the idea over the past 18 months and a second attempt of applying to Arts Council England my project has been funded. I have to start by giving my thanks to early development support from a-n Re:view bursary, PANDA the performing arts network, Pool Arts, peers, friends and family for helping me get to this point. The funding has come at a critical time for me and I am really excited to be able to research diverse-led artist residencies from the artist initiated, experimental, structured and to find out more about who is missing out and what are the artists professional development needs. This research will feed into a fully supported artist residency with a sharing event at Islington Mill in early 2017. We Are Resident overview is:

1. Host a series of UK artist networking events to research their specific professional development needs.

2. Research current artist residencies in the UK and internationally.

3. Send a UK artist to Tampere and invite a Finnish artist to be resident at Islington Mill.

A recent research residency I undertook in Tampere, Finland in July 2014 with my husband and then six-month-old baby inspired my project. Unknown to me at the time most residencies tend to cater for the individual, with few accepting partners let alone children. This got me thinking who else feels unable to participate in artist residencies? Please follow the link to see my blog from the Takahuhti research residency on a-n blogs.


In the first week of my project I am doing lots of emailing, setting up meetings and reconnecting with partners. To have an overview of what I am doing I have a hand written timeline for the next 18 months, focusing for now on activity in 2015. My first meetings have been with Director Maurice Carlin at Islington Mill potluck dinner which seemed a good way to start getting to know the Mills culture by visiting events and meeting artists in residence http://www.islingtonmill.com. Secondly this week I met with visual artist Michiko Fujii to have initial conversations about my first research event at Manchester Art Gallery and I was really excited to be bouncing around ideas with her, there were lots of them http://www.michikofujii.co.uk. We will be co-creating an artist parent networking event at the gallery in the CLORE studio at the end of this year, November time with the aim of gathering artists responses, an activity for both adult and child to do together and something for the child to do independently. I am still at the early stages of planning event 1, however as soon as dates and content are agreed details will be posted here.