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Arts education takes flight with AIR

Students and teachers across the state will work with professional artists in 2017 as part of a Queensland Government program to boost children and young people’s engagement with arts and culture.


The 2016-17 Artists in Residence (AIR) program, supported through Arts Queensland and the Department of Education and Training, will focus on schools and kindergartens in communities experiencing disadvantage.


AIR funding of $200,000 will pair professional artists with 15 recipients in Blackall, Caboolture, Inala, Lockhart River, Miles, Mt Isa, Paluma, Pormpuraaw, Bay Island in Moreton Bay, Rockhampton, Sarina, Stafford Heights, Sunnybank, Toowoomba and Woodridge.


Five AIR projects involve schools and kindergartens (Mount Isa, Lockhart River, Pormpuraaw, Caboolture and Stafford Heights) working with local Indigenous artists to learn techniques, local stories and languages as an inspiration for creating art.


Schools and kindergartens with limited access to arts in the Sarina, Paluma and the Rockhampton region will work directly with artists in the areas of visual arts, music, drama and dance.


Blue Roo Theatre Company will partner with Sunnybank Special School for a six-month performing arts residency that will culminate in a public performance while students at a detention centre school in Brisbane will develop their literacy and creativity through song writing workshops.


This year’s AIR program was a re-designed, Queensland only version of what had previously been a national program supported by the Australia Council for the Arts from 2009 – 2015.


This builds on the many positive outcomes from the program’s previous iterations, which shows AIR participation positively influences student engagement and increases the number and quality of arts activities in learning environments.


Past Queensland participants are overwhelmingly positive about the program with research showing that AIR led to increased skills, knowledge and confidence, along with a greater understanding of the benefits of the arts and arts-led learning.


A key goal of AIR in 2016-17 is to provide access to quality arts education in Queensland schools and kindergartens.


Applications were assessed by representatives from Education Queensland and peer assessors from Arts Queensland to ensure the projects would deliver innovative arts and cultural experiences.


View AIR recipients 2016-17

Photo credit: Student workshop from Artist in Residence project the Harristown Multilingual Project, July 2015 – April 2016. Photo by Optikal Bloc