Four local artists have been selected to participate in the inaugural Local Arts Residency program at the Grand Theatre. These week-long residencies will run from July to September and will offer space, time and resources to support local artists to explore new ideas, collaborate with other artists, create new work and pursue self-directed research.
This new artist-in-residence program is a pilot initiative developed in response to the impact of COVID-19 on the performing arts, according to a release from the City of Kingston. Local artists and collectives working in varying performing arts disciplines were invited to apply to the program earlier this year. The City said 25 applications were received, and a Selection Committee, made up of professional artists presented through the Grand OnStage program, selected local artists Michael Duguay (music), Francisco Corbett (multi-disciplinary), Erin Ball (aerial circus arts) and Spencer Evans (music) to kick off this new initiative.
The residencies will be based in the Regina Rosen Auditorium, a vibrant, engaging, historic hall that can seat up to 755 patrons, the City said. The participating artists working in residence will have access to professional staff and state-of-the-art equipment, including a 9’ Steinway D9 concert grand piano.
Each participating artist will also receive promotional and financial support in the form of an honourarium to help cover artistic expenses, according to the release. For Kingston audiences and residents, each artist will also provide a digital public presentation, performance, workshop, or event that showcases the work-in-progress developed during the residency.
“The Residency was launched with the goal to support local professional performing artists in meaningful ways during this challenging time, and to leverage the Grand Theatre as a community hub for Kingston artists,” said Danika Lochhead, Manager, Arts and Sector Development. “While staff plan to reopen the venue, we’re continuing to deliver programming through our Virtual Grand OnStage program and investing in local artist development initiatives like the Residency that we hope will continue through the pandemic and beyond.”
Due to the high level of interest in this program as a pilot initiative, these first four residencies will be assessed to determine if this program could continue later in the fall/winter of 2021 and in 2022, the City said. This would involve a second call for submissions.