Artists in Residency for the Lebanese Public School System - Shaping Common Spaces

OVERVIEW


For the second year in a row, BeMA continues its Artists in Residency Program within the Lebanese Public School System, in partnership with the Lebanese Ministry of Education and Higher Education. This year's theme revolves around "Shaping Common Spaces" and will extend to 10 public schools covering the whole Lebanese territory.

BeMA has already implemented a pilot project under the theme of "Shared Imaginaries" in 2017-2018. Its success has led to prolonging the program for 10 additional years, with the aim of covering forty schools across Lebanon. This program falls under BeMA's many outreach programs, for as part of its founding raison d’être and identity, BeMA vowed to engage with as diverse an audience as possible, driven by a strong belief in the transformative power of the arts and the right of all people to access it. The program provides minors from different social and geographical backgrounds, with limited access to art education, with a unique opportunity to widen their horizons and acquire new skills by working directly with artists. The thematic residencies and activities therein aim to foster creativity and self-expression, all in a spirit of inclusivity, tolerance, and an awareness towards our environment and shared humanity.

The residency program for the public schools consists of an immersive series of classroom sessions conducted by an artist for a period of 6 to 8 weeks, one to two times a week, coinciding with the scheduled art periods in their present curriculum. The residencies are carried out in the selected schools’ facilities where the artist works with the same group of students and their teacher for the duration of the residency program. The artist leads the students, supported by their teacher, in a creative process culminating in an actual work of art (paintings, ceramic tiles, panels, puppets, video art, silkscreen, sculptures, photography etc.) to be out to use to equip/decorate the school building, or be exhibited or performed.

This year's program was launched during a meeting at the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, in the presence of Mr. Fadi Yarak, General Director of Education Sandra Abou Nader, founding member of BeMA, Maya Hage, project curator, as well as the involved school directors and the participating artists. During the meeting, Sandra Abou Nader expressed her "profound satisfaction regarding the warm welcome BeMA received from the Ministry and participating schools who contributed to the program's success and thus helped in developing tools of interaction, and dialogue for the young generation who will now be capable of self-expression through art". Abou Nader also highlighted the fact that "the key objective of this initiative is to prove that school life expands beyond traditional teaching techniques. School can therefore become a place that offers its youth new means of expression and communication."

Selected Schools for 2018-2019 (Year II)

- Kamal Jumblatt Public School- Chouf, Mount-Lebanon
- Public School « Äl oula » -Jbeil, Mount Lebanon
- Public School Haret Saida - Saida, South Lebanon
- Tyre Public School for Girls-Tyre, South Lebanon
- Al-Jadida Public School Zahlé- Zahlé, Bekaa
- Emir Chakib Arslan Public School- Verdun, Beirut
- Rachel Eddé Public School Sebeel - Zghorta, North Lebanon
- Al-Daoura Mixed-gender Public School- Akkar North Lebanon
- Mixed-gender School of Damour- Chouf, Mount-Lebanon
- Broumana Intermediate Public School, Broumana, Mount Lebanon


Selected Artists for 2018-2019 (Year II)

- Chantale Fahmi
- Soraya Ghezelbash
- Ghaleb Hawila
- Léna Merhej & Collective Samandal
- Studio Kawakeb