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They exist so the artist can create. It is a noble mission and one that has proved invaluable to artists since the first was launched over a hundred years ago in the United States. Traditionally, artist-in-residence programmes extend invitations to artists, i.e. writers, musicians, visual artists, dancers, film-makers etc… to leave aside everyday life and responsibilities and spend time on art, reflecting, researching and producing in a unique, often isolated environment.
Some residencies require interactivity with a local community, which may include giving workshops or donating art work. Others might place importance on some artistic conversation with the immediate environment. The majority will encourage an exchange of ideas between residents, providing opportunity to meet and be inspired by other artists at the top of their game.
For those of you who view youth travel as all backpacks, gap years and Goa – think again. Facing tough economic times and a competitive employment market, today’s twentysomethings are increasingly likely to have their first foreign exposure on the company account – and advance on the career ladder while they’re at it.
Youth has always sought adventure and fresh pasture and this fact has not changed. A decade ago however, traveling in your twenties meant ‘finding yourself’ and chilling out on beaches. Today’s economic environment and its bleak outlook re jobs, means that the latest crop of graduates are a nervous generation. In light of this fact, gap years can appear frivolous. While travel is still the aim of many young people, the more ambitious and future-focused are not willing to scupper their chances of a good corporate career for a year of chilling in Thailand.
From Ireland via eleven years in Hungary and now living in the UK, Sue Healy is a 2009 UEA Creative Writing MA alumna. Her short-stories have won the Molly Keane Memorial, HISSAC, Meridian, Waterford Annaghmakerrig and Ted O’Regan Arts Awards and finalised for the Fish Short Story Competition amongst fifteen other shortlistings. Her drama credits include two BAI-funded radio plays broadcast on KCLR 96fm: Cow (2013) and The Daffodil (2014) both directed by acclaimed playwright Jim Nolan. She has also won the Sussex Playwrights’ Award and shortlisted for the BBC International Playwriting, BBC Writersroom 4, The Script HotHouse and Shoreline Screenwriters’ Awards. Her three staged readings include the 2013 Festival of Contemporary European Drama and the 2012 Brighton Arts Festival. Her prose is published in seven international literary publications. A 2013 Escalator Award Writer, Sue received an Arts Council grant to complete her debut novel which her agent submitted to publishers in 2014. She served as artist-in-residence on Inis Oirr (2013) and currently teaches creative writing at a Norfolk prison. Website: suehealy.org