The Artist in Residence Studio program or AIRS is a Vancouver-based initiative for providing equitable access to consistent, high quality and socially relevant visual arts education for children. The AIRS program works in partnership with the Vancouver School Board to create dedicated art studios within public elementary schools to enable a local, professional artist to work collaboratively with teachers and provide meaningful hands-on visual arts engagements for children across the whole school.
"I feel like whenever I do art, I can always have a smile on my face. I feel like I crawl out my shell." - Grade 5 Student
Relevance: Empower children to be compassionate and creative transformers of their world through on-going participation in socially relevant, inquiry based visual arts learning.
Equity: Give all children the opportunity to engage in the visual arts within their local neighbourhood elementary school by prioritizing funding for schools with socio-economic disadvantage.
Diversity: Provide engagement in the visual arts that respects the cultural diversity of all students and including recognition of indigenous perspectives.
Partnership: Work in partnership with VSB staff, teaching artists, university researchers and financial patrons to establish vibrant working studios within schools that strengthen learning across the curriculum.
Outreach: Document and showcase the importance of long-term visual arts engagement for the social/emotional and intellectual development of children and for teaching the core competencies within the new BC curriculum.
Watch this video produced by Alison Chan, Sky Li and Vivian James to learn more about the AIRS program.