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Indepth Arts News:

"Call for Artists: 2009 Conference on International Opportunities in the Arts"
2008-11-20 until 2008-04-05
TransCultural Exchange
Boston, MA, USA United States of America

Looking to jump-start your career? In today’s world - in which ideas, products and information travel freely around the globe - artists need to find ways not only to understand and compete with their international peers, but also to become active participants in this increasingly interconnected and interdependent society. But how to do that? How to find the money, the time and place to go? TransCultural Exchange’s 2009 Conference on International Opportunities in the Arts, which will take place April 3-5 at the Boston Omni Parker House Hotel, can help. http://transculturalexchange.org/conference_2009/overview.htm

Attend this rare event, where over 70 key representatives from around the world will be on hand to let artists know about their international opportunities and residencies, which are often the first step into the global marketplace. Directors of such programs as the State Department’s Art and Embassies Program, the Fulbright Program, the German-American Exchange Program, Trans Artists, the Alliance of Artists Communities and cultural attaches and heads of international programs from over 30 countries – including Finland, Sweden, Romania, Taiwan, China, Hungary, Japan, Greece, Canada, Italy, Ireland, Germany, Slovakia, Turkey, Estonia, Australia, Denmark, the Netherlands, South Africa, Ghana, Brazil, Egypt, India, Indonesia, South Vietnam —will be presenting their artist residency, networking and exhibition opportunities for both emerging and established artists, critics, art teachers and students.

With over twenty-five panels and workshops, Conference attendees will learn about grants to fund their work, residencies that provide free studio space, materials and room and board as well as have time to network with their peers and the speakers during a luncheon table topics session, the gala dinner and tours of museums in Boston.

Attendees can also sign up for one-on-one ‘mentoring’ sessions (available on a first-come, first-serve basis) to share their work with museum curators, critics and residency directors.

A little known fact is that there are many places around the world looking for artists. And, these international artist residency programs are an ideal step into the international art arena. Not only do they offer artists the chance to learn from another culture, meet artists from other countries and find new audiences for their works, but these programs often attract a new type of artist as well – those that not only make art, but curate, produce exhibitions, write criticism and are in touch with other, like-minded artists around the globe. Attending a residency program, thus, can create a ripple effect that over time will increase, broaden and expand an artist’s creative and economic growth. And, such programs vary enough to fit most artists’ needs. Some are long term; others last as little as 10 days. Some are discipline specific, others cross-disciplinary; but all of these international residencies can serve as a launching pad into the international marketplace.

But, don't take TransCultural Exchange’s word for it. Take that of the attendees to their last conference. According to an outside evaluation by the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth’s Center for Policy Analysis, “Results of a survey administered during the conference and on-line indicate that most participants were highly satisfied with all aspects of the conference. For example, more than four-in-five respondents (82.1%) rate the conference as excellent or good. Comments provided by respondents were copious, detailed and almost entirely positive. Participants were particularly satisfied with the ‘number of networking opportunities,’ the ‘quality of the mentoring sessions’ and ‘the wealth and value of information presented during these opportunities.’ Participants wrote of ‘attaining a higher understanding of my career,’ ‘expanding information on residencies exponentially’ and ‘exchanging ideas,’ while commenting that the conference was ‘a great motivation,’ ‘eye opening,’ and ‘a unique opportunity for working with others.’ “

The report goes on to state, “Of note is that more than half (54.6%) of the conference participants completed the voluntary survey. The high completion rate, coupled with the detailed open-ended (and primarily positive) comments, is another indication of the conference’s effect and success.

“Moreover, more than seventy percent of the survey respondents (71.2%) indicate that they are interested in attending a similar conference in 2009 and nearly two-thirds (64.8%). Perhaps most importantly, nearly sixty percent of respondents (59.7%) believe that the conference will benefit their career. . . [Also] of note, all of the mentors were highly impressed by the quality of the work they saw by the artists.”

In addition, preliminary outcomes in the months following the conference show early success in terms of artists securing residencies. For example, over 20 artists received invitations to residencies programs as a direct result of the conference, 3 secured new jobs, six received grants and more than 30 were invited to participate in exhibitions.

The 2009 Conference on International Opportunities in the Arts is also supported by such renowned organizations and individuals as Asian Cultural Council, Boston College, The Consulate General of Israel to New England, Délégation du Québec à Boston, the Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation, Col. Henry Hamby III, the Massachusetts Cultural Council's Adams Art Program, the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the Netherland-America Foundation, Julia Rabkin and Richard Lappin, the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, the Taipei Cultural Center of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in New York, Mercantile Bank, the Turkish Cultural Foundation, the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and absolutearts.com.

What are you waiting for? The world awaits. For more information, the schedule of events, accommodations and registration, please visit http://transculturalexchange.org/conference_2009/overview.htm Early registration is $185. This special offers ends December 15 (at 5:00 pm EST). After December 15th registration is $265; and after April 1, 2009, $350.

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