FAQs

How did MU's AIR program get its start?

The inspiration for MU's AIR came from the good work of The State University of New York at Buffalo's Creative Arts Initiative (CAI). Former MU Chancellor Alexander Cartwright saw firsthand the benefits of CAI and made the decision to undertake a special initiative here as a way to cultivate creativity across disciplines and celebrate the arts.

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Which disciplines will the AIR serve and highlight?

We're interested in hosting AIR's from all fields of the creative arts: music, visual arts, theatre, creative writing, design, film, digital, and emerging media.

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How long are residencies?

AIRs might be as short as a few days, a week, or a month, and they may last as long as an academic year.

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Are artists from all around the nation eligible to be an AIR at MU?

We hope to have artists visiting Columbia from all over United States and the world. Insight and expertise from creative minds living elsewhere will strengthen the experiences of MU students, faculty, and the Columbia community.

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Do artists need to be established in their careers? What kind of qualifications do artists need?

We hope to have AIRs that are both established artists as well as those whose careers are emerging. Artistic excellence, no matter the years worked, is what matters most to us. We value demonstrable professional accomplishment as well as unique and exceptional promise.

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Are AIRs only for individual artists?

Our AIRs may be individual artists, but they may also be companies/troupes and collaborations of artists.

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Will AIRs interact only with MU students studying in the arts?

We want AIRs to reach as many students as possible, regardless of their chosen major.  In fact, we are interested in AIRs who can serve those populations that do not self-identify as arts-interested. AIRs will absolutely serve MU students in the areas of music, theatre, visual studies, and literary arts, but AIRs will not be limited to interactions with those student populations only.

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What is the “community” that the AIR program seeks to serve and influence?

Above all, MU's AIR exists to increase opportunities for students to have access to and interaction with great artists and their art, so all AIRs will impact the student population. That interaction will take many forms, however, engaging students both in and outside the classroom. We are also interested in connecting our AIRs to the communities beyond campus, especially the Columbia-area population. In other words, AIR activities will not reside solely within campus boundaries.

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How much are AIRs paid?

A general response is the best we can do on this one. AIRs vary in so many ways -- in length of time, use of facilities, materials, required housing and transportation, if it is an individual artist who will visit or a group, etc. A short visit, perhaps a week, might be paid $1,500 + travel, while a longer, more involved residency might be paid $40,000 or more + travel. It is important to note that persons already employed by MU may not be compensated with AIR funds.

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What facilities, infrastructure and related support will be provided to visiting artists?

We want our artists' time at MU to be the best and most productive it can be. However, there are currently no designated work or living spaces for AIRs on campus. Instead, we will work to connect our AIRs with supportive faculty who have interest in working with AIRs to help explore facilities available. And we can direct artists to sources for finding housing. We will also provide communications support (e.g., posting events on our website and MU events calendars, promoting events through email, and making introductions/connections with the arts community).

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What is a Mini AIR?

If your campus department has an idea for a specific project that could partner with AIR, we’d love to assist! Mini AIR’s go toward campus projects focused on the arts and that, consistent with our mission, seek to engage students and the campus community at large. Please see the guidelines and application here.

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Do you have a question that is not addressed here? Please contact us and we’ll do our best to answer it.