Programme of Excellence in Performing Arts

The background of the project is the need to take care of our country's foremost talents within the performing arts in the transition from a completed education to the establishing of an international career. Higher arts education can point to good results concerning the development of talents within the ordinary educational process, but has neither a mandate for nor the funding to support them in the most decisive phase of their careers. Furthermore, the arts industry has no arrangements for looking after young outstanding talents, who are often left to themselves in a situation when they are met by great expectations.

1. Background and requirements

In a public economy marked by knowledge, technology and performing services, outstanding and specialised skills possessed by individuals become increasingly important. Developing and supporting society's foremost talents within the arts, sciences and private businesses is a goal that is shared by the educational sector and the industries. Norwegian arts education is of high quality, and through systematic and long-term efforts it has developed models to look after young talents from pre-school to higher education. It is in the critical phase after the completed education, however, that talent and skills are to be converted into artistic results viable in an international and competitive arena. A systematic and knowledge-based arrangement during this phase is therefore decisive to enable talents to succeed in an artistic career.

The Norwegian Academy of Music realises the need for such an arrangement within the Norwegian culture scene. It wishes, in co-operation with Oslo National Academy of the Arts and the Norwegian Film School, to take the initiative to establish a programme targeting performers who have completed their formal education and are in the process of establishing an international career. The programme partly falls outside the institutions' public mission, which is limited to higher education as well as developing and publicising research results. The initiative presupposes a close co-operation with the professional arts scene as regards the funding and the development of skills.

Premise and goal

With support from Talent Norge and private funding it will be established a national programme for outstanding talents within the performing arts. As the programme's title it is suggested ”Art Excellence – Programme of Excellence in Performing Arts”, in Norwegian “Programmet for utøvende kunstnere”. The intended time frame is initially a four-year period, with an ambition to an extension after this. The programme's main goal is in three parts:

  • Further excellence within the arts scene especially and in society generally
  • Giving tomorrow's leading artists support, personal and professional development, networks and contacts when starting an international career
  • Developing and maintaining knowledge about talent development in the transition between education and professional life


Target group and co-operative partners

The programme's target group is candidates who have completed their education in all the performing disciplines within theatre, dance, opera, film and music. The arrangement comprises about 20 participants who each are connected to the programme for 2-3 years. Additionally, the programme can contain up to 30-40 associated participants, who are offered to join the programme's open gatherings. As regards age, the participants will be from 25-35 years old. During the initial phase the programme is limited to artists from performing disciplines. In a later phase it could also cover creative art within literary and visual disciplines.

In this programme Oslo National Academy of the Arts and the Norwegian Film School will be advisors and co-operative partners for The Norwegian Academy of Music. The goal is to create a national and interdisciplinary ownership, by involving the most important institutions of the performing arts scene. It is emphasised that the programme is to recruit participants nationally, independent of which institutions the candidates are educated at.


2. Contents

The work within the programme will happen both on an individual and collective basis, and is built on three main activities: coaching, mentoring and seminars.

1) Coaching:Each participant will at regular periods get individual coaching. The professional content of the coaching will be related to a special requirement specification containing three fundamental elements: classical coaching skills (CTI/Adler/Erickson), sports psychology, as well as tools within achievement preparation and mental training tailored for performing artists. The work will build further on research made by the Norwegian Academy of Music's Centre of Excellence in Music Performance Education (CEMPE), at Oslo National Academy of the Arts in co-operation with this institution and the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences.

2) Mentoring:Each participant of the programme is given a mentor with an extensive international network and contacts with central parts of the discipline in question. The mentor's task is to give advice and guidance about the participant's encounter with the profession, as well as introducing the participant to possible employers and co-operative partners. Potential mentors are recruited, internationally and nationally, among conductors, directors, choreographers, music producers, agents, casting managers, theatre managers, dance company managers, film producers, festival directors, curators and so on. Through the mentor arrangement the performing arts industries are invited to take their part of the responsibility to support and develop Norway's foremost talents.

3) Seminars:The programme's annual rhythm is organised around regular professional gatherings where all programme participants will meet. The seminars last from two to three days, and will raise issues with interdisciplinary relevance like ”Ensemble and co-operation”, ”Extraordinary achievements” ”Creativity and inspiration”, ”Vision and artistic voice” or ”Motivation psychology and tension regulation”. The other circle of subjects connected to the seminars concerns more specific artistic issues of interest to the participants. Outstanding artists and profiled contributors from Norway and abroad will secure a high level of the gatherings, and parts of the programme will be made accessible for a larger audience. Social events and team-building activities are other possible work formats.

Even though research is not explicitly part of the project, it is meant that the programme shall function as a resource centre for the work to develop tools within coaching and mental training tailored for the performing arts and not addressed by sports psychology. Through initiating co-operation with various research scenes and suggesting interdisciplinary projects, the programme will play a role as a catalyst and <formidler>. In this way it will help create an interdisciplinary and knowledge-based platform about the transition between arts education and professional life.


3. Organising

The Norwegian Academy of Music is, as originator and project owner, responsible for running the project. Oslo National Academy of the Arts and the Norwegian Film School will take part in governing the project. It will be created professional councils with representatives of all the disciplines of the programme. The professional councils will nominate for admission to the programme, as well as giving advice on developing and carrying out the professional content. The programme is to be led by a project manager and a secretariat appointed by the Norwegian Academy of Music.

Sist oppdatert: Tor Magne Roaldseth 08.06.2016

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