I’ve now encountered the word ‘residency’ twice in my reading in the last few weeks, referring specifically to artist residencies, but I’m curious about any kind. I know doctors do a residency – what’s involved in that? Who sponsors them? Have any Ratburghers done a residency in some other type of program?

I saw the word recently was in regards to a cartoonist for the New Yorker who is doing a kickstarter to get funds to purchase a house in rural PA. She will then run a ‘residency’ there for humorists, of the literary or cartooning kind – and it’s solely for women. (I don’t know what she’ll do if someone with a 5 o’clock shadow who identifies as a woman applies.) It sounds kind of like a retreat, where the writers/artists would work on their craft and then after some period of weeks, have an exhibit or a reading or some kind of event. The second reference was just yesterday in my local paper, where an art club is raising money to fund a residency for painters – and the first session, again, will be exclusively for women.

Could this be done – or is it already being done – for educating & promoting conservative policies to the public? For instance, a ‘residency’ in a suburb outside a blue city, where some conservative thinkers (or students from Hillsdale?) come to stay for a while, and host talks/events over a period of weeks that help elevate people’s knowledge of history & policy. Nothing glitzy, but something that is more than a one-night book-signing by Brian Kilmeade, you know?

I would think it could amount to a mini-convention, that would draw people to local restaurants, hotels, etc, helping the economy, and so towns may be open to it.


6 thoughts on “Residencies”

  1. “I know doctors do a residency – what’s involved in that? Who sponsors them?”

    In the medical context, a residency is an extended immersive experience (one indeed has the sense of living in the hospital), designed to result in as complete as possible an understanding of a medical specialty by virtue of seeing the entire range of possibilities within a field. As well, this experience is designed to offer broad contextual knowledge of the field, i.e., knowing the boundaries of the field and thus recognize when to involve physicians in other specialties. Otherwise put: “good judgment comes from experience and experience comes from bad judgment”.  Medical residencies are offered by teaching hospitals, usually affiliated with medical schools/universities. Payment for such services comes in part from hospital reimbursement from all payers, including government. This has resulted in inevitable and considerable contention historically – but that is another story.

    In such teaching hospitals, these “house officers” or residents provide essential round-the-clock patient care services; usually, most of these routine services are performed independently by the physicians-in-training. It is believed that such hospitals provide the highest quality, state-of-the-art care. If one’s condition is complicated and/or out of the ordinary, there may be marginal benefit from care in such institutions. There is a chain of command. The junior physicians consult, when necessary, with those with more experience, like the “chief resident” (usually in the final year of training). Only exceptionally will resident physicians need to consult with attending physicians after hours. Most problems can be handled by the residents and be discussed on morning rounds, where residents brief the attending physician on patient progress and/or any intervening events.

    In surgery or other procedural specialties, residents will often perform much, most or even all of the procedure, but only with the attending physician present and guiding the resident’s actions moment-to-moment. This process is more forgiving than is generally imagined. i.e. it is safe and the only way for new generations of physicians to emerge.

    I have no experience with the other types of residency you discuss. I suppose medical residencies represent the most intense, extended and elaborate form of the art of residency.

  2. Thanks CW – I knew medical residencies were highly structured, since they are required for eligibility of a medical license. Your description’s interesting, and of course it makes sense to be organized that way, in the life & death situations doctors deal with every day.

    In creative occupations it’s certainly much more open-ended. But I figured if this is a trend in the arts, maybe the framework could apply to our political endeavors too. It would be easier if a college would host such a residency but they are all so liberal, except for Hillsdale, I’m sure they’d nix it.

    And yeah, Phil, I roll my eyes too when people pipe up “Here’s a great idea!” and then don’t offer to take it on themselves, I get that! I have to do some more ruminating on this before I tell my husband we are moving into the shed so VDH and Brad Thor can come for a few weeks.


    The input is generous, glorious, and prolonged.
    The summed output is a nothingburger, skilled salesmen of “next Tudesay.”.

    I propose that boredom is a deep font of creativity.  An able brain denied input desperately creates its own.   Amputees have false-limb syndrome, curable by providing mirror box false input.  Tinnitus plus an audiogram that shows a dip where the false tone is heard is blunted by playing the false tone in headphones.

    A school presenting near-perfect ineducability may not demand attendance, with its daily budget diminished in kind.   Perhaps its administration will come up with something clever.

  4. There are as many kinds of residency programmes as there are organisations offering them.  Some tech companies, including Autodesk, operate artist in residence programmes as a potential mutual benefit to the company and artist: here is the initial announcement from 2015 (which I had nothing to do with, having retired from the company 21 years earlier).  By providing artists access to design and fabrication tools to create their works and a showcase to display them, the artist gains skills in new media, visibility, and the company showcases non-traditional applications for its products.

    The SETI Institute has operated their Artist in Residence programme since 2010.  They provide artists access to their staff and visiting scientists and facilities, in the hope of inspiring related work jointly displayed and promoted by artist and Institute.  They provide no direct funding:

    SETI Institute AIR recipients must generate their own funding. The SETI Institute is a non-profit, 501(c)3, and can be the institutional home to administer government and foundation grants and private donations for individual artist in residence projects. In the case of artists applying for grants under the SETI Institute’s auspices, funds received are subject to the same indirect costs as all other awards administered by the SETI Institute. Indirect costs are determined according to Federal requirements.

    (I have provided financial support to the SETI Institute on several occasions, but have no input to their decision-making.)

  5. Uncle Al:

    The input is generous, glorious, and prolonged.
    The summed output is a nothingburger, skilled salesmen of “next Tudesay.”.

    Yeeeah. When looking at this kind of art I whisper to myself “Would anybody be able to tell if this piece were done poorly?” and the answer’s usually “no.”


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