Collaborative Residency Requirement
What is the Collaborative Residency?
The Collaborative Residency (or “Collab”) (IMA 781) has been a core requirement since the IMA Program’s inception. Under the new IMA Program requirements (effective spring 2015), Collab remains a requirement but will no longer be a 3-credit course with associated tuition charges. But, the pedagogical goals of Collab remain unchanged, deeply rooted in the IMA’s mission of fostering integrated media making and socially focused collaborative projects.
The Collab catalog description reads: Collaborative Residency: Students are required to complete a Collaborative Residency, which can be an in-house project or external creative residency that must be defined in conjunction with the graduate adviser and must involve collaboration among different media makers.
The description, while brief, highlights a key distinction between a Collab and a typical internship. The Collab must involve “collaboration among different media makers,” an element absent from traditional internship arrangements. Collab is not designed for students to get general experience working in a media organization or to serve as CV filler. We encourage you to pursue internships if they fit your needs and goals. However, we do not give credit for internships and in most cases internships will not satisfy the Collab requirement.
Collab also differs from an employment situation, where it’s your “job” to do as instructed. In an employer-employee relationship, you do not necessarily have the opportunity to genuinely collaborate. Although Collab does require a resident supervisor to help define the Collab parameters and goals prior to Collab approval, and to evaluate the student’s work upon Collab completion, this does not create the same dynamic that exists in an employment setting.
Collab should be project based, not oriented around general tasks. Collab requires working with others to make something. We define that something broadly. It could be a film, or a website, or an interactive application. And it could also be curating a show, programming a screening series, planning a conference, or creating an issue oriented outreach campaign.
Your work should be substantive and incorporate a creative component or skill set that would otherwise be missing from the project. And your role should build upon a theoretical and technical base connected to your IMA studies. Collab is an opportunity for you to apply what you’ve learning in your IMA courses to a non-classroom context. Collab should complement your work in the program and help you forge connections outside it.