Higher education program

FAI-AR offers a two years higher education course, preparing students to become creators and producers of artistic projects in public space. Every two years, a class of around fifteen students is selected to take the course.

Teaching is provided in France and occasionally abroad, with the aim of giving students the skills to manage a professional creative project as a creator and artistic director. It especially focuses on the specifics, constraints and opportunities associated with choosing to do art in public space.

The teaching approach is cross-disciplinary and collaborative, combining theoretical, methodological, technical and primarily artistic content.
Two years of study leads to an institutional diploma as an “author for public space”, alongside a Master’s in “Arts et Scènes d’aujourd’hui – écritures scéniques en espace public”(Arts and Scenes Today – Scriptwriting for Public Space) (Master 2), in partnership with Aix-Marseille University.

Videos of higher education program


Course objectives

In the context of contemporary developments around artistic creation in public space, this course questions the ways in which dramaturgy, scenography, relationships with audiences and staging can draw on the performance context and, more particularly, the variations provided by public spaces, including urban, peri-urban, natural and industrial.
The two years of the course have different objectives and content:

The first year is geared towards acquisition of the knowledge, skills and know-how required to work as an artistic assistant on projects in public space.
The second year goes further into artistic research, preparing students for team management and developing a professional career as a creator and producer of projects in public space.

Learning outcomes

Extend knowledge of the arts and artistic creation in public space

  • Build analytical capacities and critical vocabulary
  • Develop a professional perspective and artistic practice
  • Understand the cultural, political and symbolic issues associated with art in public space
  • Understand public spaces as places of staged performance
  • Understand and experiment with the relationship with audiences and populations for arts in public space
  • Understand the technical challenges, standard practices, regulations and safety rules associated with performances in public space

Locate your artistic discourse and analyse your practice

  • Expand your practice by connecting with other disciplines
  • Master the technical vocabulary and basics of new artistic practices and techniques
  • Position yourself in the field of contemporary artistic research
  • Analyse your experimentation and creation protocol

Work as an author of an artistic project

  • Carry out fundamental artistic research
  • Write and design a narrative or performance for public space, develop the dramaturgy of your artistic project
  • Define the scenographical and technical needs of an artistic project

Work as a producer of an artistic project

  • Know how to build a working team for a creative project
  • Design team supervision and project management methodologies
  • Set up the organisation and technical management for a creative project
  • Ensure that you and others stay safe, and manage venue and equipment security
  • Develop independence and adaptability

Promote your skills and build your career

  • Know how to position yourself professionally and determine your career strategy
  • Determine your artistic production and dissemination strategy
  • Maintain knowledge of your socio-professional and technical environment
  • Grow and extend your professional network in Europe and internationally.

Course organisation

The course is spread over two years, corresponding to four university semesters. Teaching is given, in part, in Marseille at the Cité des arts de la rue where FAI-AR is based, and, in part, in partner venues in France and occasionally internationally.

The first year is primarily dedicated to collective artistic teaching and research, which is occasionally shared with partner art schools.
This includes:

  • Theoretical teaching primarily provided by teachers from Aix-Marseille University during the first semester
  • Artistic practice workshops, which aim to equip students and focus on specific techniques or issues, such as the role of the body in public space, working with sound or staging.
  • Practical modules, to apply the fundamentals discussed in workshops by various collective role-playing exercises.
  • Artistic research modules,which can be individual (fundamental research) or developed around a specific approach or topic proposed by a teaching artist (creative research laboratories).

Creative research laboratories

Creative research laboratories use artistic role-playing in a collaborative framework around a topic or professional practice, developed from previously established work instructions. This tests knowledge and teaches practical understanding by confronting theory with practice. Here, learning is based on sharing an experience and a research process, rather than on “ways of doing things” and the aesthetics of the artist teachers. There are 3 to 5 creative research laboratories for every year group, each lasting 2 to 3 weeks, under the supervision of recognised artist(s), at the Cité des arts de la rue, or at partner venues elsewhere in France or internationally.

Following on from the first year, which mainly features collective and cross-disciplinary modules, the second year focuses on each apprentice developing a personal creative project.
This project is designed as a training process, positioning the apprentice as creator and manager of a project for public space. From the first director’s statement to presentation of a draft performance of the project at the end of the course, each student works to establish a team, build a production and organise residencies by working with professional partners.

Combined with independent work, teaching provided in this second year includes:

De modules d’accompagnement au développement du projet personnel de création : écriture d’une note d’intention, dramaturgie et essais performés, production et fiche technique…

  • Modules to support development of the personal creative project: drafting a director’s statement, dramaturgy and performance tests, production and technical data sheet, etc.
  • Modules focused on the professional development of project managers: making a budget, production scheduling, dissemination, etc.


The FAI-AR course leads to a double qualification:

  • An institutional diploma recognised in the professional sector, covering all course teaching,
  • A Master’s degree, “Dramaturgie et écritures scéniques en espace public” (dramaturgy and scriptwriting for public space), issued by Aix-Marseille University, based on the part of the higher education programme for which ECTS credits are awarded (around 1,400 hours).

All of the higher education modules are assessed.
Depending on the objectives of each teaching unit, assessment is carried out by those best qualified to observe the results, whether teachers, panels, tutors or the teaching coordination team.
Assessment methods may vary depending on the teaching, and include continuous assessment, written assignments, interviews, reports, oral presentations and performances.

Team teaching

Overall coordination of the higher education course is provided by the FAI-AR permanent team, which designs programmes and content, monitors the class collectively and individually, and draws up periodical reports.
Module teachers are working or teaching artists and professionals. They consist of a mix of regular partners, closely linked to the FAI-AR project, and occasional teachers with unique and tailored experiences.

See all the teaching team

Testimonials from teaching team

Nathalie Pernette, Robin Decourcy, Christophe Modica, Céline Naji et Léa Dant talk about their experience at the FAI-AR.

Professional and teaching partners

Since 2019, all apprentices on our higher education course are also enrolled in the Master’s degree “Arts et scènes d’aujourd’hui : écritures scéniques en espace public” (arts and scenes today – Scriptwriting for public space) at Aix-Marseille University. This double qualification consists of:

    • Theoretical teaching, mainly in the first semester, assessed by three assignments or reports and a written exam;
    • A shared dramaturgy experimentation workshop with students from the Master’s degree not taking the FAI-AR course, in the second semester;
    • Writing of a research thesis at the end of the course.

Professional partnerships outside Marseille

Marseille is FAI-AR’s primary location, but some of the course takes place elsewhere. In total, the time spent outside Marseille can represent up to 4 months of the entire programme. This time is organised in partnership with professional partners and host venues across France so that apprentices can work under professional conditions and start to structure their professional network.

Since 2015, the apprentices were welcomed in several creation and diffusion places:

But also by companies and artistic teams :

Educational partnerships

The higher education course also includes partnerships with other professional higher education institutions. These partnerships can be one-off or long-term, and they enable targeted experimentations and shared teaching that facilitates collaboration between students from complementary disciplines and backgrounds.

Since 2015, teaching partners included:

Internships and residencies

As part of their training, the apprentices have several weeks of internships and residencies.
Find below the places which, since 2019, have welcomed the apprentices.

Students on our higher education course are called apprentices in reference to the Bauhaus school in Germany. Around fifteen are accepted every two years, selected on the basis of a competitive admissions procedure.

Apprentice profile

This course is designed for artists wanting to develop their professional skills for collaborating on, creating and producing artistic productions in public space:

  • artistic creators: directors, choreographers, visual artists, scenographers, writers, set designers, etc.
  • performers: actors, dancers, musicians, circus performers, etc.
  • urban and rural professionals: architects, urban planners, landscapers, designers, etc.

Apprentices are united by a desire to learn more about project management and their interest in public spaces and issues. Classes are varied both in terms of disciplines and levels of experience.
This diversity, combined with teaching on artistic collaboration, encourages mutual development, travel and the invention of hybrid forms.

Course schedule

This FAI-AR course is a full-time higher education programme (35 hours per week). It is demanding and requires significant personal investment.
Working while enrolled in the programme is not recommended. Please be reminded that the course requires a period of travelling (3 weeks) and each student must regularly present work from personal assignments.

Apprentice holiday periods:

  • Christmas holidays (2 weeks)
  • one week per semester
  • two months in the summer (July-August) between the first and second year.


Testimonials from former apprentices

Watch the testimonies of former apprentices in six videos of a few minutes each.

Apply to join the next class

The 10th FAI-AR class will start in September 2023 !
It is no longer possible to apply, but if you want to know more about the course, please contact us.

Slection process

The 10th FAI-AR class (2023-2025) was selected in March 2023 and will begin in September 2023.

Recruitment for the 11th class (2025-2027) will begin in September 2024.

This selection is made on the basis of a competitive examination, according to a procedure in several stages:

  • September 2024 : opening of the competition. The file can be downloaded from our website,
  • Submission of written applications. These applications will be subject to a first selection phase,
  • Pre-selection jury,
  • Artistic auditions. These auditions take place in Marseille and allow the selection of the fourteen apprentices who will constitute the class.

Stay informed

To stay informed by email about the next competition (2024) and the higher educational program and not miss the launch date, please fill out the form below.

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    Accessibility / Disability: FAI-AR takes into account all situations of disability and does its utmost to adapt training courses to your needs. If you need special arrangements (training, schedule, equipment, specific personnel...), please contact Chantal Vasseur, our disability advisor at the following address: accessibilite@faiar.org.