‘Community art is the creation of art as a human right, by professional and non-professional artists, co-operating as equals, for purposes and to standards they set together, and whose processes, products and outcomes cannot be known in advance.’A Restless Art, François Matarasso, 2019
That’s the best definition I can offer of what community art means to me. It’s been my life’s path for 40 years, taking me into art making, writing, research, policy, teaching, consultancy and other unexpected places. This website is a meeting place for that work, and an archive. It has two sister sites: Regular Marvels, about my creative work since 2010, and A Restless Art, about the theory, history and practice of community art in Europe.
My path has never been steady or clear. That’s useful to remember, in this time of human crises, political failure and climate change. The pandemic has made community art more difficult and more urgent. Like everyone else, I’m adapting and learning, trying to meet my commitments. At the moment, they include the following projects:
- TRACTION, a European research project, with partners from Spain, Portugal, Ireland, the Netherlands (and me). We’re looking at how innovative technology can support social inclusion through community opera projects.
- TEAM in Pembrokeshire and Wrexham, where I’m working on evaluation of community projects for National Theatre Wales
- Contested Desires, a Creative Europe project led by D6, where I’m working on capacity building workshops and evaluation
If you are interested in community art and cultural democracy I hope you’ll enjoy these pages and that you may find something helpful in your own journey. There are lots of freely accessible books and reports for download. You can reach me through the contact page; if I can’t help, I might know someone who can.