Rachel Griffiths imagines a future where publicly funded theatres, museums and art galleries become part of broad community alliances tackling common areas of concern.
There’s been a lot of talk about imagining and re-imagining over the past few months. Like me, you’ll undoubtedly have been on many a Zoom with other participatory arts practitioners and organisations, lamenting and dreaming, often with complete strangers, into the alien safety of your laptop screen.
It’s not a new concept. The participatory arts sector has perpetually been asking itself how to shift from “for” to “with”, in our work with communities. And many succeed in co-creating beautiful, meaningful processes.
But now we are imagining with a new urgency. The food banks are busier; the education gaps wider; the job prospects fewer; the budgets tighter. We’re going to need more than a mask. We know our work can make a difference; we know it can give voice. But can we offer assurance to the people we engage, that the artistic practice provides a language and a pathway to tangible, lasting change? Beyond the life-giving essentials of increased confidence, self-actualisation, agency, and group cohesion?
Well, artistic practice alone may not achieve this. But I believe that, combined with the methodology of community organising it will... Keep reading on ArtWorks Alliance