These are links to sites, films, essays and other material that may be of interest to those working in the field of community theatre.
The International Community Arts Festival in Rotterdam is probably the most exciting and eclectic gathering of academics and practitioners working in the field.
Community Arts Unwrapped : In the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s a radical community arts movement spread throughout the UK. Based on the belief that everyone had a right to creative and cultural expression, community artists campaigned for funding and support, something they thought was excluded to the majority at that time. The community arts movement generated a huge amount of artistic and creative activity and influenced changes in cultural and social policy. Yet we are in danger of forgetting this work as practitioners and policy makers age and artefacts and archives remain scattered. The significance of this lies not only in a lost history but also in a lack of understanding of the trajectory of much creative and artistic practice today. This research involves listening to the voices of that time in an effort to understand these activities, their rationale and impact; to discover how those activities may have influenced contemporary participatory arts practices across a range of locations from community settings to arts and education programmes in theatres, museums and other public venues.
With the tagline ‘Thinking about culture as if democracy mattered’ Parliament of Dreams, the blog of Francois Matarasso, is a wide ranging collection of thoughts and short essays from the past, present and future of community arts practice. Francois is currently working on A Restless Art a blog which is ‘Thinking about artists working with people’.
Understanding Everyday Participation is a five-year research project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council part of their Connected Communities: Cultures and Creative Economies programme. The project is led by Dr Andrew Miles (ESRC Centre for Research on Socio-Cultural Change, University of Manchester) and involves an interdisciplinary team of researchers based at universities of Manchester, Exeter, Leicester and Warwick.