This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
It is our hope that this publication provides evidence of the importance of the Artist
in the Community Scheme to the arts and community sectors, and also reveals the
ways in which collaborative arts practice provides a new model of engagement and
access to the arts. The Artist in the Community Scheme recognises the vital role the
arts play in civil society and a genuinely participative democracy. It also honours
the creative capacities of communities to respond to and imaginatively shape the
Sarah Tuck
creation of art.
Director, Create
To date the Artist in the Community Scheme has funded nearly 200 artists drawn
from across all artforms to work with communities in a diverse range of contexts –
and more than 500 groups and communities countrywide have applied to the
Scheme to work collaboratively with an artist.
In 2005 a Research and Development strand was introduced, in recognition of the
fact that time is a crucial factor in enabling artists to work effectively with a
Create, the national development agency for collaborative arts, has had the privilege community of place and /or interest. This offers artists the time and space to think
of managing, on behalf of the Arts Council, the Artist in the Community Scheme through project ideas in consultation with a community to ensure that the work of
since 2001. During this time the range of artists working with and in community artists remains fresh and refreshed and that artists and communities are afforded
contexts, both urban and rural has increased considerably throughout Ireland. the time to think through concepts and ideas that embrace risk. The Research and
Development strand also enables artists to provocatively reconsider what is a
The Artist in the Community Scheme asks of artists to locate their practice with
community, investigating the numerous ways in which people assemble around
communities of interest and/or place, and by doing so, push at the formal
common interests, whether it’s a group of post punk pogoists, free runners, market
boundaries of art form disciplines and deepen the critical questions of who can
traders or a Tidy Towns group.
make art. The scheme through the years has become a key mechanism through
which collaborative arts is now understood as a vibrant and dynamic contemporary The Artist in the Community Scheme celebrates the lived experience of a
art practice. community and in so doing moves beyond the traditional notions of audience and
artist. We hope this publication illustrates the radical potential of collaborative arts
Alongside this, artists have teased out some of the problematic questions of what is
practice to rephrase a community’s understanding of contemporary arts. On a more
a community, by resisting a nostalgic impulse and reconfiguring ideas of place and
modest note, we also hope this book in some way contributes to the growing body
identity relevant to our times. This collection of essays feature a group of rural
of work documenting collaborative arts as one of the most influential shifts in art
farmers, a pigeon club in Ballymun, migrant domestic workers and young people of
production in recent times.
South Dublin. It is our intention, in partnership with the Arts Council, through this
series of essays to provide some insights into how four artists, Declan Gorman,
Rhona Byrne, Ríonach Ní Neíll and Susan Gogan conceived of their projects with
specific groups. The essays trace, in their own words, the challenges the artists faced
and moreover the expertise they had to unlearn to realise a contemporary arts
project co-authored with a community.
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