Why (and How) Do Artists Work in Communities? 

As part of the What We Do Now (WWDN) Introduction and Training sessions in August 2021, we invited key people to think about what working collaboratively with communities looks like, the ethics and principles, examples of practice, and problematising some of the challenges to this way of working for artists.

Artists work with communities more than ever before – but why? What is the thinking that underpins this work? What is it expected to achieve, for whom, and, perhaps most interestingly, how?

In this session, François Matarasso explored the histories, intentions, and strategies for community art.  

François has been a community artist for 40 years, in the UK (including several parts of Scotland) and internationally. He is an independent researcher, writer, and consultant, and his latest book, “A Restless Art, How participation won and why it matters” was published in 2019.