Create is the national development agency for collaborative arts in social and community contexts.

Our mission is to provide advice and support services to artists and arts organisations working collaboratively with communities in social and community contexts.

Create supports artists across all artforms who work collaboratively with communities in different social and community contexts, be they communities of place or communities brought together by interest.

What We Do

  • Create supports artists in making exceptional art with communities in the broadest sense – it can be a neighbourhood organisation; pigeon fanciers; a chess club; working fishermen, farmers or asylum seekers. (All these groups have worked with artists through the Arts Council Artist in the Community Scheme managed by Create)
  • Create supports artists in an open-ended approach to the artistic process and art making – as co-creators with different partners and audiences
  • Create encourages ways of making art that take place primarily outside of the traditional gallery or theatre space

Collaborative arts is a dynamic and contemporary form of arts practice. Related and similar ways of working can come under the headings of participatory arts, socially engaged arts and in the theoretical realm are closely linked to the concept of relational aesthetics. Collaborative arts practice plays with and contests notions of authorship and the idea of the artist-genius. Work that is made collaboratively often exists outside of the gallery or takes place outside the traditional theatre space. It can also be interdisciplinary and for example involve a musician working with a visual artist or an architect with a dance artist. Create seeks to foster current and future potential for collaboration between artists and communities, encouraging art projects that reflect the exciting ways in which collaborative arts represent a complex range of ideas and approaches.

Artists and arts organisations working collaboratively with communities of place and /or interest is widely seen as one of the most vibrant and challenging areas of arts practice, requiring skills of negotiation and project management. The exploratory processes and practices of collaborative arts demand different approaches to traditional definitions of art, artists and arts development.

Create responds to these demands by offering a range of services for artists and arts organisations which include Professional Development and Advisory Sessions, Learning Development and Create engages in partnerships on initiatives that support and develop collaborative arts practice across all artforms.

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