Collaborative arts practice involves artists and communities working closely together, often over extended periods of time, to make art. It harnesses the experiences and skills of each person taking part to give meaning and creative expression to what’s important in their lives. By facilitating wider participation, collaborative art expands and diversifies public engagement with the arts, enriching its contribution to society.
Artists interested in engaging with people to make exceptional art often engage with communities in the broadest sense of the word – it can be a neighbourhood organisation, people united by a hobby or interest like a hiking group, working fishermen, farmers or asylum seekers.
Collaborative arts practice plays with and contests notions of authorship and the idea of the artist-genius working in isolation. Work that is made collaboratively with different groups often exists outside of the gallery or takes place outside the traditional theatre space. Or it may take place in a prison or hospital. It can also be interdisciplinary and for example involve a musician working with a visual artist or an architect with a dance artist.