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. Artists can work with a community of interest such as people united by a hobby or interest or work like a hiking group, fishermen, or farmers. Or collaborations can happen in a community of place working with a neighbourhood association, local businesses or community development organisations among others.
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. It can take place in a prison or hospital or university for example. It can also be interdisciplinary and involve a musician working with a visual artist or an architect with a dance artist or a theatre practitioner working with a filmmaker.