Community arts, also sometimes known as “dialogical art”, “community-engaged” or “community-based art,” refers to artistic activity based in a community setting. Works from this genre can be of any media and is characterized by interaction or dialogue with the community. Often professional artists collaborate with people who may not otherwise normally actively engage in the arts. The term was defined in the late-1960s and spawned a movement which grew in the United States, Canada, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Australia. In Scandinavia, the term “community art” means more often contemporary art project.
Community art – an expression often used in plural community arts – refers to an artistic activity involving a human community. Its heterogeneous activities can use any medium and are characterized by interactions and dialogues with the community concerned.
Community art is an activity aimed at solving problems of the community and creating new value of the community through art through collaboration among artists, citizens and others.
Community art is based in economically deprived areas, with a community-oriented, grassroots approach. Members of a local community will come together to express concerns or issues through an artistic process, sometimes this may involve professional artists or actors. These communal artistic processes act as a catalyst to trigger events or changes within a community or even at a national or international level.
In English-speaking countries, community art is often seen as the work of community arts centre. Visual arts (fine art, video, new media art), music, and theater are common mediums in community art centers. Many arts companies in the UK do some community-based work, which typically involves developing participation by non-professional members of local communities.
Practitioners focus on social justice and popular education methods. They emphasize a common dynamic and collaboration. Community art is more often an art for generating social change, and requires the involvement of community members, who create with the artists. This manifests itself at local, regional, national, or international levels.
The term “community art” refers also to the field of community, neighbourhood and public art practice with roots in social justice and popular and informal education methods. In the art world, community art signifies a particular art making practice, emphasizing community involvement and collaboration. Community art is most often art for social change and involves some empowerment of the community members who come together to create artwork/s with artists. This is a growing national, international, regional and local field. Recently community arts and sustainability work or environmental action have begun to interface, including urban revitalization projects creating artwork at a neighbourhood level.
Community art professionals work with people who are not usually engaged in an artistic endeavor. But it is required a real rooting of the artist in the community. Its commitment is at least over several months, and must set up a creative process shared with the community.
Often, community arts are practiced in disadvantaged communities. The members of a community express themselves together through an artistic process, sometimes involving artists or professional actors. This process acts as a catalyst for initiating evolutions within the community. It is a question of putting in perspective the suffering imposed by the relations of domination, and of freeing the creative speech, to contest this domination. It relies on individual experiences, and the search for what connects the members. This form of protest challenges the boundaries between public space, action, and political space.
In the face of social suffering and injustice, community arts are meant to be a tool for healing and resistance. They combine individual and collective work, and join struggles to transform the social conditions at the root of this suffering. Artistic creation, done in a respectful group, is understood as a means to achieve this, as it allows both to address difficult personal issues and to put them at a distance. This distancing then facilitates reflection and action.
From the point of view of artistic work, it is about working with people, not for them. We reject the principles of artistic avant-garde. Artistic creation makes it possible to enter community places where it would be difficult otherwise, it facilitates a great freedom of expression, and generates sharing and pleasure, which contribute to nourish a desire of emancipation.
Community arts question the idea of a beautiful universal, and settle on the provisional rules of the community. They refute the rational expression, necessarily held by the dominant group, and seek an expressive word. The artist, through his involvement, promotes the emergence of a shared subjectivity, forged by the experience of creation. As contempt and social suffering generate a deficit of recognition, this new subjectivity becomes a major political and legal issue. According to Diane Lamoureux, her actions promote power for, associated with an ability to act, and less power over, associated with domination. Thus the power flows between the different social actors, instead of being monopolized by one of them. Deliberation on the public space is no longer a question of good will, but an extension of this space, to update the exclusions, and ensure the participation of all. With Nancy Fraser for example, it is argued that these new deliberative practices (testimonies, symbolic rhetoric …) are not there to highlight particular points of view, which favor private interests, but to convince the public nature of the questions. raised. An example of this process is the problem of spousal violence, which is gradually moving from the private sphere to the public sphere.
While there is no doubt that community arts promote emancipation, public debate and artistic creation by all, different difficulties emerge from experience. Thus, few projects manage to create a forum for political discussion. perhaps because the artist often has a hard time leaving the place that is usually his, and because he is looking too much for consensus, cares too much about ethics, and does not know how to express disagreements. Another difficulty is that community art projects remain very little known; they remain confidential and then have difficulty transgressing the dominant rules.
Forms of Community arts
Models of community-engaged arts can vary with three forms of collaborative practices emerging from among the sets of common practices. In the artist-driven model, artists are seen as the catalysts for social change through the social commentary addressed in their works. A muralist whose work elicits and sustains political dialogue would be a practitioner of this model. In the second model, artists engage with community groups to facilitate specialized forms of art creation, often with the goal of presenting the work in a public forum to promote awareness and to further discourse within a larger community. In the process-driven or dialogic model, artists may engage with a group in order to facilitate an artistic process that addresses particular concerns specific to the group. The use of an artistic process (such as dance or social circus) for problem-solving, therapeutic, group-empowerment or strategic planning purposes may result in artistic works that are not intended for public presentation. In the second and third models, the individuals who collaborate on the artistic creation may not define themselves as artists but are considered practitioners of an art-making process that produces social change.
Due to its roots in social justice and collaborative, community-based nature, art for social change may be considered a form of cultural democracy. Often, the processes (or the works produced by these processes) intend to create or promote spaces for participatory public dialogue.
In Canada, the field of community-engaged arts has recently seen broader use of art for social change practices by non-arts change organizations. The resultant partnerships have enabled these collaborative communities to address systemic issues in health, education, as well as empowerment for indigenous, immigrant, LGBT and youth communities. A similar social innovation trend has appeared where business development associations have engaged with artists/artistic organizations to co-produce cultural festivals or events that address social concerns.
As the field diversifies and practices are adopted by various organizations from multiple disciplines, ethics and safety have become a concern to practitioners. As a result, opportunities for cross-disciplinary training in art for social change practices have grown within the related field of arts education.
Community theatre includes theatre made by, with, and for a community—it may refer to theatre that is made almost by a community with no outside help, or to a collaboration between community members and professional theatre artists, or to performance made entirely by professionals that is addressed to a particular community. Community theatres range in size from small groups led by single individuals that perform in borrowed spaces to large permanent companies with well-equipped facilities of their own. Many community theatres are successful, non-profit businesses with a large active membership and, often, a full-time professional staff. Community theatre is often devised and may draw on popular theatrical forms, such as carnival, circus, and parades, as well as performance modes from commercial theatre. Community theatre is understood to contribute to the social capital of a community, insofar as it develops the skills, community spirit, and artistic sensibilities of those who participate, whether as producers or audience-members.
Online community art:
A community can be seen in many ways, it can refer to different kind of groups. There are also virtual communities or online communities. Internet art has many different forms, but often there is some kind of community that is created for a project or it is an effect of an art project.
Video Community Art：
The importance of video and video art is important both in the thinking of one artist and as a tool of community art. Video art interactive art and community art. The combination of video art and performance has brought new dimensions to collective creation. The video has summarized with performance performers as a concrete whole and work. The performance itself is perhaps more of a performance that can not be completely categorized as a visual art work.
Political and Community Art:
There has been a lot of communal activity during the art history. The concept of political avant-garde was born in the early 1800s in France, after which the concept of art avant garde was born in 1863. Some avant-garde trends in modernism were discontinued from politics, but others such as the Italian futurists wanted to influence society as well.
Situationalist internationality was founded in 1957 as a French Marxist philosophical group. The business was mainly in Paris and planned major social and political changes. In the early 2000’s, he raised his head with artism that developed alongside the anti-globalization movement and anti-war movement. An artist often conducts his political affairs through art, and artistic activities have similar features with community art, such as making projects as projects, events or workshops.
These activities have the purpose to enjoy citizens enjoying through art activities, educate children and disabled by means of art, get economic effect by dissipating the charm of the region, exchange between regions. In addition, groups and activities that call for community art tend to increase, and related subjects are beginning to be offered at universities and other institutions.