The Arts Council uses the term ‘arts and communities’ to encompass arts practices and activities that bring artists together with specific groups of people in a mutually beneficial two-way engagement that nurtures and values the different ideas, experiences and skills of all involved. It aims to provide the highest quality experience, artistically and personally, for all the participants at every stage of the project, from planning through to evaluation.
The Arts Council understands ‘community’ in its broadest sense i.e. a group who either lives or works in a specific locality, such as a housing estate, a rural area, or a prison, or who visits a specific place on a regular basis e.g. a café or a museum. In addition, it understands ‘community’ to encompass groups that share a particular interest, whether it is music, pigeon fancying, museums, the environment, or gay rights.
Arts participation is a core value across all areas of the Arts Council’s work as reflected in the current mission statement, which commits to increasing public access, participation and engagement in the arts. The Arts Council is also committed to assisting artists of all disciplines to make work of excellence, including those who base their practice on social engagement and collaboration.