Exploring Contexts

About this section

This section explores the range of contexts or settings in which participatory arts may take place. The contexts shown here are community, criminal justice, education, health, youth work and cross-contextual settings. These specific settings reflect the content of our short courses series. Use the search box above to access further resources about these and other contexts.


Open Clasp's Generation XX Project, Photo Keith PattisonOur community workshops explore: definitions of community; forming and sustaining communities; roles of artists in developing communities. As well as communities of geography, the workshops also consider the role of arts participation in other kinds of communities eg communities of interest and digital communities.

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Image: Open Clasp’s Generation XX project, Photo: Keith Pattison

Criminal Justice

Artwork created by young people accessing Gateshead Youth Offending Team with artist Tommy Anderson Our criminal justice workshops explore: core values and aims of criminal justice work, philosophies of criminal justice; understanding the role of the arts in criminal justice; the role of the artist; strategies and activities for working in challenging environments; key players and policy contexts.

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Image: artwork created by young people accessing Gateshead Youth Offending team with artist Tommy Anderson


National Glass Centre children's activities

Our education workshops explore: core values and aims of education work; creating conditions for learning and arts work to flourish; effective practice as demonstrated through case studies, activities and discussion, analysis of current thinking through review of reports, legislation and Government strategies.

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Image: children’s activities at National Glass Centre, Photo: Ryan Edy


Health 1 Claire Ford engAGE

Our health workshops explore: core values, aims and benefits of participatory arts work in health settings; the importance of self esteem, self confidence, social connectedness and autonomy to well being; guidelines for working with specific groups; research in the field.

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Image: artist Claire Ford’s engAGE project

Youth Work

Artist Theresa Eastons work with Hartlepool Youth ServiceOur youth work workshops explore: core values and aims of youth work; Hear by Right standards framework; engagement by young people in their art making process; establishment of authentic relationships and conversations between those involved; key players and policy contexts.

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Image: artist Theresa Easton’s work with Hartlepool Youth Service


Our cross-contextual workshops explore the role of the artist in participatory settings from a more holistic perspective; examine the notion of dialogue as a core pedagogical method, the situational skills and approaches required to develop work in many contexts; the importance of reflective practice and personal/professional authenticity; the notion of artist-as-ethnographer and considers the extent to which the various roles we are often expected to inhabit (eg artist/facilitator, coach, mentor, performer, researcher, advocate, fundraiser, learner) coincide.

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