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 United Kingdom, Ireland, and Australia. In Scandinavia, the term "community art" means more often contemporary art project.
Often 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.
Community art and public art
The term "community art" refers also to 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.
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.
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.
- Cleveland, William (author). Art and Upheaval: Artists on the World's Frontlines. Oakland, CA: New Village Press, 2008.
- Elizabeth, Lynne and Suzanne Young. Works of Heart: Building Village Through the Arts. Oakland, CA: New Village Press, 2006.
- Fox, John. Eyes on Stalks. London: Methuen, 2002.
- Goldbard, Arlene. New Creative Community: The Art of Cultural Development. Oakland, CA: New Village Press, 2006.
- Hirschkop, Ken. Mikhail Bakhtin: An Aesthetic for Democracy. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999.
- Kester, Grant. Conversation Pieces: Community + Communication in Modern Art. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2004.
- Knight, Keith and Mat Schwarzman. Beginner's Guide to Community-Based Arts. Oakland, CA: New Village Press, 2006.
- Kwon, Miwon. One Place after Another Site-Specific Art and Locational Identity. Boston: MIT Press. 2004.
- Lacy, Suzanne. Mapping the Terrain: New Genre Public Art. Seattle: Bay Press, 1995.
- Pete Moser and George McKay, eds. (2005) Community Music: A Handbook. Russell House Publishing.
- Helen Crummy (1992) Let The People Sing. Craigmillar Communiversity
- "An Outburst of Frankness: Community Arts in Ireland - A Reader" edited by Sandy Fitzgerald. Tasc at New Island, 2004.
- Sloman, Annie (2011) ijkey=fYtK0bzzkyivzEg&keytype=ref Using Participatory Theatre in International Community Development, Community Development Journal.