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WI(L)DER COLLABORATIONS : reflections on community engaged arts practices

©Beth Carruthers 2005

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Recently in architecture, certain interests have come strongly forward to inform practices where environmental, community and place sensitivity take their central place in the design process. Similarly community engaged arts practices return art and artist to a kind of pragmatic role that may admittedly be, within certain circles, contentious.

I am not saying that all artists must be artisans, but rather that the business of cracking open the crusty boundaries we have erected is alive and well in many professional arenas of arts and design.

Defining Community Engaged Arts Practices

When I think about what might be the definition(s) of a Community Engaged Arts Practice, I run into some difficulty, since I believe that we are never in any real sense out of community, or outside of our intimate relationships with others and the world.

Consequently, I can appreciate the difficulty when it comes to defining what is community engaged work for the purposes, in this case, of funding agencies.