Islington Community Theatre, Ned Glasier
Published: 26 February 2016
ArtWorks Alliance is the new UK umbrella for organisations with strategic or development interests in any branch of participatory arts, including community arts, socially-engaged arts, voluntary arts, and arts in education and learning. Their mission is to foster cross-sector collaboration for the strategic development of the participatory arts in the UK.
Why has AxisWeb joined ArtWorks Alliance?
Our research with Manchester Metropolitan University 'Validation beyond the Gallery' was a response to a paradox. A growth in the demand for artists to work with people and places, across a range of sectors yet the role and value of art practice taking place is often misunderstood, misrepresented or sidelined.
As a charity our we exist to support and champion artists as leaders, provocateurs, risk-takers and sources of inspiration who explore what art can be and do, thus enriching how we see and act in the world.
What can AxisWeb do in ArtWorks Alliance that it cannot do alone?
We are in a time of complex and exciting cultural production, one that some would argue is redefining contemporary practice and blurring the boundaries. Artists are working between structures, outside institutions, in alternative spaces and with communities. Artists are leading the way, yet often feel isolated, a lone voice and operate as a sole agent occupying these different spaces.
Our ambition is to change this. One idea is the creation of a space for practice, an evolving digital archive. The aim is about shifting the power and authority to reflect the different voices and create the narrative for their story.
The realisation of this project can only happen through collaboration. We have already been working with Mozilla Foundation, Manchester Metropolitan University and Heart of Glass exploring aspects of this project. ArtWorks Alliance would provide context, ground up development and help address questions around who creates the narrative, what criticality looks like, and how we appraise, preserve and make available documentary material of long-term value?
Ultimately the purpose is to make other people’s work possible, by understanding the implications of how practice is represented, preserved and transmitted over time.
What are the benefits of ArtWorks Alliance to the participatory arts sector?
For too long there has been a gap in the support mechanisms around participatory arts. There is a need for an open and honest conversation about the alternative ways to support artists working in participatory ways. ArtWorks Alliance provides us with an opportunity to come together and build one voice that champions the quality of collaboration and engagement.