The role of grassroots arts activity in communities: A scoping study (2011)

Barber Institute statueFunded by the ARHC

What is the community role played by local level grassroots arts activity and organisations? This is the question our project will explore through a cross-disciplinary literature study combined with an interactive symposium engaging with grassroots and community arts groups. The proposal is particularly timely, given the current debate about the validity of grassroots arts funding in times of austerity and the value of the arts' contribution to communities and society at large.

The proposal aims to generate knowledge about the role, activities and impact of grassroots arts organisations and activities operating at community level.

Research objectives

  • To identify from the grey, policy and academic literatures the claims made about grassroots arts actions, the roles they play, the way roles are enacted, and their impact.
  • To begin to understand the contribution of grassroots arts based organisations to local economies, wellbeing, self-reliance, identity and connecting communities.
  • To bring the findings of the literature review to the grassroots arts sector, stimulating discussion about the sector's knowledge of itself and its research priorities as well as the knowledge gaps.
  • To produce a range of outputs including a report of the findings that incorporates knowledge garnered through interaction with arts groups.
  • To prepare a collaborative research agenda that informs further research focusing on community arts.

More information

If you would like further information concerning this research project, please contact:

Angus McCabe
Senior Research Fellow
Institute of Applied Social Studies

Jenny Phillimore
Senior Lecturer
Institute of Applied Social Studies

Jan 2011-December 2011