Jane Jobling: Strategies to maximize the effectiveness of a community arts project.

Plymouth College of Art logoJane Jobling posterThere are three main goals when planning a community arts event: inclusivity, excellence and legacy. The objective of this research was to use a specific community project to test strategies that addressed these three goals and that the evaluation would to lead to a model that could be used for other community arts events.

The specific project used in this research was a series of workshops leading to the 450 participants’ involvement in the Exeter Torch Relay Parade, May 2012 and their sense of inclusion in the Opening Parade of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, Sailing and Windsurfing at Weymouth and Portland in July 2012.

The goal of inclusivity will be discussed through examples of workshops that were aimed at specific target participants and how this was achieved. For example, primary schools were combined in workshops and the pupils from different schools worked together. Workshops were held in-situ to allow families who couldn’t travel to engage and Open Workshops were held at sites other than art venues to engage with people unaccustomed to attending art events.

The goal of excellence will be discussed through the strategies of how the participants were chosen, numbers, venues and level of collaboration and through the participants having the experience of working with high quality Lead Artists, Forkbeard Fantasy.

The goal of legacy will be discussed through the layers of participation, ranging from those attending workshops, to the mentoring of PCA Alumni through the grant application process, through workshop training and ultimately to them running workshops independently.

The strategies discussed are aimed at giving the highest quality of community art experience on a limited budget. The resultant template could be used for any scale of community project.