Community Art is any art form which focuses on involving community members, who contribute a variety of talents, to design and create a public art piece. These projects are done together with a professional artist who passes on skills to the participants through the art-making process. The content of the artwork usually reflects local issues that have been identified by people within the community. Community art can use any art form including theatre, music, visual arts, literary arts, dance and more. The importance of the project is placed on the process of art making because of its ability to build relationships and involve all members of a neighbourhood helping to establish collective identity. The artwork, once complete, is exhibited or performed for the community.
No. All skill levels from professional to first-time arts participants are welcome. In fact, the more diversity the better! This allows for people to build on their skills and feel a sense of togtherness with others in the community. At least one professional artist will be needed to help teach the group the artistic skills they will need to create the artwork the community will envision.The money that can be awarded depends on what you need to get your project started. Grants usually range from $1,000 - $5,000. HRM requires written quotes as part of the application process. Larger grants may be awarded for property related projects up to a maximum of $25,000.
The first step to starting a community art project is getting inspired and using that enthusiasm to find partners for your project. You will need a facilitator, at least one artist (who may double as the facilitator), community participants, and funders (who may also be interested in participating).
What community issues would you like to address through your artwork? How will your artwork
help address or solve these issues? How will you ensure that all participants feel included in the
project design, artwork design and art creation? How will the skills or relationships developed
over the project be sustained past the life of the project? Will you target specific community
members to participate (ex. youth, children, seniors, cultures, etc.) Where will you perform or
display your work?
Some great resources are available online to help you design your project. See Resources
Contact HRM’s Community Arts Facilitator, Kate MacLennan, at 490-4408 firstname.lastname@example.org
These sites have further links of their own.
Download a PDF version of How Do I Start a Community Art Project (851 kb pdf)