The aim of this course is to reflect on the relationship between the arts, society, policy and criticism through the prism of community arts. Community arts are practices that combine elements of performing arts, music and media in hybrid and often intermedial foramts, always with a strong connection to the social context from which these practices emerge. In this course, we explore community arts in all its manifestations, and we consider the potential of this kind of practice for social and political intervention. We also examine the questions community art and artists pose to institutionalized art and music criticism, arts policy, and scholarly research on the arts. Students will also be trained in ethnographic and audiovisual methods of gathering data for their blog reports.
This course provides the student with a critical introduction to the practical and theoretical dimensions of community arts. Community arts can be loosely defined as a way of creating art in which professional artists collaborate more or less intensively with people who do not normally actively engage in the arts. The basis for this practice is a carefully constructed and maintained reciprocal relationship between artists and non-artists, from which original, innovative and socially relevant art emerges. Community art involves all arts disciplines and can be found in all corners of the world: in immigrant working-class areas, in prisons, in rural communities, in (former) war zones, etc. In the Netherlands, for example, it is a rapidly expanding field that operates mostly, but not exclusively, outside of the mainstream or avant-garde. Because it challenges traditional notions of (autonomous) art-making, community art reconfigures existing art theory and criticism in an attempt to validate itself both socially and culturally. The course familiarizes students with the diversity of community arts practices around the world and with the wide range of scholarly perspectives on community arts. As small, multilingual research teams, students will conduct fieldwork in ongoing community arts projects in Utrecht or elsewhere in the Netherlands, blog their results, and present these to the class each week. This course is an advanced module in the Creative Cities minor.
Ingangseisen |Verplicht materiaal|
|BoekTim Prentki and Sheila Preston, eds. The Applied Theatre Reader. London: Routledge, 2009.|
|BoekE. van Erven, Community Theatre: Global Perspectives (Routledge 2001); Petra Kuppers and Gwen Robertson (eds) The Community Performance Reader (Routledge 2007); Petra Kuppers, Community Performance: An Introduction (Routledge 2007)|
|BoekJan Cohen-Cruz. Engaging performance. London: Routledge, 2010|
AlgemeenDuring the plenary sessions, students will be introduced to practical examples of community art and key theoretical concepts that relate to community art worldwide. In the laboratory sessions, students will receive training in field research (ethnography, observation, interviews) and audiovisual documentation. From the second week on, students will be expected to conduct field research in groups in art projects. Some of these may require travel outside of Utrecht.
Voorbereiding bijeenkomstenTo prepare for the plenary sessions, students read theoretical texts (preselected) and answer questions on the blog in the form of short writing assignments. Throughout the course, student teams produce multimedia updates of the projects they are investigating, illustrated with video or still images and published on a Wordpress.com blog site.
Bijdrage aan groepswerkActive participation in discussions, good team work (thoughtful towards international students, being prepared to pull one's weight), a sensitive attitude towards the hosts during the field work stage, and productive collaboration in preparing the presentations. This is an intensive course.
The last working session will be a conference in which students report in teams on their fieldwork and present a preview of their final blogs.
BeoordelingMain points of assessment will be the student's ability to comprehend and apply theoretical concepts in the practice of documenting and analyzing community arts projects. Particular attention will be paid to the student's capacity to reflect critically and originally on current issues, practices, discourses, and academic research about community art and their ability to develop a tailor-made research method for their investigations.
DeadlinesDeadline for the final portfolio is the last day of block 3.
Aspecten van academische vorming
| • Academisch denken, werken en handelen • Communicatieve vaardigheden • Kennis hanteren in een bredere context |
BeoordelingMain points of assessment for the midterm will be the student's ability to comprehend and apply theoretical concepts in writing and in classroom discussions. Additionally, students will be required to operationalize some of these concepts in a plan of action for the fieldwork they will conduct in the second half of the course.
DeadlinesActive participation will be monitored throughout. It involves active participation in discussions, a pro-active attitude in group work, and preparations and the actual group presentation at the end of the course. Halfway through the course a written midterm test will be held.
Aspecten van academische vorming
| • Academisch denken, werken en handelen • Communicatieve vaardigheden • Kennis hanteren in een bredere context • Hanteren van wetenschappelijk instrumentarium |