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Cursus: ME3V15005
Community Art: Practice and Theory
Cursus informatie
Studiepunten (EC)7,5
After completing this course, participants should have:

1. a well-developed understanding of the range of practices that comprise community art around the world;
2. a firm theoretical grounding in the various theoretical and art-historical debates that have shaped both the thinking on and practices of community art in the contemporary moment;
3. an understanding of the work of community artists in relation to urban life, municipal and state governance, local politics and activism; 
4. a basic knowledge of the audiovisual techniques and qualitative research methods necessary to conduct research on community art and artists.
After completing the course, participants will be able to:

1. hold informed perspectives and engage in scholarly and mainstream debates on issues arising out of community art and its various forms of social intervention;
2. develop their own theoretical/activist/practitioner perspectives on community art;
3. understand the conceptualization and creative processes involved in community art-making;
4. conduct primary qualitative and audiovisual research on community art practices, particularly in urban contexts;
5. clearly articulate and present their ideas, concepts and research findings in written and oral form, during a (public) presentation and in an expository paper.
Priority rules apply to this course. Make sure you register for this course before 15 November 12.00 noon to be considered for enrollment. The following students are guaranteed a place:
  • BA TCS or LAS;
  • students who are registered for the minor Creative Cities;
  • pre-master’s students;
  • exchange students. 
Other students will be placed by means of random selection. 

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 part of the minor Creative Cities.

LAS and TCS students who follow this course as part of the core curriculum of their major, need to complete a compulsory preparation course/assignment. See for more information:
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