Community development through participatory arts: Lessons learned from a community arts and regeneration project in South Liverpool

Participation and Self-expression

Phil Carey and Sue Sutton
Community Development Journal 39:123-134
© 2004 Oxford University Press and Community Development Journal
 The role of arts in encouraging participation and community development is increasingly recognized. This paper centres on a large-scale community arts program in the Speke/Garston area of Liverpool, UK. This sought to increase community involvement though a variety of participatory arts initiatives within a single, unifying project known as ‘Closer’. Evaluation indicated that the project had met its aims of increasing participation (Carey and Sutton, 2002a). What was also apparent was that the experience of working on the project had been challenging, enlightening, enriching and frustrating for those involved. The lessons learned from this project are of value to communities, practitioners and policy-makers. 

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