In the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s a radical community arts movement spread throughout the UK. Based on the belief that everyone had a right to creative and cultural expression, community artists campaigned for funding and support, something they thought was excluded to the majority at that time. The community arts movement generated a huge amount of artistic and creative activity and influenced changes in cultural and social policy. Yet we are in danger of forgetting this work as practitioners and policy makers age and artefacts and archives remain scattered. The significance of this lies not only in a lost history but also in a lack of understanding of the trajectory of much creative and artistic practice today. This research involves listening to the voices of that time in an effort to understand these activities, their rationale and impact; to discover how those activities may have influenced contemporary participatory arts practices across a range of locations from community settings to arts and education programmes in theatres, museums and other public venues.
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