WHAT IS COMMUNITY-ENGAGED ART?
The Ontario Arts Council defines community-engaged art practices as “forms of collective artistic expression. In this field, individuals who aren’t professional artists actively participate in the artistic process, and the artistic process is considered as important as the final artistic product. Both the social and artistic outcomes of community-engaged art have value.”
ABOUT OUR RECENT COMMUNITY-ENGAGED ARTS PROGRAMS
From 2014-2017, Arts Network Ottawa organized Art Place, a 3-year community-engaged arts program that consisted of local artists and arts groups working with non-profit community organizations across Ottawa. It was a pilot community-engaged arts initiative, generously supported by the OTF and other funders. Art Place addressed a gap in artistic programming, such as the demand for arts-based projects in immigration service facilities, community centers, and seniors’ organizations. Arts Network Ottawa (then, AOE Arts Council) saw first-hand how Art Place artists have brought out personal stories of courage and perseverance.
To celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday, 12 artists and arts groups participated in a special one-time community-engaged arts program, run by Arts Network Ottawa: Neighbourhood Arts 150. This program enabled professional artists and arts groups of all disciplines to lead in the creation of free, community-specific arts in partnership with libraries, BIA’s, community centres, etc. This program was made possible through the support from the Government of Canada; Ontario150, the Ottawa Community Foundation and other partners.
These programs had a positive impact on the residents and the communities who were involved, Arts Network Ottawa, with the generous support from the Ottawa Trillium Foundation and the Ottawa Community Foundation, wants to continue celebrating Ottawa’s diverse communities through this new Neighbourhood Arts Ottawa program.