François Matarasso is a freelance writer, researcher and consultant with a 30+ year career in socially engaged arts practice.
His writing, research and work in the community arts rest on his passionate belief that everyone has the right to create art and share the result, as well as to enjoy and participate in the creation of others.
Matarasso’s work – which has been published and shared around the globe – has evolved through his own personal, creative experiences as he explores the richness and diversity of people’s everyday art practice and discovers new ways of understanding people’s culture.
Over the years Matarasso has worked with a wide range of organisations including public bodies, foundations and universities – but above all with arts organisations whose values he shares.
Now his most recent essay, ‘Creative Progression: Reflections on quality in participatory arts’ – featured in the UNESCO E-Journal by the University of Melbourne – reflects on the meaning and assessment of quality in participatory arts with the recent focus on ‘excellence’ in British cultural policy discourse.
Profiling Creative Progression, an arts programme delivered by Helix Arts whose aim was to support the progress of the homeless participants towards health, wellbeing and independent living, Matarasso identifies the five stages of a participatory arts process – conception, contracting, working, creation and completion – and where the key issues lie when defining and securing quality in performance.
Does the terms excellence and quality matter to the artists working in a community or participatory practice? Does the quality of an artist’s work come down to self-belief? How can quality be achieved without sacrificing honest creative practice?
Here mailout shares Matarasso’s insightful, new report which – through using the Creative Progression programme as its framework – illustrates the inevitably subjective nature of both arts practice and artistic experience and the impossibility to define fixed standards of quality and excellence in performance and outcome.
To read ‘Creative Progression: Reflection on quality in participatory arts’ please visit: 2013 Creative Progressions
Find out more about François Matarasso and his work by visiting the Parliament of Dreams website. Please visit: http://parlaimentofdreams.com