The theory, history & practice of community art

A Restless Art was published in January 2019. Many things have changed since then—for the world, for community art, and for me. It’s time for this site to change too. Over the years, I’ve used several others for different projects, notably Regular Marvels and Parliament of Dreams. They will go dormant for a while and then be closed. Anything worth keeping will migrate here in the coming months, and the site itself will be refreshed, but while all that happens, there will be plenty of gaps, mistakes and dead ends, so please be patient. There are more than 300 posts and 70 pages here so, if you know what you are interested in, you might find it most easily by using the search tool on the right.

At a certain point, if one is lucky, you have a collection. Not the ‘Best Of’, but everything, from the very beginning to now.

Lou Reed, I’ll Be Your Mirror, 2008

The resources published here during the writing of the book can now be found under the menu item called ‘A Restless Art’, but that too will be thinned in due course: go there to order or download the book. This site will continue to evolve, with my work and thinking, though there will be fewer posts for a while. If you’d like to be notified by email when new pieces are added, you can subscribe below.

Latest news

  • There is another way
    A guest post by Richard Willacy, General Director, Birmingham Opera Company I’m arriving at a foyer buzzing with excitement; youth, experience, love, pride, selfies, chat, insta, a full house. Hundreds thrill thousands. I’m placing my mobile phone in a small locker in a ranchlike entrance before I walk through a metal detector flanked by guards […]
  • A Culture of Possibility Podcast #25 – Jasmina Ibrahimovic 
    NOTE: This post is to introduce you to the 25th episode of François Matarasso’s and my monthly podcast, “A Culture of Possibility.” It will be available starting 20 January 2023. You can find it and all episodes at Stitcher, iTunes, and wherever you get your podcasts, along with miaaw.net’s other podcasts by Owen Kelly, Sophie Hope, and many […]
  • Old Words #11 – ‘All in this together’
    Still from ‘Ghost Town’ The Specials, 1981 THE DEPOLITICISATION OF COMMUNITY ART IN BRITAIN, 1970-2011 In 2011, I was asked to speak at ICAF about community arts in Britain, after the change of government the year before—and could I also say something about the riots that had taken place that summer? No, I could not: […]