Online journals

There is increasing debate about public access to academic papers, but unfortunately much that has been written about participatory art remains behind paywalls. Happily, some bodies do now make work available online as a matter of principle. Those listed include articles that may be of interest to readers of this blog.

Music and Arts in Action

This irregular academic journal publishes a wide range of research papers looking at ‘how, when and where do music and art do something’. Recent subjects include music and reconciliation in Colombia, theatre of the oppressed with homeless people and how people who are dying and mourning engage with the arts. You can read short abstracts before deciding whether to download a PDF of the full article.


Field was founded in 2015 by Grant Kester, professor of art history at the University of California and an influential writer on socially-engaged art: his books include Conversation Pieces and The One and Only. The boundary, even the relationship, between socially-engaged and participatory art is complicated. Some people see an overlap; others don’t. Happily you can read all the articles freely online and decide for yourself.