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Insight on OutReach: Towards a critical practice

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This article touches on several kinds of arts practices and activities that bear upon debates concerning the social role of the arts. This then informs our main argument that a re-examination needs to take place of the arts outreach activities undertaken by institutions of higher arts education (HAE). We suggest that the boundaries between socially engaged contemporary art practice, community arts and the arts outreach activities of institutions, with their contested terms and multiple perspectives, are more porous than often suggested and would benefit from a fluidity of debate in and through them. We also argue that the theory, socio-political motivation and ensuing practice which powers arts outreach should, in many instances, be re-energized with a radicalization in line with twenty-first century polyphonic concerns. These ideas are explored through the lens of Insight on OutReach, an outreach project at University of the Arts London.
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Keywords: community arts; higher education; outreach; social engagement

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: University of the Arts, London. 2: University of the West of England.

Publication date: October 1, 2010

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  • The International Journal of Education through Art is an English language journal that promotes relationships between art and education. The term 'art education' should be taken to include art, craft and design education. Each issue, published three times a year within a single volume, consists of peer-reviewed articles mainly in the form of research reports and critical essays, but may also include exhibition reviews and image-text features.

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