It was lovely to speak with Becky Higgins about her work and experience as a participatory art practitioner and theatre producer. We chatted about the role of participatory arts as a practice for helping people to understand themselves and their communities better, and to foster a sense of belonging in their community. We discussed the recent DCMS Committee Report about the importance of place-based community arts, and the government’s response,
If Levelling-Up is to be more than just a political slogan, will arts and culture be allowed to find their own paths, or will they be inexorably linked to economic regeneration? As supporters of the ArtWorks Alliance, Becky and I both feel that participation and empowerment are essential if people in all communities are going to have the capacity to deal with the many social challenges coming our way.