Creating Together explores an emerging approach to research that combines arts practices and scholarship in participatory, community-based, and collaborative contexts in Canada across multiple disciplines. Looking at a variety of art forms, from photography and mural painting to performance art and poetry, the contributors explore how the process of creating together generates and disseminates collective knowledge.
The artistic processes and works in an arts-based approach to scholarship make use of aesthetic, experiential, embodied, and emotional ways of knowing and creating knowledge in addition to traditional intellectual ways. The anthology also addresses the growing trend in arts-based research that takes a participatory, community-based, or collaborative focus, and encourages scholars to work together, with other professionals, and with community groups to explore questions, create knowledge, and express shared understandings. The collection highlights three forms of research: participatory arts-based research that engages participants in all stages of the inquiry and aims to produce practical knowing to benefit the community; community-based arts research that has community/public space at the heart of practice; and collaborative arts approaches involving multi-levelled, multi-layered, and interdisciplinary collaboration from diverse perspectives.
To illustrate how such innovative work is being accomplished in Canada, the collection includes examples from British Columbia to Newfoundland and across disciplines, including the fine arts, education, the health sciences, and social work.
Diane Conrad is an associate professor of drama/theatre education at the University of Alberta. Her participatory, arts-based research involves work with high-risk and incarcerated youth. She is the director of the Arts-based Research Studio at University of Alberta. Her recent publications include Athabasca’s Going Unmanned: An Ethnodrama about Incarcerated Youth (2012).
Anita Sinner is an assistant professor of art education at Concordia University in Montreal. Her research interests include pre-service and in-service teacher education, community-based art education, life and light writing, and digital media. She brings interdisciplinary perspectives to research involving qualitative approaches and many forms of arts research in relation to curriculum studies and social and cultural issues in education.