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Participatory Arts

Participatory Arts London

We are a founding member of the Participatory Arts London (PAL) Network and our Head of Creative Learning, Beccy Allen, is part of the steering group that coordinates the network.

PAL is a collective voice for people that design, produce and facilitate participatory arts in London. Reflecting on our practice; pursuing peer-to-peer learning.

Our Mission

Participatory Arts London: representing ourselves, reflecting on our practice and safeguarding the diversity of London’s cultural offer.

In December 2011, representatives from 13 of London’s participatory arts organisations, including five Arts Council NPOs, met to discuss the challenges we face as arts educationalists in a fast-moving social and economic environment. We are continuing to grow and as of autumn 2020 our network includes more than 400 representatives from over 200 of London’s arts organisations as well as freelance practitioners and producers.

Developed from the Independent Theatre Council’s (ITC) Education Managers’ Forum, Participatory Arts London was formed to give a collective voice to people that design, produce and facilitate participatory arts in London. We are concerned about the lack of representation in our sector and are keen to start a wider conversation with creative practitioners and strategic and cultural organisations. We are eager to use our strength as a group to reflect on our own practice and pursue peer-to-peer learning and professional development, using our findings for our own discussions about value, impact and quality as well as beginning long-term discussions with the wider sector.

We invite anyone working in Participatory Arts to join our conversation.
Our focus is participatory arts with young people. We currently meet every three months, visiting each other’s work in between to learn from each other, reflect on our own practice and build new partnerships across the sector and across art-forms. We are currently focused in the main on theatre and performing arts but are slowly developing relationships with other art-forms and inviting representatives to join our network.

Network Meetings

Our last (virtual) meeting took place on Tuesday 13th July, 9am-11am hosted by ChickenShed. Our next meeting will take place in late-September. Date TBC soon.

To attend the next meeting which will take place on Zoom, for more information about PAL and to join the network mailing list please contact (this is the best list to join if you work for an organisation): participatoryartslondon[at]gmail.com

You can also follow PAL on Twitter: @PALLondon

Freelancers’ Network

We also coordinate a PAL Freelancers’ Network. This is a mailing list for you to receive information from PAL organisations about freelance opportunities. We also offer marketplace events at the end of the autumn and the summer terms to enable freelancers to meet participatory arts organisations for whom they might want to work.

The last (virtual) marketplace took place on Thursday 3rd June, hosted by Half Moon and coordinated by Eastside Educational Trust and the Young Vic. We hope to return to in-person marketplace events as soon as we can.

PAL aims for the Freelancers’ Network to run independently and we encourage freelance artists to get in touch if they would like to coordinate the network, organise the marketplace events or organise smaller skills sharing sessions.

To join the Freelancers’ Network, please contact (this is the best list to join if you are a freelancer working for a number of organisations): palfreelancers[at]gmail.com

Any questions? Get in touch!

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