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Shoshana Wasser

Associate Director of Public Affairs and Communications
Toll-free in Ontario: 1-800-387-0058

Framing Community: A resource for artists working with communities

February 2, 2017

Cover of Framing CommunityOne of the Ontario Arts Council’s (OAC) most popular publications has been updated to reflect the evolving field of community-engaged arts practice. Framing Community – A Community-Engaged Art Workbook provides guidance on how to develop projects and points to resources, references and funding sources and offers examples of recent artist-led projects in the province.


Co-creative collaborations between professional artists and members of a community are at the heart of community-engaged arts activity. Together, artists and communities create artwork using their combined knowledge, skills and experience. These artistic collaborations can help dissolve the divisions between people and often increase awareness of societal issues through art. They have the added benefit of building meaningful connections between artists and communities.


Framing Community is the new version of an earlier workbook, Another Vital Link, published in 1998. Community-engaged artist, educator and consultant Maggie Hutcheson was commissioned to look at how the practice, its principles and processes have evolved in Ontario over the past 20 years.


In the years since Another Vital Link was published, the community-engaged arts sector in Ontario has changed enormously,” says Loree Lawrence, OAC Community-Engaged Arts Officer. “The artists involved in this practice are much more reflective of the diversity within Ontario communities.

A photo of a screening of a film made in collaboration with community youth and artists from MABELLEarts' project, A Park of Many Paths.In recognition of the growing similarities between community-engaged and arts education practices and projects, OAC has introduced a new funding stream, Engaging Communities and Schools. This stream supports a wide spectrum of arts engagement activities that increase, broaden and diversify arts participation. It merges the programs that were formerly divided between Community-Engaged Arts and Arts Education. Two new programs, Arts Organizations in Communities and Schools: Operating and Artists in Communities and Schools Projects have been created.


OAC programs have supported community-engaged arts practice since 1977 and arts education since 1968.


For more information

Loree Lawrence
Community-Engaged Arts Officer
416-969-7425 | toll-free in Ontario:1-800-387-0058 ext. 7425


Nasreen Khan
Arts Education Officer
416-969-7428 | toll-free in Ontario:1-800-387-0058 ext. 7428


Bushra Junaid
Outreach and Development Manager
416-969-7407 | toll-free in Ontario: 1-800-387-0058 ext. 7407