Artistic engagement and citizenship

Artistic engagement and citizenship

By Samuel Jones


This article discusses how we can use the arts to meet the challenges of today’s society and, in so doing, set the agenda for a debate that encompasses the arts, education, and politics, using the way that children engage with art as it's starting point. It argues that our challenge is to extend creative engagement beyond childhood saying that not only can artistic production be an effective medium of citizenship, but our creative output, past and present, also represents a common resource from which we, as citizens, can draw. It poses the question; might it not be that artistic engagement has significant potential and value as a more widespread medium of citizenship?

The arts are not … in isolation, as a thing apart from the rest of life. The primary school is perhaps the only place
where the arts are used successfully to comment upon and give meaning to the whole of the child’s experience’.

Children’s art is useful not only in building pools of creative talent for the future, but also in providing an example of how creativity might be applied, and just what it could mean in the context of our society.

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Resource type: | Published: 2013