Community Engaged Arts + Thirdspace: Finding Authentic Engagement in Contemporary Art
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There is an ongoing challenge in arts organizations who integrate community engaged arts into their mission, focus and programming. This challenge is to identify tools and practices that help foster valuable and authentic community engaged art programming within a contemporary society. The purpose of this research is to understand how community engaged arts organizations who focus on the presenting of contemporary arts, can be placed within Thirdspace. Through this identification this research will explore how Thirdspace can be utilized as a tool to create authentic engagement for audiences. This research will also explore three arts organizations that focus on the presenting of contemporary arts. Examination was conducted through literature review and an exploration of an organization that has been established through literature as utilizing Thirdspace, Chapter in Wales, which will serve as an organizing principle, and a collective case study of two arts organization’s programs who do not explicitly identify with Thirdspace, PICA’s Field Guide in Portland, Oregon and WPA’s Lobby Project in Washington, DC. Themes that will emerge from this study are: Thirdspace as a tool of engagement, participatory practices of engagement, organizational structures, and contemporary art as medium. The themes of this study will be useful to the community engaged arts field at large to help further an understanding of how contemporary art can be used in collaboration with Thirdspace to create authentic engagement within audiences.