Social Making: Socially Engaged Practice Now and Next


Investigating two key aspects of socially engaged art: different methods of approaching socially engaged work and its impact on audience and communities.


28 and 29 April 2016 at Radiant, 12 Derrys Cross, Plymouth, PL1 2TE


Take A Part is a Plymouth based arts organisation working closely with communities using art to respond to and solve local issues and needs. We are socially engaged community arts specialists making exciting projects happen here in Plymouth. Our collaborative projects are risk-taking, provoking and engaging. Take A Part started from within the Efford community in Plymouth by a process of community empowerment that developed our unique and studied co-commissioning and co-curating work.

We are currently running several projects in Plymouth including in Barne Barton, Saltram and Stonehouse, but we are pleased to be back within Efford. We are working with the local school High View and artist Thomas Goddard on the Efford Heritage sign project, which received funding from the Heritage Lottery. The project is capturing and celebrating Efford’s heritage through oral and visual histories and will culminate in the redesign and re-instalment of the Efford Pub Sign, which used to sit at the heart of the community.

Our team have been busy developing an exciting two day event which will take place on the 28th and 29th April 2016 at Radiant Space, Plymouth. Entitled “Social Making: Socially Engaged Practice Now and Next”, this symposium investigates two key aspects of socially engaged art: different methods of approaching socially engaged work and its impact on audience and communities.

We have a fantastic line up of speakers including the Turner Prize 2015 winners Assemble, Mammalian Diving Reflex’s Darren O’Donnell and HomeBaked’s (Two Up/Two Down) Britt Jurgensen. Research papers will be presented by Dr Rory Shand (Manchester Metropolitan University) and Peter Harris (Wolf + Water) to showcase the innovative and inclusive methods of Plymouth-based organisations Take A Part CIC and Effervescent Social Alchemy.

Keynote speakers and 2015 Turner Prize winners Assemble

The symposium will also feature speaker artists and organisations not only from across the UK, but across the world. Film screenings and interactive presentations with Q & As will provide everyone with the opportunity to share ideas, learning and debate: what is next for socially engaged arts practice?

Take a Part are inviting socially engaged artists and creatives in the region to contribute to the symposium. We are running an open call for video works which showcase your work. Selected videos will be shown on the symposium blog and the symposium programme. For more information you can visit our webpage:

We would like to open up the discussions of the symposium to as many people as possible. Thanks to the support of Visual Arts South West and Plymouth Culture, we are able to offer fourteen bursaries, which will cover full ticket costs. Details of the bursary competitions are available on our website:

We will also running a parallel event Social Making: Almost Live, a live streamed event held at and in partnership with Plymouth Arts Centre. Tickets for this are available from the Plymouth Arts Centre box office. The symposium video archive will go online after the event; enabling artists, communities, audiences and academics to engage with the discussions and findings after April.

Grace Davies, Director of Visual Art South West says:

“Take A Part’s symposium in April will bring together world-renowned professionals and practitioners in socially engaged art, and is an incredible opportunity for artists in Plymouth and the region to gain valuable insights, professional development opportunities and peer networking. Produced and presented by experts in their field, Take A Part has developed a vibrant and punchy programme that promises to inform and develop thinking and practice around creativity and community.”

‘Folly for a Flyover’, Assemble

‘Haircuts by Children’ by Mammalian Diving Reflex

Further details of the symposium can be found at

Tickets for the symposium are available on Eventbrite

Spaces are limited so book early, we hope to see you there!

With thanks to the support of:

Arts Council England, Arts Research with Plymouth University, Radiant Space, Plymouth Culture, Visual Arts South West, Plymouth Arts Centre.