ISBN: 1835 - 2776

Creative Progression: Reflections on quality in participatory arts

Author(s):*Listed Alphabetically
Matarasso F

Year of Publication:

University of Melbourne

Publication Type:
Peer Reviewed Journal Article


Using ‘Creative Progression’ (an arts programme aimed to support the progress of homeless participants towards health, wellbeing and independent living), as a case study, this paper reflects on the meaning and assessment of quality in participatory arts.

It considers the use of the word ‘quality’ by arts professionals, and the recent focus on ‘excellence’ in British cultural policy discourse. The paper then identifies five stages in a participatory arts process: conception, contracting, working, creation and completion. It also explores some of the problems of defining or securing quality in performance, using the experience of the ‘Creative Progression’ programme as a framework. It concludes that, given the inevitably subjective nature of ‘arts’ it is impossible to define fixed standards of quality in performance or outcome. Nor, indeed, would it be desirable to try to do so.

Research Purpose: Discussion / Debate

Context: Community

Access Type: Free Download

APA Citation:

Matarasso, F. (2013). Creative Progression: Reflections on quality in participatory arts. UNESCO Observatory Multi-Disciplinary Journal in the Arts, 3(3), 1-15. Australia:University of Melbourne.