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ACE: New Landscapes

New LandscapesACE: New Landscapes ONew Arts Council England:

Arts Council England: 

Outdoor arts development plan 2008–2011

Definitions
For the purpose of this development plan we have adopted the following definition of outdoor arts work:

Outdoor arts activity is accessible, time-limited performance and installation work that happens in outdoor locations in the community, in rural and urban environments, on rivers and beaches and in the air. Some outdoor arts activity focuses on attracting larger and diverse audiences, some are focussed on exploring and experimenting with critical artistic practice, some offer opportunities for participation and some position themselves to deliver very well against school, higher and further education objectives.

There are specific areas of work within the overarching definition of outdoor arts, including (but in no way limited to): street arts, tented circus, carnival, celebratory and participatory arts, spectacle, community arts and art in the public realm.

The work is often free to the public and can be presented as part of a programme, festival or as a standalone event, eg Carnival and Mela. The work uniquely links its audience to the landscape in ways that cannot happen within buildings. The qualities of the work, its aesthetics, and the nature of the participatory experience reflect the relationship with the environment in which the work is presented.

Like arts practice generally, outdoor arts incorporate a range of genres and styles ranging from light entertainment to sophisticated arts-based practice. The economics of outdoor arts activity is complex; a mixture of publicly supported and commercial work. Many individuals and companies thrive in a commercial sector that develops and presents outdoor work without the need for public subsidy. Arts Council England recognises the importance of this mixed economy and will focus its support on practice that is artistically developmental and ambitious as well as investing in innovative partnership projects.

© Arts Council England, June 2008

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