Outdoor Arts is the umbrella term, used in the UK, given to performances in various genres (theatre, dance, circus, spectacle, music or any combination of the above) that are created for outdoor public spaces – sometimes in the street, or in town squares, parks and other public spaces. Outdoor arts has a purposefully wide definition and is inclusive of solo performances through to large scale spectacle and from community processional projects to stunning outdoor interactive visual installations.
In other European countries, in particular in France and Spain, Outdoor arts is seen as an important art form in its own right, attracting sustained investment from local and national government. The French term, “theatre without walls” is a useful definition.
Outdoor Arts events are socially and culturally inclusive. In an international context, British outdoor arts companies are leading the way in creating work that reflects the cultural diversity of a nation.
Outdoor Arts is a uniquely democratic forum in which to work, since public spaces ‘belong’ to everyone and art that is designed to be performed in such a space is owned and accessible to us all. In the UK outdoor arts engage with audiences counted in their millions every year. These large and diverse audiences enjoy performances and events together without the barriers sometimes found in traditional arts venues. This exciting dynamic is perhaps what attracts so many of us to the outdoor arts environment – it is an antidote to our increasing national obsession with the cult of celebrity, of TV, video games and the internet. Outdoor Arts is always live, always in public space, always with an atmosphere of unpredictability.
Independant Street Arts Network
an independent group of producers, presenters, promoters & artists working in outdoor arts from the UK & Ireland.
documented Feb 2012 : http://isanuk.org/what-is-outdoor-arts