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Building the Vision

Community engagement is not “business as usual” and it will be the work of the community engagement team to articulate the principles and values that will be the foundation of your community engagement practice.  These principles and values will evolve over time.  

Tools for Introducing Community Engagement to Those in Your Organization

To be successful at community engagement, the breadth of the organization must feel a level of commitment for this new role in the community.   

Discuss What the Arts Means to You and to Your Community

Most who are involved with arts organizations believe that the arts have an important role to play in inspiring creativity and ideas as well as in uplifting those who are around it.  These discussions as well as a review of your mission and vision statement are great ways to begin the process of embracing community engagement.   Set time aside in a board meeting.  Invite your volunteers to a special meeting or introduce the topic during a training session.  Discuss this at a staff meeting.  Or bring small groups of stakeholders together to have these conversations. 

Build a Reading List

Many people involved in your organization will not have experience with community engagement, so to understand how it might fit within your organizational framework, it is helpful to provide one or two resources that can help to frame the discussion.

Check out the Resource Centre for some articles that may be helpful in this regard.

Rewrite Your Values Statement

The best indicator for internal commitment would be an addition to your organization’s values statement to include language around the belief and value of community engagement.  This would require the approval of the Board of Directors.

Discuss Your Audience in Comparison to the Community

When you describe those who are currently attending your events and you compare it to what you have discovered about the community through community mapping and other techniques, you will likely see groups of people who are not having much of an opportunity to have the arts in their lives.  This discussion is likely to motivate your internal stakeholders to see the value of community engagement.


Heritage Engagement


Megan English - Community Engagement with dance


Crazy Smooth - Bboyizm

Do You Have a Story to Share?

We want to hear from you.

Submit your story about a successful community engagement project to the growing resource we are creating together.


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We'll keep you updated as new things are added to Arts Engage.

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