The East Midlands Participatory Arts Forum (EMPAF) leads this expedition into the meaning and use of ‘digital participation’. Through a series of gatherings, EMPAF partner organisations, including QUAD, will be exploring examples of ‘good practice’, training, the work of inspirational digital artists, taking part in participatory digital sessions and starting wider and deeper debates about the role of new media in society in general and how this impacts positively or otherwise on our community and participatory work.
Events are designed to inspire conversation and debate through practical participatory activities. This will include workshop demonstrations by digitally focused organisations and facilitators, group discussions on the role of digital in participatory practice and an event discussion with leading professionals and organisations on what we mean when we say “digital participation”.
Following the launch event at QUAD on 18 July 2018, the Digital Participation Expedition aims to explore the following areas, hosted by EMPAF partner organisations in the region:
- Digital participation for people who do not access technology in the traditional way, looking at accessibility and user interfaces.
- Inspirational artists who take their digital work further than ‘inter-action’ to ‘participation’.
- How can organisations keep themselves online and in line with the digital age?
- How do we manage and control ‘digital’ when it can manipulate the truth and shift culture?
- What does ‘digital’ enable us to do in our programmes that we couldn’t before?
- Can it improve quality and access and enable people to work together?
You can follow all the developments of the project via the hashtag #DigitalpARTicipationis
The East Midland Participatory Arts Forum (EMPAF) was formed ‘officially’ in 2006 but had existed for over 20 years before this as an informal networking group for the wide range of professional participatory and community arts organisations across the East Midlands.
EMPAF is a unique and nationally well-respected network, which is dedicated to championing the East Midlands as a Centre of Excellence for participation in the arts. We share practice and run joint initiatives to explore the potential for new methods and ways of thinking to enrich how people participate in creativity and culture. In the past we have run a symposium on ‘the Unselfish Artist’ and sent a delegation to the International Community Arts Festival (ICAF) every 3 years.
EMPAF currently includes ArtsNK, Charnwood Arts, City Arts (Nottingham), East Midlands Caribbean Carnival Arts Network (EMCCAN), Excavate, Fleet Arts, High Peak Arts, Junction Arts, Level Centre, People Express, Platform Thirty1, QUAD, Red Lighthouse, Salamanda Tandem and Soft Touch.