Researching ArtPlay and Signal

ArtPlay and Signal are unique community arts spaces managed by the City of Melbourne (CoM). They cater for children and young people aged from three to their early twenties and provide dynamic and diverse opportunities for social engagement and cultural expression.

A key feature of both facilities is the emphasis given to artist-guided practical programs. ArtPlay has developed a highly popular and engaging multi-arts program for children aged 3 - 12 and families. Signal provides a multi-arts studio space for young people aged 13 – 21.

The primary foci of the research undertaken at both ArtPlay and Signal, has been to map and interpret how children, young people and families respond to artist-guided workshop activities, what they gain from such activities, and conditions supportive to participant engagement. Interwoven with these foci has been an investigation of how artists work with participants, and conditions of the ArtPlay and Signal organisational environments. The research has sought to explicate themes and narratives that are relevant and useful both to ArtPlay/Signal and also transferable to other contexts that involve artists, arts educators and other professionals who work with children, families and young people.