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Participatory Arts London

Reflecting on our practice; pursuing peer-to-peer learning

Half Moon are a founding member of the Participatory Arts London (PAL) Network and our Head of Creative Learning, Beccy Allen, is part of the steering group that coordinates the network.

PAL is a collective voice for people who design, produce and facilitate participatory arts in London.

You can also follow PAL on Twitter: @PALLondon

Our Mission

Representing ourselves, reflecting on our practice and safeguarding the diversity of London’s cultural offer

In December 2011, representatives from 13 of London’s participatory arts organisations, including five Arts Council England NPOs, met to discuss the challenges we face as arts educationalists in a fast-moving social and economic environment. Our network now includes more than 400 representatives from over 250 organisations as well as freelance practitioners and producers.

PAL was formed to give a collective voice to people who design, produce and facilitate participatory arts in London. We continue to be concerned about the lack of representation in our sector and pursue wider conversations with creative practitioners and strategic and cultural organisations. We use our strength as a group to reflect on our own practice and pursue peer-to-peer learning and professional development, using our findings for discussions about value, impact and quality and long-term discussions with the wider sector.

We invite anyone working in Participatory Arts to join our conversation.

Our focus is participatory arts with young people. We are currently focused in the main on theatre and performing arts but are slowly developing relationships with other art forms and inviting representatives to join our network.

Following the learning of the pandemic we will now move to a model where we meet in person every three months for a three-hour meeting hosted by different venues across London, with shorter and targeted follow-up meetings online in between.

We also visit each other’s work to learn from each other, reflect on our own practice and build new partnerships across the sector and art forms.

Network and Meetings

We use our mailing list for insight, collaboration and support. Then we meet for the same reasons.

Throughout the pandemic we held virtual network meetings so we could all remain connected. Our most recent (and finally in-person once more) meeting took place on 29 April, 10am-12.30pm, coordinated by Half Moon and hosted by Grand Junction.

To attend the next meeting in September (in person), for more information about PAL and to join the network mailing list please contact (this is the best list to join if you work for an organisation): participatoryartslondon@gmail.com (you can also use the sign-up form below).

Freelancers’ Network

We also coordinate a PAL Freelancers’ Network. This is a mailing list to receive information from PAL organisations about freelance opportunities. We offer marketplace events at the end of the autumn and summer terms to enable freelancers to meet organisations for whom they might want to work.

The next in-person Marketplace is at Half Moon on Monday 18th July, 3-5pm. If you would like to attend, you can sign up here via Eventbrite.

To join the Freelancers’ Network, please contact (this is the best list to join if you are a freelancer working for a number of organisations): palfreelancers@gmail.com

PAL is coordinated by a Steering Committee which includes representatives from the following organisations: Chickenshed, Eastside Educational Trust, Face Front, Half Moon, Haringey Shed, Kiln Theatre, Lewisham Education Arts Network, the Old Vic, Park Theatre, Punchdrunk Enrichment, Speech Bubbles CIO and the Young Vic.

Want to sign up to the main PAL Network? Get in touch!

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