The short read
Chapter 6 of Culture, Democracy and the Right to Make Art: The British Community Arts Movement by Alison Jeffers & Gerri Moriarty (Bloomsbury, 2017) talks specifically about community arts in Northern Ireland. Follow the link for the free open access book.
The long read
Detail and Daring: Research into the art and the craft of intergenerational work by Sue Mayo, Dr Caoimhe McAvinchey & Charlotte O’Dair (Magic Me, 2012) is a detailed research report about Magic Me’s approach to Intergenerational work. It can be accessed free here.
Work across communities (intergenerational or between different socio-economic groups) had taken place since the beginning of the community arts movement, and the benefits had long been understood by arts and community practitioners. As the recognition of the instrumental value of the arts became more widely accepted in the 1990s though, there was a significant increase in the ways in which theatre was used for community cohesion and to help with healing fractured communities. Some of the most important work happened in Northern Ireland, with projects bringing together participants from Catholic and Protestant communities as the peace process was in development. Unlike Jellicoe’s Community Plays which glossed over social and political differences, organisations like Community Arts Forum used theatre to explore difference and find common ground in looking to a future of peace. Organisations like Partisan Productions continue the work today.