The short read
Chapter 3 of A Restless Art: How Participation Won and Why it Matters by Francois Matarasso (Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, 2019) looks at the distinctions between community and participatory arts. It’s available as a free download here.

The long read
Both the A Restless Art book and website give an excellent examination of all aspects of Participatory Arts past and present.

As funding for community arts organisations and community theatre companies dried up during the 1980s freelance theatre facilitators became more common. Working directly with individual community groups or through specific one-off projects these theatre artists would teach theatre skills, facilitate an exploration of local stories, collective experiences or social issues, then lead a devising process. This enabled the groups to make their own piece of theatre to be performed without any involvement from professional actors. The term participatory theatre/arts was used by some to distance themselves from the negative connotations that had come to be associated with the politically driven community theatre, and the contentious debates around quality which characterised the community arts movement throughout the 1980s. This can be seen as the beginning of the de-politicisation of community arts. An interesting new development in participatory practice is led by the Arts Council of England Creative People and Places Projects which aim to promote arts engagement across the country.