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Chapter 5 Festivals as Communities of Practice, Learning by doing and knowledge networks amongst artists

DOI: 10.23912/978-1-910158-15-9-2640

ISBN: 978-1-910158-15-9

Published: January 2015

Component type: chapter

Published in: Focus On Festivals

Parent DOI: 10.23912/978-1-910158-15-9-2599



Much research and debate on the impact and roles played by arts festivals in regional development concentrates on their external impacts and on two as- pects in particular. One is the economic impact of festivals and their potential to attract tourism and therefore benefit the local economy; second is the role they can play in rebranding or regenerating a locality, specifically looking at people’s pride in place, social cohesion and the participation of specific social groups. However, instead of looking at the external impacts of festivals on communities and economies, this chapter will examine the impact of festivals on one of their core stakeholders: participating artists (Glow and Caust, 2010). 1 The research takes theoretical approaches from the regional and organisational studies field, such as ‘communities of practice’ (Wenger, 1998), ‘learning by doing’ (Arrow, 1962), learning-by-interacting (Lundvall, 1992) and ‘temporary clusters’ (Bathelt and Schuldt, 2008) to explore the creative practice of artists involved in an emerging UK arts festival (Fuse Medway Festival, Kent). It discusses the role of the festival on artists’ careers, their creative practice and their ability to learn and connect with other creative producers and asks: ‘are festivals also knowledge communities?’

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  • Roberta Comunian (Author)

For the source title:

  • Chris Newbold, De Montfort University (Editor)
  • Christopher Maughan, Freelance writer (Editor)
  • Jennie Jordan, De Montfort University (Editor)
  • Franco Bianchini, Leeds Beckett University (Editor)

Cite as

Comunian, 2015

Comunian, R. (2015) "Chapter 5 Festivals as Communities of Practice, Learning by doing and knowledge networks amongst artists" In: Newbold, C., Maughan, C., Jordan, J. & Bianchini, F. (ed) . Oxford: Goodfellow Publishers http://dx.doi.org/10.23912/978-1-910158-15-9-2640


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