How to make the most of being an arts participant

Whether you’re about to review an arts event or take part in an arts challenge, a little bit of preparation can help you get the most out of taking part in the arts.

How to make the most of being an arts participant

Q: What did you think of that arts activity you just participated in?

A: It was alright.

Q: Just alright?

A: It was awesome!

Q: Great! Why was it awesome?

A: I liked it, I enjoyed trying new things and working with different materials. 

Q: What did you do to prepare?

A: Prepare?

Q: Prepare to take part in the arts event.

A: Ummmm….

Have you ever been to an event where you felt like part of the art work? As though it’s being finished before your eyes. Artists of all kinds often work in isolation, creating their work in private. As soon as we add an audience to the mix the art can become a whole other thing. For many types of art, the audience is an active player in the art work, either by active participation or observation. This is the same for an arts workshop as an arts experience. 

So, before you participate in a workshop or arts challenge, we’ve made some notes on preparation you can do to help make the most of being an arts participant. 

How to make the most of being an arts participant

Keep an open mind and don’t be afraid to fail

Talk to new people, embrace what the artists or art event is asking you to experience. Being an arts participant is all about the process, not necessarily the outcome. So relax, and set yourself the challenge of being open to new things. 

Scale your knowledge

How much do you know about the subject before you participate? Where would you like your knowledge to be after the experience? What do you hope to do next with your new knowledge after the experience? 

Find some inspiration 

How much do you know about the art form or the artist? Take a look around and see if you can explore other artists working in the same art form with a similar style. Find some inspiration from other art work before you participate. This will help give you something to aim for during the session. 

Capture your experience 

Capture your thoughts as you go and your immediate reactions. Photographs and video entries are a great way to take a snapshot of each moment in your learning journey. Just make sure you check with the facilitator that they don’t mind you taking photos or recording during their session. You could also scribble notes in a notepad, on your phone or capture voice notes to respond to how you’re feeling. 

What to do immediately after

What are your immediate thoughts?

What’s the best way to do this? Record yourself talking about what you’ve just experienced, the steps you went through, how you felt before participating and after. This can help you reflect on your learnings. 

What are the next steps? 

What do you want to do now you’ve finished participating? Do you want to experience it again, take your knowledge to the next level, or try it again for yourself at home? Set yourself a clear goal of what you want to do next as a result of what you just participated in. 


Nici West

Nici West Voice Team

Nici is the an editor for Voice. She loves all things books, theatre, music, art, visiting other countries, anything creative, and sometimes attempts to make YouTube videos. Alongside Voice she writes and edits through her own pursuits.You can occasionally find her running marathons dressed as a black dog.

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