In every place that we create art, Artichoke engages local communities through high impact participatory projects

Since 2006, 100,000 people across the UK have taken part in our Learning and Participation programmes.

Our aims:

  • Encourage people to explore their imagination through unique and accessible, participatory opportunities

  • Enhance teacher development and arts in the curriculum by providing education resource and activity packs

  • Create mentoring, employment and training pathways through hands-on placement opportunities

  • Support artists through career development programmes and commissioning schemes

  • Prioritise involvement in our participatory work from underrepresented artists and communities

Through our work we aim to make a meaningful difference to communities across the UK.

“Coming here to do these things in the community is critical. Being from a deprived area, teenagers think only certain types of people go to galleries. If you can bring art to them in their own environment, then it becomes theirs."

~ Artichoke Audience Member, 2019 ~

Sanctuary, 2022

Sanctuary brought people together from across the area and provided opportunities for employment and training, working through community groups and local partners. Delivered in association with Coventry-based company Imagineer, 593 local people were engaged in the participation programme.

Through job centres, we recruited 17 participants in paid positions to work with artist David Best and his Temple crew.  As part of their roles, they worked as a team to learn basic carpentry and electrical skills to help build the intricately carved wooden structure in the Miners’ Welfare Park in Bedworth.

Visitors inside Sanctuary
Imagineer Artichoke – Sanctuary, Bedworth, May 2021. Photo by Andrew Moore

“It sounded really powerful, because a lot of the things linked in with my life and what I’d been through. When I got here [Sanctuary build site] to have a look around, I just knew this was where I was going to so spend every second I could.”

~ Becky, Sanctuary Build Participant ~

We focused the paid positions on long term unemployed who used the opportunity to up-skill and those who had been severely impacted by Covid.

412 participants from local schools and community groups took part in workshops to create designs that would be displayed in the final wooden structure. These workshops were not only an opportunity to be creative, but it allowed people to come together to talk about how they had been impacted through Covid.

Sanctuary was a project for the whole community, bringing people together after the isolation of lockdown and providing the opportunity to build skills, connections and confidence.

Behind the Scenes at the Sanctuary Build, May 2022

Lumiere, 2021

For each edition of Lumiere, Learning and Participation activities are integrated into the artistic programme, touching lives and leaving a legacy of skills and newfound creativity. Over the last ten years, our producers and artists have worked with over 12,000 local people.

In 2021, participants included schoolchildren, young carers, veterans, people with disabilities, and people with lived experience of mental health issues. They helped in the making of installations like Our Moon, Plastica Botanica, and City of Light, a Lilliputian lantern village complete with miniature Cathedral and Ferris wheel. 

"It’s going to make a large difference not only for us, but for all the other children across the community.”

~ Participant, Article 12, 2021 ~
Student standing proudly in front of their artwork

Lumiere also invites anyone over the age of 18 to submit their brightest ideas for light artworks as part of the BRILLLIANT commissioning scheme. Those that are successful are supported in the production of the works which are exhibited as part of the artistic programme, alongside work by internationally-renowned artists. Other opportunities for participation include volunteering to help visitors have the best experience of Lumiere and a number of apprenticeships are available to those wanting to take the first steps to developing a career in events production. 

Article 12, a Learning & Participation project as part of Lumiere, 2021


We are very happy to answer any questions.

If you need any further information about these opportunities, please get in touch with our Learning and Participation team at:



Children's drawing. Text reads: 'My hope for London'.
Artichoke Learning & Participation Workshop, London's Burning, 2016. Photo by Matthew Andrews. Text reads: 'My hope for London'.