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Art of Community

Community Building methods for artists and other people working in the creative field



Working with groups can be both thrilling and frustrating. Sometimes everything seems to work and sometimes the group gets stuck. The Art of Community looks at the art and skill involved in working with group dynamics. How do we create the safe space in which people will take risks? How do we deal with conflicts constructively? And how do we make each meeting both memorable and fun? The Art of Community is a hands-on intensive program in creative community building for artists, cultural/social workers and other creators. In short you will learn how to facilitate groups. Facilitation is central in the Art of Community and differs from teaching and training by emphasizing the wisdom of the group, participatory methods, equality and by encouraging different views. In learning about facilitation we focus on the following 5 area´s:


SKILLS                managing stillness, nonviolent communication, running exercises, conflict

       resolution, teamwork, feedback and more

TOOLS               openings, closings, energizers, dialogue formats, cooperation exercises and more

QUALITIES         developing personal qualities like a willingness to be in service and to learn,

       practicing tolerating uncertainty and postponing judgment etc

DESIGN              creating a dynamic, participatory experience, attend to different modes of  learning

       (physical, mental, visual), dramaturgy

KNOWLEDGE    different methods, alternatives to violence project, diversity issues




The methodology is based on the successful Alternative to Violence Project (AVP); a rich and practice based community building program. Key elements of this program are experiential learning, team work and joy; where serious parts are interchanged with playful activities resulting in a dynamic experience. This program is now adapted for the creative field.


AVP offers a very thorough and practice based approach to building groups. It works around 5 pillars:


  1. Affirmation

  2. Communication

  3. Co-operation

  4. Community building 

  5. Conflict transformation




Artists, cultural workers and other creators often work with communities without using their full potential. This community can be the group they teach every week or a group involved in an art project. The skill and art involved in group facilitation can help artists to create a safe and inspiring environment for groups, empowering people and stimulating creativity in the process.


We believe in the creative power of diversity. However bringing different groups together, such as old and young and different cultures, is not an easy task. Bridging differences is one of the challenges our current society faces. The AVP methodology has proven to be a great tool for bridging diversity. In the Art of Community we want to share this methodology with a diverse group of creators, each connected to different communities. With the Art of Community we want to stimulate cooperation across groups and disciplines making new, pioneering projects possible.




The Art of Community is a 7 day training program. It is build up of 3 workshops of each 2 days. On the 7th day teams of participants will facilitate a short workshop themselves for their own communities. In the first workshop people will experience the fundamental skills and tools for community building. The second workshop focuses on group dynamics, decision making and self-organization. The third one is a training for facilitators in which participants will learn to facilitate in a team. Lastly teams of participants facilitate their own workshop.


Alternatively the workshops can also be organized as a 7 day workshop, in which the group will work 4 days, have a weekend break followed by 3 more days.




The program is aimed at artists social/cultural workers and other creators that work with groups. We strive towards a diverse group of participants in terms of gender, age, discipline, cultural background, etc. The intensity of the program allows a maximum of 20 participants in the workshops.


The workshops are facilitated by Léon Beckx, Jasmine Attié and Karla Búcaro. Léon is a psychologist , dancer and an international lead trainer in AVP. Since 2007 he has co-directed the Dutch NGO Diversity Joy, which offers training programs on community building and diversity, working in schools, communities, refugee centers and organizations. Jasmine and Karla are AVP facilitators and both graduated in dance pedagogy at DOCH, Dance and Circus School. They are part of the JELNEK Dance Company which brings dance to schools using an unique blend of interactive performances and AVP inspired workshops. Karla and Jasmine are also facilitators in the project Young leads Young where young people's leadership in cultural projects are the focus. The Art of Community is hosted and supported by Subtopia, a creative cluster where artists, movie producers, circus companies and other creators can realize their dreams and make the world a little bit better.


The workshops will be held in English & Swedish.


Read more about community building here.



The program is scheduled to start in January 2015 and will finish June 2015.




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