Deadline: 12 April 21:00 (CET)

We invite proposals for contributions for the first issue of Culture Caleidoscoop. Culture Caleidoscoop is an online, open-access, peer-reviewed publication for research and critical reflections on socially engaged practices in the arts, cultural, and heritage sectors. With an aim to bridge theory and practice, the platform has an international and interdisciplinary scope, and Culture Caleidoscoop is made together with and for a wide audience of reflective practitioners, practitioner-researchers, academic researchers, students, volunteers, and others involved in this work.

In this first issue, we hope to illustrate the breadth of the main focus of Culture Caleidoscoop: socially engaged practice in the arts, culture, and heritage sectors.

We hope that this issue will spark discussion and reflection on what socially engaged practice means and what it looks like throughout various sectors and across the globe. We invite contributions that explore the impact of these practices as well as investigate the contexts in which these practices emerge, are challenged, or flourish.

The theme

For Culture Caleidoscoop, socially engaged practices encompass the activities, actions, methods, skills, and strategies that relate to, involve, and affect individuals, communities, and society. Think: a city museum co-creating an exhibition with the members of local LGBTQ+ communities, a national symphony orchestra collaborating with a local brass band, a performing artist hosting afternoon teas for isolated older adults, or a volunteer-run community archive focused on missing or untold narratives.

Socially engaged practices continue to develop against a backdrop of ongoing theoretical debates, recent policy changes, and growing calls from society regarding the social role, social value, and accountability of the arts, culture, and heritage. As practices grow and evolve in response to, for example, conversations around decolonisation, the Sustainable Development Goals, or movements such as OF/BY/FOR ALL, we hope to show the ways people are rethinking, reframing, and developing their work.

Potential topics

Some of the questions and topics we hope to explore in this theme include, but are not limited to:

  • How is socially engaged practice defined within your area of work? How is socially engaged practice defined within different disciplines or across the globe? What are the implications of this?
  • What does this work mean for the role of professionals and others involved?
  • Who is involved in this work? What are the motivations, intentions, and starting points for this work?
  • What shifts and challenges in society are the arts, cultural, and heritage sectors responding or contributing to?
  • How does potential pressure or opportunity from policy or funding opportunities incentivise and affect work with people and communities?
  • How is socially engaged practice embedded into longer-term visions, values, and workings in organisations or practices?
  • What does it involve and mean to develop a constantly evolving practice? What are the conditions in which these everyday ways of working emerge?

This is not a complete list. We are interested to hear other interpretations of the theme!


participation, co-creation, community engagement, inclusion, social justice, (creative) interpretation, decolonisation, democratisation, activism, audience research, social impact, people-centred practice, cross-sector working, organisational change

What does Culture Caleidoscoop publish?

We accept written and audio/visual contributions and encourage collaboration among contributors. We welcome contributions based on personal experiences and reflections and a wide range of research methods. We want to hear from a wide range of people involved in the field. We are working to accept submissions in languages other than English; please get in touch if you’d like to submit in another language.
Please visit our website to find more information about Culture Caleidoscoop, our manifesto, and our contributor guidelines.

Join us online to talk through an idea

We will host two drop-in Zoom sessions for potential contributors to discuss their proposals. If you need help working out an idea, or if you are looking for a collaborator to work with on a proposal, feel free to drop by!

Wednesday 9 March 13:00 (CET)

Thursday 24 March 18:00 (CET)

Sign up to get the link.

Contributors grants

We understand that some people who might be interested in contributing are not paid to do so – because they volunteer or because this type of work isn’t built into their daily work, for example. We recognise the work that goes into creating a contribution for the Culture Caleidoscoop platform and want to remove barriers to contributing where we can.

We have a limited number of grants available for individuals and collaborative contributors. Please get in touch if you feel that this financial support could make contributing possible for you or for a potential collaborator.

What should you submit and when?

We’re happy to receive written proposals between 100 and 300 words. Please tell us about your idea, what format your contribution will take, and a little information about who you are and any co-contributors.Please take a look at our peer review process and let us know if you have any questions or preferences. To submit a proposal, please email us either as plain text in the email or in a Word document.

Proposals will be looked at by the editing team and possibly wider editorial collective before a decision is made. You will hear from us by email, within two weeks, inviting you to work on a full contribution or with other feedback. The accepted proposals will be shared among the authors of the special issue to encourage cross-references and collaboration. Multiple proposals from one contributor (or group of contributors) are not welcomed.