Participation and public funding in an associative context. The case of theater associations in a Turin neighborhood

By Francesca Quercia

Over the last thirty years or so, a number of urban renovation programs have been implemented in European towns and cities. As part of this, several theater associations have carried out projects in working-class neighborhoods to encourage the active participation of their inhabitants. Drawing on an ethnographic survey undertaken in a Turin neighborhood, this article highlights these associations’ social role and the way they position themselves in the face of institutional expectations. The desire to be part of local policies and to obtain public funding heavily influences the ability of arts-based associations to include the most disadvantaged fringe of the working classes. This desire also has an impact on the place given to these members of the working class and on their level of participation in the associations.

  • working-class participation
  • cultural policies
  • urban and social policies
  • socio-cultural associations
  • community theater
  • Turin
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