Social Works?: Open Social_Works_0211 | Page 2

Editorial The idea for Social Works?: Open came when the Models of Validation project interviewed artists, commissioners, producers, funders, representatives of local authorities, researchers and academics involved with socially engaged artistic practice at the start of 2018. From these interviews we identified several recurring issues in the field: ~ ~ Difficulties of communication between the people involved in socially engaged artistic practice, leading to a hindering of progress in the field; ~ ~ a lack of connection between artists and funders in socially engaged artistic practice, leading to frustration on both sides; ~ ~ isolation facing artists working in these ways; ~ ~ a lack of well supported, critical writing in the field. We responded by applying for funding from Manchester Metropolitan University and Arts Council England to develop a programme of get‑togethers, workshops, artist commissions and writing, which aimed to address and alleviate some of these issues. Social Works?: Open speaks to the precariousness of this practice during an extended period of government-led cuts to arts funding across the UK, and the continued importance of maintaining and supporting a critical voice within socially engaged art. Deliberately open and broad in its remit, the open call for commissioned pieces of writing to launch this inaugural issue encouraged