About the Engage Journal

First published in 1996, the Engage Journal is the international journal of engagement and participation.

Now a yearly online publication and podcast series, the contents of each edition follow themes linked to visual arts engagement and participation, chosen through an open-submission process. The Journal is edited by writer and curator Professor Sarah Perks. The Journal is governed by a voluntary Editorial Advisory Board.

The Engage Journal acts as a vital source of current thinking on current subjects for the practice and profession of visual art engagement and participation. As a repository of references, a source of practical ideas, and a forum for exchange, the Engage Journal connects to visual art and engagement and participation communities across art galleries, combined art spaces, museums, informal art participation settings, online and beyond.

Contributors include colleagues working in engagement and learning, curatorial, communications and development and senior management roles; as artists and art educators, education specialists and art teachers, freelance consultants and Director; and from professional bodies and academia.

The Journal is accessed via Engage membership or annual subscription. Single issues of the Journal are also available for purchase. The Journal is online only, and digital engagement via comments is encouraged. The primary readership is Engage members, sector colleagues and academic communities. Selected articles and book reviews are available for open access on the Engage website. The Journal is not peer-reviewed.

About the Editor

Professor Sarah Perks is a curator and writer. She is Head of Arts and Creative Industries at Teesside University / MIMA (Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art) in Northeast England, where she has co-developed the UK’s first curatorial apprenticeship. A specialist in interdisciplinary and relational curatorial strategy, engagement and participation, artist moving image and inclusive practice, Sarah’s current research portfolio includes collaborations in creative nature recovery and the future of biennials. One of Creative Review’s 50 Creative Leaders, Sarah’s extensive curatorial credits include major participation, performance and film projects with international artists including Rosa Barba, Phil Collins, Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige, The Living and The Dead Ensemble, David Lynch, Noorafshan Mirza & Brad Butler, and Qasim Riza Shaheen. Sarah has published over twenty essays and books, the most recent Artists Moving Image in Britain Since 1989 is co-edited with Erika Balsom and Lucy Reynolds (Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art & Yale University Press). She was inaugural Artistic Director at HOME, Manchester (2013-2018), co-director of Feature Expanded (UK & Italy 2013-2018), Programme Director at Cornerhouse, Manchester (2009-2015) and is Programme Advisor (Artist Moving Image) for the BFI London Film Festival.


Proposals for articles for the Engage Journal are invited once a year. Opportunities are posted on the Engage training and events page and emailed to all members. Proposals are expected to address the theme and questions outlined in the call.

Contributions may take the format of articles, interviews, collaborative pieces, conversations, photo essays or discussions, and Engage welcomes those which take advantage of the Journal’s online format, through the use of sound or video clips, film and html links to digital content. As a guide, final articles lie between 2,000 and 3,000 words.

Book reviews

As part of the Engage Journal, Engage welcomes proposals for book reviews on subjects on or related to visual art engagement and participation. We also welcome reviews on publications that address the themes and focus of previous issues of the Engage Journal.

As a guide, the word count for reviews is 1,000 words. Book reviews are published as free to access to both subscribers and non-subscribers.

If you have an idea for an article, theme or book review, please get in contact with our Editor Sarah Perks at [email protected].

Editorial Advisory Board

The Engage Journal is governed by a voluntary Editorial Advisory Board (EAB). The EAB works with the Journal Editor (Sarah Perks) and Engage staff to support the production, dissemination and development of the Engage Journal.

The Editorial Advisory Board members are:

  • Lawrence Bradby, Artist; Learning Programme Manager, Sainsburys Centre for Visual Art
  • Juliette Buss, Learning & Engagement Coordinator, Photoworks
  • Annie Davey, Lecturer in Art, Culture and Education, IOE – Culture, Communications & Media, UCL Institute of Education 
  • Claire Robins, Associate Professor in Art Education, IOE – Culture, Communications & Media, UCL Institute of Education 
  • Jane Sillis, Director of Engage
  • Miranda Stearn, Head of Learning, The Fitzwilliam Museum, University of Cambridge
  • Mike Tooby, Professor of Art & Design, Bath School of Art & Design, BathSpa University