This special issue addresses the multiple ways in which community and creative research practices and methodologies can positively influence active citizenship and nurture social transformation. The issue consists of five peer reviewed articles, three “project experiences” and one interview. The five articles deal with creative and participatory research methodologies by focusing on small-scale specific contexts, like sensitive art practices in low-income neighborhoods, new perspectives on anthropological engagement, interactive film-making, collaborative research with circus artists and power distribution in peace-building processes. The project experiences bring us closer to a Portuguese UNESCO World Heritage site, to a Finnish project dealing with the arts as public service and to a Brazilian initiative dealing with social currency and labor activities to face marginalization. Finally, the interview addresses theoretical and methodological issues in the field of cultural participation, coming from Eastern Europe. In this way, the special issue covers a range of perspectives on and approaches to cross-cultural participatory methods and creative research tools that allow us to work from a society-friendly point of view in dealing with society’s fragilities, necessities or unexplored potentials.