Building resilience through collaborative community arts practice

Building resilience through collaborative community arts practice

Building resilience through collaborative community arts practice: a scoping study with disabled young people and those facing mental health complexity

Researchers and Project Partners: Hannah Macpherson, Angie Hart, Becky Heaver, Sue Winter, Sam Taylor, BoingBoing,Art in Mind, Amaze, The International Centre of Art for Social Change.

Executive Summary

This scoping study has involved the delivery of weekly resilience-building arts workshops for young people and a review of associated ‘arts for resilience’ literature. We found a significant existing evidence base which links visual arts practice to individual and community resilience (over 190 related references). This is dispersed across a number of disciplinary fields including art therapy, social work, community health, cultural policy and geographies of health. Key recent publications in the ‘arts for health’ and ‘arts for community well-being’ research literature have also been linked to this review of ‘arts for resilience’. The researchers contributed to the evidence base through developing a program of arts workshops and evaluating these in terms of their resilience benefits. They found that even short-term visual arts interventions can have a significant impact on young people’s resilience. Further research is required to explore in more depth: what constitutes resilience amongst people with learning difficulties and how this links with prior research definitions of resilience; the longer-term resilience benefits of arts participation; the most cost-effective modes of delivering arts for resilience amongst young people with complex needs; the appropriateness of existing scales and measures of resilience for evaluating the impact of arts interventions with young people with complex needs.

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