Research & Evaluation

Research Report 2018

Exploring the Impact of Community-Based Arts Programming on Determinants of Health using Secondary Evaluation Data.  by Ann Fox, Vanessa Currie, and Elizabeth Brennan.   Canadian Journal for the Study of Adult Education CJSAE. 2018-05-24 

Abstract:

Arts Health Antigonish! (AHA!) is a not‑for ‑profit community organization whose mandate is to foster creative expression for community health and well‑being (www.artshealthantigonish.org). Over a four ‑year period, AHA! programs have engaged approximately 20 local artists and over 2,000 community members through poetry, visual arts, dance and music, drama, and digital storytelling. As part of an effort to plan sustainable growth, AHA! completed a summary evaluation of six of its major programs. Programs selected for this evaluation had been offered to a specific group of people on an ongoing basis for a minimum of three months, and comparable evaluation data were available. The summary confirmed that participants in all six programs experienced increased social inclusion and meaningful relationships. Marked improvements were noted in health care, living environments, and education outcomes. Many positive outcomes regarding individual development were also identified, such as positive self‑expression, improved self‑confidence, belonging, and empathy. Assessing the impact of broader structural determinants of health remains a challenge. These findings provide direction for future planning, evaluation, and knowledge‑sharing approaches