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Arts practice and disconnected youth in Australia: Impact and domains of change

Wright, P.ORCID: 0000-0002-6433-3889, Davies, C., Haseman, B., Down, B.ORCID: 0000-0003-4843-0563, White, M. and Rankin, S. (2013) Arts practice and disconnected youth in Australia: Impact and domains of change. Arts & Health, 5 (3). pp. 190-203.

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Background: This paper describes research conducted with Big hART, Australia's most awarded participatory arts company. It considers three projects, LUCKY, GOLD and NGAPARTJI NGAPARTJI across separate sites in Tasmania, Western NSW and Northern Territory, respectively, in order to understand project impact from the perspective of project participants, Arts workers, community members and funders. Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 29 respondents. The data were coded thematically and analysed using the constant comparative method of qualitative data analysis. Results: Seven broad domains of change were identified: psychosocial health; community; agency and behavioural change; the Art; economic effect; learning and identity. Conclusions: Experiences of participatory arts are interrelated in an ecology of practice that is iterative, relational, developmental, temporal and contextually bound. This means that questions of impact are contingent, and there is no one path that participants travel or single measure that can adequately capture the richness and diversity of experience. Consequently, it is the productive tensions between the domains of change that are important and the way they are animated through Arts practice that provides sign posts towards the impact of Big hART projects.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Education
Publisher: Routledge as part of the Taylor and Francis Group
Copyright: 2013 Taylor & Francis
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