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Social impact of creative participation in disability arts

conference contribution
posted on 2023-05-24, 13:58 authored by Hazel MaxwellHazel Maxwell, Onyx, J, Darcy, S, Green, J, Faulkner, S
This paper represents one of the first attempts to empirically measure the social impact of the arts in the field of disability. While arts programs have increasingly found favour in disability communities, these have mainly been oriented towards some kind of therapeutic outcomes for those with disability. In other words they have not been taken seriously, either in terms of artistic outputs, or in terms of deeper benefits for those with a disability, nor indeed in terms of the potential wider social impact outside that community. At the same time there is anecdotal evidence of increasingly sophisticated, professional performances and exhibitions involving people with disability that are gaining wider public attention and popularity. This paper seeks to establish a means of assessing the potential social impact of these artistic programs. It does so by using a newly developed tool that conceptualizes social impact, not in terms of value for money (though that may also occur) but in terms of the development of active citizenship on the part of those with a disability and their immediate connections, as well as the short and long term ripple effects of that development over time. Social impact will refer to the generation of increased (or decreased) levels of social, cultural and human capital within the constituent communities in which an organisation operates. This model is applied to 10 case studies, with each case representing a major disability arts project offering a professional outcome for an external audience. The projects cover a variety of media including performance, graphic art, multimedia, movie production. All projects involved some sort of partnership between disability service organisations and professional arts or artists. All were funded by an Australian Government Arts program.



School of Nursing

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Leisure studies association 2015 Conference

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Bournemouth, United Kingdom

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