Part 1: Creative Arts in Research and Action for Community Change tells stories and provides examples of how the arts may be used in social research to raise awareness, move the public to act, and provide help to marginalized populations. Dr. Norman K. Denzin, one of the world’s most distinguished authorities on qualitative research writes, Performance becomes public pedagogy when it uses the aesthetic, the performative, to foreground the intersections of politics, institutional sites and embodied experience.” (Denzin, 2003 pg. 9). Such dramas” are unique in that they are an embodied way of performing research while artistically provoking change, presenting issues and, at the same time, questioning the status quo through story.
Evidence based research demonstrates that participation in the arts leads to improved mental and physical health including reduced stress, maintenance of mental health, promoted healing, sustained brain development and increased referrals to health services.
The website was initiated and is funded by the Arts Council as an important element of its Arts and Health Policy The website was developed by Waterford Healing Arts Trust (WHAT) in partnership with Create,the national development agency for collaborative arts in social and community contexts.
In it you will find information about the Dementia & Imagination project; some key ingredients for delivering research-informed visual arts projects; case studies, a set of guiding principles, quotes from people involved in the programme, and some recommendations.
This is how we came to introduce the Occupational Therapy aspect of the project – an informal Art Assessment in which patients would hear more about the project and have the chance to set goals for themselves, hereby taking a clear responsibility for their own health and well-being progression.