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Therapeutic outcomes in a museum? ?You don't get them by aiming for them?. How a focus on arts participation promotes inclusion and well-being

Wilson, L and Bryant, W and Reynolds, F and Lawson, J (2015) 'Therapeutic outcomes in a museum? ?You don't get them by aiming for them?. How a focus on arts participation promotes inclusion and well-being.' Arts & Health, 7 (3). pp. 202-215. ISSN 1753-3015

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Abstract

The three year ?Ways of Seeing? project was hosted by an award-winning museum and included adults with long-term diagnoses associated with mental health and physical impairments. The participants were involved throughout the project, preparing and curating artwork for a major public exhibition. Methods: Qualitative data were collected to explore meanings of the project from the perspective of participants, the project manager and the public, using interviews, participant observation and comment cards. Results: The project was successful in engaging the participants who had previously often felt excluded from mainstream art spaces. Findings about the benefits of arts participation echoed other studies but participants highlighted some difficulty with the ending of the project. Public perceptions were positive, acclaiming the thought-provoking quality of the exhibition. Interviews and participant observation revealed the importance of egalitarian leadership, mutual trust and the absence of any therapeutic agenda. Conclusion: Developing similar projects would offer opportunities to foster diverse artistic communities and empower people with experiences of disability and mental health conditions.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: visual arts; health promotion; mental health
Subjects: N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA790 Mental Health
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health
Faculty of Science and Health > Health and Social Care, School of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 15 Sep 2015 12:22
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2022 13:24
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/14911

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