University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Pedagogy, Language, Arts & Culture in Education (PLACE) Group Seminars > Art in Mind: Evaluating the impact of participatory arts on improved mental wellbeing

Art in Mind: Evaluating the impact of participatory arts on improved mental wellbeing

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There is increasing recognition of the role that participating in the arts can have on improved mental wellbeing and increased confidence and self-esteem, however participatory (community) arts programmes are not yet fully valued by health professionals. Emily will talk about her research and work with learners on an arts and wellbeing course, who were invited to create a visual map of their experiences on the course and the impact that being creative had on their personal wellbeing. The participatory mapping activity was combined with semi-structured interviews which helped to draw out a number of common themes. The research demonstrates the potential of using an innovative arts-based methodology as a means of enhancing the quality and depth of data production and analysis within arts-based research and evaluation and makes a strong case for the transformational benefits of participation in the arts.

Emily Bradfield has an MSc in Cultural Events Management from De Montfort University and a BA (Hons) in Humanities with Art History from the Open University. She works as Community Learning Manager at Cambridge Community Arts, Grants and Community Engagement Manager at Cambridgeshire Community Foundation and is a part-time lecturer in Arts and Festivals Management at De Montfort University, Leicester. She also does freelance Arts Consultancy.

In addition to publishing her research into arts and wellbeing as a discussion paper, she has published a chapter on the Mexican Day of the Dead Festival in Focus on World Festivals, Newbold and Jordan (eds.) (2016) with Goodfellow Publishers Oxford.

This talk is part of the Pedagogy, Language, Arts & Culture in Education (PLACE) Group Seminars series.

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