Amateur arts and civil society, Third Sector Research Centre London Seminar, Jenny Phillimore March 2012
The impact of amateur arts on individual and community Jenny Phillimore and Hilary Ramsden NCVO 21st March 2012
Northern Hordes Break Dance Competition photo by Handle with Cake
The impact of amateur arts• Increased policy and academic attention on civil society• Impact of small scale civil society and mainstream arts little studied• Gaps in knowledge around amateur arts – self managed• Are amateur arts just for fun or do they have wider social and economic impacts?
The approach• Literature review – post 2005 – Policy – Grey literature – Global and multidisciplinary – arts, humanities, social sciences, medicine, maths, IT..........• Documentary analysis of 33 AA publications• Workshops and World Cafe with 31 people from AA world• Use of Guetzkow’s (2002) framework – Impact of direct involvement – Impact for audience – Impact for community
Individual Individual and community Community Physical Health Cognitive/ Interpersonal and Aesthetic Cultural Economic Social psychological self developmentDirect Improved physical Improves memory Builds individual Transitional Can create new Reduces GP visits Creates ainvolvement health i.e. Fosters joy and friendships and mechanism for making individual and group and aids public community of spirit pulmonary happiness networks that which formerly did identities purse Brings people Increased fitness Feel good Participation in not exist Offers an alternative Enhances together across Relieves stress endorphins and virtual networks Encourages risk taking identity employability via generation, class, emotional balance Can include or and new forms of Provides an development of ethnicity and other Opportunity to exclude creativity opportunity to self- transferable skills boundaries externalise Develops skills: self- Beauty and adornment define or connect by and improved CV Creates links across problems directed learning, bring people together ethnicity or culture Route to locales, regionally, Being “in the flow” technical skills, and fosters joy and employment or self- nationally and reduces anxiety communication happiness employment or internationally Improves self- skills, and leadership Develops innovation income Evolution of virtual confidence and skills and experimentation supplementation communities self-esteem Improves children’s skills Activities can be Helps the elderly academic gendered or retain cognition performance racialisedAudience Music, colours Beauty and adornment Maintains tradition. Revenues earned at Community ofbenefits and rhythm bring people together Engenders feelings events help to pay spirit develops provide stimulus and fosters joy and of connection to upkeep of around live and increase happiness diasporic community performances happiness communities buildingsPresence of Can improve the Can improve the Artists spend Brings peopleamateur arts appearance and status and image of benefits local and together around attractiveness of place a place. Enables regional economies common goals reconstruction of and local venues etc place identity Fosters creative economy and professional artists Fosters civic participation Promotes urban renewal Can help reduce crime levels
Some impacts• Improved health of individuals – physical via dancing, singing, alleviation from symptoms i.e. Parkinsons, stroke and cancer patients• Audience impacts – watching beauty brings people together and is pleasurable; crafts are tactile and bring vitality; laughter and wonder reduce stress levels• The presence of AA – improved attractiveness and appearance, attracting tourists and residents, arresting decline and reducing crime i.e. People’s Republic of Stokes Croft• Community and individual impacts – development of social networks and creation of new communities i.e. re-connection of homeless men, the “village” feel of online Anime communities• Negative impacts – physical risks, frustration of failure and exclusionary forces
Conclusions• Self-generation, self-sufficient, unintended but significant• The importance of beauty, fun, laughter etc for social and (possibly) economic impacts• Lack of empirical research.......or the desire to prove anything• How and when do impacts occur? Are there pathways to impact?• How do individual impacts accumulate to impact at community level?• What next?
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