The Arts and Prosocial Impact Study

Program Characteristics and Prosocial Effects

by Ann Stone, Tora K. Bikson, Joy S. Moini, David J. McArthur

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This study represents one piece of a larger, integrated research plan to provide scientific evidence on the effectiveness of fine arts interventions in promoting positive change in youth. Building on our prior work, we collected an analyzed interview data from 35 well-known arts interventions in the Los Angeles area. Our objective was to relate expert assessments of the prosocial value of a range of fine arts interventions to specific program features. These specific features included aspects of the program structure (e.g., the number of hours participants spend in class), program philosophy (e.g., the importance of teaching "life skills" in addition to artistic skills), program operations (e.g., whether or not the program director is a full-time position), and other characteristics. The results of this analysis, in turn, will be combined with earlier products of this research (including an extensive literature review and an examination of best practices) to lay the foundation for the core component of the research: a longitudinal, multi-city field experiment tracking the impact of arts interventions on at-risk youth.

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