This report is important as one of the few randomized control trials involving intergenerational arts. It is also exceptionally thorough, describing and discussing all aspects of a participatory art and group-based program titled ARTISAN (Aspiration and Resilience Through Intergenerational Storytelling and Art-based Narratives).
The report focuses on the program from the perspectives of the researchers, whose aim was to determine whether and how a structured intervention integrating stories, art, and heritage could build bridges between generations, strengthen individuals’ resiliency, and alleviate loneliness among the young and old participants.
The program engaged participants in two broad age groups: elders 60+ and young people aged 18-35. Working in 1 to 1 intergenerational pairs, they took part in a 5-week series of weekly thematic discussions and arts activities. The themes and activities were jointly developed by artist-educators, community partners, museum representatives, and the researchers.
The program involved collaboration between three higher education partners, a community service agency, and a museum. Sessions primarily took place at the museum with a concluding session and community exhibition at the community center.
ARTISAN was carefully planned to fulfill research objectives through the program design and the use of both qualitative and quantitative research methods. Using a Participatory Action Research approach, the participants — elders aged 60+ and younger people aged 18-35 — were assessed on standardized self-reported psychological, emotional, and social indicators such as loneliness, resilience, quality of life, and life satisfaction. For anyone interested in arts programming or intergenerational programming development and evaluation, this study is an exceptional resource.
Creative Aging > Intergenerational Programming
Tan Michael Boon
Ma Stephanie Xinyi
Ho Andy Yan