Abstract: “This mixed-methods study evaluated the effect of a community-engaged arts program on the physical, emotional, and social well-being of seniors. Weekly workshops were offered over a three-year period at community centers where artists worked with four groups of seniors to produce a collective art piece or performance for public presentation. Participants completed pre- and post- questionnaires, and group interviews were conducted at the program’s end. Paired t-test analyses indicated that seniors experienced improvement in perceived overall health, experience of pain, and sense of community. Interpretive descriptive analysis of the group interviews revealed six themes that informed understanding : (1) providing structure and discipline; (2) facilitating coping; (3) requiring hard work and effort; (4) bringing out one’s artistic side; (5) promoting social involvement; and (6) making a contribution. These results are consistent with previous research and contribute to further understanding of how community-engaged arts can benefit the well-being of older people.
University of British Columbia (Vancouver)