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Towards transformation: exploring the impact of culture, creativity and the arts of health and wellbeing

Kilroy, Amanda and Garner, Charlotte and Parkinson, Clive and Kagan, Carolyn and Senior, Peter (2007) Towards transformation: exploring the impact of culture, creativity and the arts of health and wellbeing. Arts for Health.

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Abstract

Background: Health providers and promoters are increasingly looking for more innovative ways to deliver quality services and reach ambitious health targets, and are exploring a diverse range of approaches that might help meet those objectives, especially with target, resistant or hard to reach groups. The arts and culture sectors are identified as potential areas of ‘innovation’ that could enhance and help deliver this health strategy and there have been numerous calls for ‘evidence’ of impact, effectiveness or of value, and clear indicators that, as a result of these activities, change is really happening. There are clearly contextual, ideological and value differences between art and health workers. There is little consensus about the best ways of collecting data, and of gathering evidence that will be both meaningful to each group and adequately represent the true value of arts and health activities. The aim at the outset of the Invest to Save: Arts in Health evaluation was to explore the value and impact of arts activities beyond artistic merit and their potential in improving public health and well being; explicitly: 1. Exploring and measuring the perceived value and impact of arts engagement 2. Exploring the concept of the ‘transformative effect’ 3. Exploring the value of participatory evaluation as a means of capacity building, development and sustainability

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