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    Pathways project evaluation: final report

    Sixsmith, Judith and Kagan, Carolyn (2005) Pathways project evaluation: final report. RIHSC.


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    Pathways: Health and Well-Being through the Arts The Pathways project aims to deliver participatory arts practice within communities in Manchester addressing issues of mental health and social inclusion. From September 2004 - 2005, a research team from the Research Institute for Health and Social Change at Manchester Metropolitan University was commissioned to undertake an evaluation of Pathways, using a participatory and inclusive approach. The Pathways Evaluation aimed: • To articulate the processes that artists were engaged in from the perspectives of both artists and participants; • To examine some of the mechanisms and outputs of the artistic processes in terms of the extent to which they can be gauges of change over the duration of the project (for example ‘tree people’ diagrams; ‘social atoms’, life stories); • To understand the mechanisms through which the artists relate with and work with the participants and the impact of these ways of working on both participants and artists (including, for example issues of playfulness, fun, trust); • To identify changes in mental health and/or social support and/or participation and inclusion of participants as a result of participating in the project; • To indicate how Pathways contributes to PSA target: improving outcomes for adults and children with mental health problems; and PSA target: improving quality of life; • To identify the process and impact of the Pathways Exhibition on participants and artists in terms of well-being and social inclusion; • To identify the relative strengths of different forms of data for evaluation of arts and mental health work. Taking an holistic perspective, information was gathered from artists, participants, LIME staff and project venue managers. Experiences and assessments of the workshops were collected through interviews, graffiti boards, diaries, questionnaires and research participant observations as well as emotional and social documenting via participatory group methods including the ‘tree people’ and ‘social atom’ techniques.

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