Community Arts Impact on Empathy and Resiliency

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Mitts, Megan
Master of Arts in Art Therapy
A group case study determining the beneficial impacts from short-term involvement in a process-driven, community arts project utilizing qualitative data derived from the phenomenological perspective of those involved. The group population was made up of four female employees of a Medical Center who volunteered and met for the first time for the three-hour meeting to produce a sculptural piece with donated supplies for installation on the community farm associated with their place of employment. Findings identified by the participants from their narratives after involvement included increased empathy identified as a pleasurable experience from collaborative creation, increased awareness of others and self, and the development of group cohesion. Unanticipated findings include impacts on the reintegration to the employees work dynamic, finding that the community arts project reinforced and increased appreciation of their current successful work relationships.