C.L. McLean, Publisher
Just released, New Book Offers Compelling Evidence.. Arts in Action Impacts Communities
How Creative Arts in Research offers Hope for Community Change
October, 2011, London, Ontario Canada
A new book offers evidence that the arts can transform communities and impact change. “Creative Arts in Research for Community and Cultural Change” published by Detselig Enterprises, Calgary, is the second book in the CAIP (Creative Arts in Interdisciplinary Practice) Research Series, a project of The International Journal of The Creative Arts in Interdisciplinary Practice (IJCAIP). The book is edited by Cheryl McLean, Publisher of IJCAIP, and associate editor, Robert Kelly, University of Calgary.
“This is fundamentally a book about the arts in action and practice for hope and citizen empowerment, about research and people coming together to creatively address the most critical challenges of our times, says Cheryl McLean, Editor of the CAIP series.
The book shows how researchers and communities work together in interdisciplinary projects to ignite change and address the most fundamental of human needs, the need for healthy communities with water to drink and air to breathe, the need for human expression and connection, the desire to be accepted and acknowledged as a human being of value and to voice personal stories for public witness.
The book features contributors across disciplines, among them leaders on the cutting edge in arts and educational research for change. Jan Selman, Professor and Chair of the Department of Drama, University of Alberta, was principal investigator on the project “Are We there Yet?” a six year research program involving an interdisciplinary team who created a participatory play out of a sense of urgency about the need for effective sexuality education for teens. Selman writes, “We believe creating art about our world makes a difference as art seeks to teach people at their core. … We believe that to be meaningful, education must be deeply relevant to its participants, we must immerse ourselves in our audience's world and strive to create art which will teach specific audiences as deeply as possible.”
The book offers an “up close” look at projects in action through both text and photographs as researchers demonstrate methods and approaches. Dr. B. Stephen Carpenter II, a Professor of Art Education at Penn State University, worked with ceramic artists, community workers and engineers to help find solutions to the critical need for clean potable water. He writes, “With a focus on the creation of point of use ceramic water filters as one of the key aspects of the project, the members of the group take direct action within the global struggle against the potable water crisis by seeking to assist communities and find viable ways to provide households with potable water.”
In addition to informative descriptions of methodology and research the illustrative stories featured in the book and examples themselves offer revealing insights into the day to day lives of those who live on the margins, those whose stories are seldom heard. In the article, Four Poems for Four Lives A Study of Four Ex-Prisoners Through Poetic Inquiry, Liz Day and John J. Guiney Yallop offer glimpses into the lived realities of four male ex-prisoners. “We begin this chapter by introducing the reader to four men who have lived some of their lives in prisons – as prisoners. They are now ex-prisoners, each attempting to find or re-find, to create or recreate, lives outside prison. We present the four men, the participants in this study, through poetry, in the hope that the emotional language of poetry will enable us, the authors, to convey the lived experiences those four men allowed us into. This study is not intended to be generalizable to most, or even any other, male ex-prisoners. We believe, however, that all human experience is of value and that all human experience has something to teach us.”
In the last article, a community of women, street workers, share stories and images of survival on the perilous streets of the inner city. Moshoula Capous-Desyllas, a researcher teaching at the School of Social Work at Portland State, explains how creative and participatory research, particularly with marginalized groups, can lead to change and affect practice. “ The images and voices of sex workers in this study hold several implications for social work practice, policy and research. The social work profession has a history of not taking into account the voices of sex workers when creating programs to meet their needs. From a practice perspective, the use of photography allows sex workers to identify and creatively represent their needs and aspirations, thus informing social service design and delivery.”
The book “Creative Arts in Research for Community and Cultural Change” will be of special interest to university based educators; artists and researchers; facilitators; practitioners; educators in the social sciences; social work and social justice advocates; activists, community change agents; heritage and cultural workers; urban planners; healthcare professionals; public health educators; fundraisers and many others.
For more information or to order this book visit http://www.ijcaip.com
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