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Social capital and participation: The role of community arts festivals for generating well-being

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Community arts festivals have a potential role in fostering social capital and population well-being. This small, exploratory study collected and analysed qualitative data from eight semi-structured interviews with festival organizers. Thematic analysis was applied to the interview transcripts. The findings suggest that festivals create bridging social capital. Festivals also stimulate self-efficacy, which facilitates participation, an emotional response and may lead to a sense of personal well-being, with a living legacy for the community. The article posits a model to articulate the suggested interrelationship between these concepts. Very little research exists on the contribution of arts festivals towards community health and well-being. This nascent research therefore adds to the body of knowledge, and suggests the importance of developing participatory activity at local arts and cultural festivals for community health and well-being.
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Keywords: arts festival; participation; self-efficacy; social capital; transformative; well-being

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Canterbury Christ Church University

Publication date: April 1, 2018

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  • The Journal of Applied Arts and Health serves a wide community of artists, researchers, practitioners and policy-makers evidencing the effectiveness of the interdisciplinary use of arts in health and arts for health. It provides a forum for the publication and debate within an interdisciplinary field of arts in healthcare and health promotion. The journal defines 'health' broadly which includes physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, occupational, social and community health.
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