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Evaluation and creative placemaking: Using a critical realist model to explore the complexity

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In the complex reality of community-based arts and health, it is rare for a direct causal link to be established between any particular project and health and well-being outcomes. Based on a realist retrospective evaluation of a small number of creative placemaking projects, this article presents an integrative model to help conceptualize creative placemaking evaluation according to context, mechanisms and tangible and intangible outcomes and impacts. These include proximal and distal outcomes, some of which may be related to the health and well-being of individuals and communities. The implications of this model for practitioners and researchers include being able to accommodate the range of stakeholders typically involved in creative placemaking projects and to expand the evaluation focus to account for context and mechanisms and outcomes and impacts. The model provides a useful theoretical framework for both practice and research.
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Keywords: community; creative placemaking; critical realism; evaluation; health promotion; well-being

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Central Queensland University

Publication date: November 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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