Social capital and participation: the role of community arts festivals for generating wellbeing

Journal article

Brownett, T. 2018. Social capital and participation: the role of community arts festivals for generating wellbeing. Journal of Applied Arts and Health. 9 (1), pp. 71-84.
AuthorsBrownett, T.

Community arts festivals have a potential role for fostering social capital and population wellbeing. 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 wellbeing, with a living legacy for the community.

The article posits a model to articulate the suggested interrelationship between these concepts. Very little research exists about the contribution of arts festivals for community health and wellbeing. 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 wellbeing.

JournalJournal of Applied Arts and Health
Journal citation9 (1), pp. 71-84
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
FunderCanterbury Christ Church University (RKE ERC funded)
Publication dates
Online01 Apr 2018
Publication process dates
Deposited25 Jan 2018
Accepted24 Jan 2018
Accepted author manuscript
Output statusPublished

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