Evaluating Arts Integrated Civic Practice Programs

“Evaluating Arts-Integrated Civic Practice Programs (Year 3, 2017-2018)”

Grant funded by the Paul M. Angell Family Foundation for $20,000.

Chicago’s Fifth House Ensemble (5HE) partners with local non-profits to offer music education residencies to vulnerable populations throughout the city. Recent residencies include Teen Living Programs, a homeless youth services provider; Deborah’s Place, homeless women services provider; and Nancy B. Jefferson Alternative High School, an alternative school located within the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center.

The Center for Urban Research and Learning (CURL) and Brian L. Kelly of Loyola University Chicago, School of Social Work, are working together to evaluate the benefits of these residencies, by measuring their effects on participants’ mental health, professional skills, engagement with the community, and other dimensions of social and personal life. Data collected will include observations of the residencies, products of the residencies (e.g., participants’ performances and productions), and focus groups with residency participants and 5HE teaching artists. CURL and Dr. Kelly will use this data to develop interactive findings that highlight the process of developing and implementing music education residencies for vulnerable populations. The findings will also explore the benefits and challenges of doing so.