A report by the University of Bedfordshire finds intergenerational art to have a positive impact on participants’ emotions and creates a sense of achievement.
Researchers from Bedfordshire published their report tracing the impact of intergenerational arts through the Hear and Now project. The project saw the University work collaboratively with the Philharmonia Orchestra and Orchestra’s Live.
Rachel Farrer PhD, Lindsay Jenkins MSc, and Dr Imogen Aujla PhD followed the progress of an intergenerational project that bought together older adults living with dementia and young people in Bedford to work on a community music and dance performance which premiered at the University in November 2019.
They presented the findings of their research in a report: 'Hear and Now: The Impact of an Intergenerational Arts and Health Project on Participant Wellbeing' which was shared 'Beds Talks: Hear and Now' on 13 February 2020.
The research found a significant impact of the project on the wellbeing both of younger and older participants, as well as the carers and artists who were involved.? This was evidenced in the report through the?PERMA?(Positive Emotion, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning, Achievement) model of wellbeing:
"Participants reported numerous?positive emotions, including happiness, inspiration, pride and excitement."
"Many participants' interest and absorption in the activities of the project suggest they experienced a high level of?engagement?during the workshops and rehearsals."
"Experiences of support, positive?relationships?and making new connections were described by all groups and were vital to the positive affective responses, value and creativity of the project."
"Participants' experience of the project held?meaning, in that they were of value at personal and professional levels and allowed participants to feel part of a greater whole."
"Participants' sense of pride in their own and others' involvement in the project, as well as in their development of skills and confidence, related to an overall sense of?achievement and accomplishment."
Rachel Farrer, Senior Lecturer in Dance, said “We are really pleased with how well the research has been received.
“Studies like this are vital for evidencing the holistic impact that arts and health projects can have on wellbeing, not only for the participants, but their carers as well.
“Our aim is to expand this line of research in order to continue growing the evidence base for the role arts can have in supporting public health.
“The Beds Talk event was an opportunity to bring people from education, health, arts and charity settings, along with a range of local Bedford residents, together to share these positive findings and encourage further collaboration between different sectors”.
Download the full research report here: Hear and Now: The Impact of an Intergenerational Arts and Health Project on Participant Wellbeing (University of Bedfordshire, 2020).
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