Title: 

Mason Arts Research Center

Funding detail: 
NEA Research Lab
Institution: 
George Mason University
Principal Investigator: 
Thalia Goldstein, Adam Winsler, Kim Sheridan
Project summary: 

The George Mason University Arts Research Center (“MasonARC”) is a multidisciplinary research center involving the expertise of three faculty members at George Mason University, with a research focus on arts engagement, child development, and education. Studies will examine the outcomes of arts education in low-income, ethnically diverse high school students; the effect of theatre training on social skills; and students’ sense of agency. Additionally, the research center will involve public engagement and distribution of research through a website and a regularly updated blog on arts research across domains, and a biennial conference on the latest research and practice in arts and child development. The MasonARC includes strong arts partnerships with two of Virginia’s most established arts education and producing nonprofits (Virginia Repertory Theatre and the Mason Community Arts Academy).

The research agenda will address the following research questions:

  • What are the social and/or emotional-related health benefits of participating in the arts?;
  • What psychological mechanisms or group dynamics are at work in achieving those benefits or related outcomes?;
  • What kinds of art forms are invoked in these relationships, and at what levels of participation?; and
  • How do these benefits or related outcomes vary by age, socioeconomic characteristics, other demographics and behavioral patterns, and/or disability status?
Other Key Personnel: 
  • Adam Winsler, PhD
  • Kimberly Sheridan, EdD

For more information on this Lab, see their Research Lab webpage.

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