Graduation Year

2010

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.A.

Degree Granting Department

Anthropology

Major Professor

Nancy Romero-Daza, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Elizabeth Bird, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Rebecca Zarger, Ph.D.

Keywords

art education, youth, program evaluation, community, Sulphur Springs

Abstract

Community Stepping Stones is an art education program whose objective is to

“provide education, mentor children and adolescents, enhance the community

economics, and enrich the quality of life in the community” (Community Steppping

Stones [CSS], 2009a). Community art education programs, particularly for youth, have

become increasingly popular as a way to address and prevent delinquent behavior.

However, art education programs have proven challenging to evaluate and sustain.

The goal of my thesis was to explore how Community Stepping Stones

implemented and evaluated a community-based youth arts education program

compared to other, similar programs and how the organization could make the program

more effective and more sustainable long-term. As part of an internship with Community

Stepping Stones, I conducted participant observation, document review, and interviews

with individuals affiliated with Community Stepping Stones and other art education

programs in the community. Data was collected between February 2009 and September

2010.Community Stepping Stones has grown significantly during my involvement with

the organization, expanding funding, programming, and staff. Current efforts to reinforce

evaluation measures and secure additional funding sources will help make the program

more sustainable in the future. Additional efforts towards collaboration with other

community and government organizations, increased community involvement, and better

program organization will also be beneficial towards sustainability efforts.

At this time, published evaluations of community-based youth art education

programs and organizational impact on youth and community are limited. Although not a

comprehensive assessment, I hope my research can help bolster the literature in this

area.

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