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Thursday, June 18 • 1:45pm - 3:15pm
Art Therapy & Resilience - Eugenia Canas, Emily Gagnon, Robin S. Cox

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Art Therapy & Resilience:

Abstract #81
Visual Arts Practice for Resilience Building with Young People: Methods, Findings and Outcomes
Presenter: Emily Gagnon Co - Presenters: Lisa Buttery, Hannah Macpherson
This project involved delivery of a program of weekly resilience-building arts workshops for young people with complex needs. It also included a literature review, project film and co-creation of a practice guide by academics, practitioners and young people. The review found a significant existing evidence-base linking visual arts practice to individual and community resilience across a number of disciplinary fields including art therapy, social work, community health and cultural policy. The research element used a collaborative mixed-methods approach to investigate resilience outcomes for 5 young people with learning disabilities and 4 young people with experience of mental health issues. Researchers found that even short-term visual arts interventions can have a significant positive impact on young people’s resilience. In this session an academic, community worker and young person with experience of mental health issues will reflect on the findings of the project as well as discussing some of the benefits and tensions involved in co-creation of collaborative project outputs. In addition, through drawing on her own experiences one of the young people involved with the project will trace some of the longer term, hard to measure –qualitative outcomes of participation in the project and BoingBoing Resilience Community.

Abstract #161
Voices Against Violence: Engaging Youth in Arts-Based, Participatory Research to Examine Impacts on Health and Wellbeing
Presenter: Eugenia Canas Co - Presenters: Marnina Gonick, Michelle Brake
This presentation describes a national arts-based initiative developed and implemented in collaboration with diverse populations of youth in Canada. Presenters will share emerging findings from the first three years of this CIHR-funded project, which examines structural violence and its impacts upon the health and wellbeing of Canadians ages 14 to 24. Using participatory approaches, a diverse team of academic and community researchers and leaders ─ alongside youth and policymakers ─ have engaged over 25 groups of young people in art-based discussions of how youth experience marginalization through societal structures and policies. Marnina Gonick, Canada Research Chair in Gender at Mount St Vincent University, will discuss dimensions of this art-based research working with marginalized youth in Halifax and Region. Eugenia Canas, national youth advisory board coordinator for the Voices project, will discuss specific components of this project’s youth-adult partnerships and engagement approach. A member of the National Youth Advisory Board will also be present, sharing youths’ experiences of the project, including reported benefits in consciousness-raising, the building of stronger identities, and an empowered sense of belonging through the ‘collectivizing’ of daily experiences and challenges. Intersections with processes associated with youth resilience will be raised, as will implications for programmers and policymakers.

Abstract #164
Youth Creating Disaster Recovery and Resilience: An Arts Based Action Research Project
Presenter: Robin S. Cox
Youth Creating Disaster Recovery and Resilience (YCDR) is a community-based action research project designed to learn about disaster recovery and resilience from the perspectives of youth. Moreover, YCDR2 focuses on the potential of youth to act as powerful catalysts for change and resilience in their communities. 
Funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the project has worked with youth in Joplin, Missouri following a powerful EF-5 tornado (May 2011); Slave Lake, Alberta, devastated by a wildfire (May 2011), and four communities (Calgary, High River, Morley and Canmore) heavily impacted by the Southern Alberta 2013 floods 
YCDR uses participatory and creative research methodologies (e.g., digital storytelling, photostories, animation) to elicit and explore the perspectives of youth in order to generate evidence-informed, inclusive, and youth-centered approaches to disaster recovery and empower youth to take action to improve the resilience of their communities. 
This presentation will provide an overview of the project and share some of the youth-generated creative outputs (photography, videos, songs, poems, etc.) and research findings. Next steps will be discussed. These include the development of a youth-centred resilience innovation lab involving an international network of youth leaders, researchers, practitioners, and non-governmental organizations.


Emily Gagnon

Emily Gagnon is a community fellow at BoingBoing Social enterprise and the University of Brighton and PhD student at the University of Sheffield. She encountered BoingBoingthrough her community work with Art in Mind and went on to work for them during which time she developed an enduring... Read More →

Eugenia Canas

National Youth Advisory Member at Voices against Violence ProjectMichelle Brake is a third-year student at Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick, doing a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, Geography and Drama. Michelle has been a member of the National Youth Advisory Board... Read More →

Robin S. Cox

Royal Roads University
Robin Cox is a Professor and Program Head of the Disaster and Emergency Management programs at Royal Roads University. Robin has devoted her research program to understanding disaster resilience and the potential for disasters to spark social change and creative innovation. In line... Read More →

avatar for Michelle Brake

Michelle Brake

Michelle Brake is a fourth-year student at Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick, doing a Bachelor of Arts in Drama, Geography and Sociology. Michelle has been an Assistant Researcher and the Coordinator of the National Youth Advisory Board in the Voices Against Violence... Read More →

Lisa Buttery

Artist in Residence at Boing Boing Social Enterprise Lisa Buttery is artist in residence at BoingBoing Social enterprise, Brighton. Lisa is a volunteer and founding member of Art in Mind, a youth-led community arts group for young people with experience of mental health issues. Lisa... Read More →

Marnina Gonick

Project Co-Principal Investigator; Canada Research Chair in Gender at Mount St Vincent University Marnina Gonick is Canada Research Chair in Gender at Mount St Vincent University, Halifax, Nova Scotia. She is the author of Between Femininities: Identity, Ambivalence and the Education... Read More →

Hannah Macpherson

Dr at University of Brighton Hannah Macpherson is a senior lecturer in the Department of Environment and technology at the University of Brighton. Her research interests include the Geographies of disability and impairment and Geographies of responsibility and citizenship. She has... Read More →

Thursday June 18, 2015 1:45pm - 3:15pm EDT
Classroom 3 A&A Lower Floor, King's College

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