Arts participation has a positive effect on social cohesion by bringing generations together, encouraging partnerships and intercultural understanding, reducing fear of crime, and fostering organizational skills. People report feeling more in control of their lives and more activated as citizens.
Young people engaged in participatory arts are highly motivated to vote. A study of young artists found that 84% of participants were likely or very likely to vote when eligible/in the next election, compared to just 44% of 18-24 year old who voted in the previous election.
Research into how different formations of people in associations work reveals that cultural groups scored highest on trust and second-highest on optimism and tolerance.
Children from immigrant and resident populations cohere best when barriers around language come down. Research shows that art making provides a common bridge and increases friendship, empathy, and mutual trust.
Participation in arts activities increases tolerance. 12th graders who participate in the arts are 40% more likely to have friends from different racial groups and 29% less likely to feel that it is ok to make a racist remark.
Arts activities increase residents’ interest in getting involved in local issues and projects, including discussions of infrastructure. 86% of participants want to be involved in future projects and people living where projects occurred were more than twice as likely to be civically engaged as those whose blocks did not have projects.