The Wallace Foundation is dedicated to improving education for and enriching the lives of disadvantaged children. One of the foundation’s major initiatives is the expansion of arts learning opportunities. Fluent conducted a large-scale qualitative research, in partnership with Next Level SMG, examining the role of the arts in the lives of disadvantaged urban youth in the U.S., including their perceptions and attitudes regarding the arts and arts programming, perceived benefits of arts engagement, and triggers and barriers to arts engagement.
We successfully employed unorthodox recruiting methods to insure participation of hard-to-reach low-income (at or below poverty line) youth and families, including recent immigrants and non-English speaking families. We initiated a word-of-mouth campaign to reach families who simply do not exist on marketing or focus group facilities lists, by reaching out to community centers, churches and recreation centers, and through street intercepts. As a result, we conducted research with a truly authentic sample of low-income youth and their parents.
The insights gained from the research were used in the development of key principles for afterschool arts programs interested in extending arts education to this underserved population.
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