“Spotlight on Vital Communities”

Vital Communities (2005-2010) is a pioneering action research study, aiming to measure the social impacts of participating in the arts on selected groups of children, their families and their wider communities. High quality creative activities were delivered on a regular basis and over 5 years by professional artists and art organisations in nine communities in the East of England. The communities were selected to reflect the diversity of the region, urban, suburban and rural.

Spotlight on Vital Communities is an in depth film-based qualitative research study aiming to measure the impact of Vital Communities upon four selected locations and a smaller cohort of participants. This study was led by Dominique Chadwick with the support of Camille Warrington, resulting in two documentary films and two written reports.

The films follow the same group of children and communities participating in the creative activities over the 5 year duration of the project. The research was supported by the use of qualitative data analysis software which provided a systematic way of coding and integrating qualitative data and minimised opportunities for bias.

“It has provided the means for transformation – given confidence to individuals and encouraged them to develop in their own way. You don’t realise the benefits it gives to your self-belief and your self confidence, your self-esteem, ‘dealing’ with the ‘doing’ of arts activity, until you’ve done it.”  Vital Communities Parent

” I was never really very open to my family, me and my mum didn’t connect very much; then going to these things as a family, it kind of encouraged us to talk about the activities and then helped me to talk about other stuff too. I think it made us more a tight knit group, instead of me becoming a teenager who just kind of drifted away.” Vital Communities Child participant


To see examples of research click on the titles listed under “Research” on the right side of the page.