Let the Dance Begin: a Creative Community Well Being Partnership Project

Author(s):*Listed Alphabetically
Elliot J, Skinner J

Year of Publication:

Art Care


The ‘Let the Dance Begin’ project collaboration between two Northern Ireland based charities was a six-week pilot project which aimed to locate creativity at the heart of Strabane’s education, health and business communities. The programme was designed and built on two existing key sustainable models of arts intervention as delivered in education and health and social care by The Pushkin Trust (education) and Arts Care (health and social care). The enclosed evidence from both organisations demonstrates the positive and transforming impact that arts access, creativity and participation in education and health and social care programmes have on individual and community wellbeing.

The report outlines specific objectives of the programme as well as how they align with the civic values of the Strabane District Council, which became a close strategic partner as the project was implemented in the community. Methodology for programme evaluation is described, and the results of these measures are discussed. Findings highlight the significance of combining the arts and exploration of the local town environment to change perceptions of the town thus instilling a sense of renewed pride and confidence amongst the citizens. Intergenerational opportunities provided within the project gave the older people and the young people the opportunity to explore meaning in their lives and to understand each other’s histories. The shared telling of stories and life experiences through creative writing, music and dance opened better channels of understanding and communication across generations.

Finally, the report offers a series of recommendations informed by the evaluation process that concern future long-term creative community projects, areas of improvement or development in the town’s community and artistic infrastructure, and need for increased collaboration between various government, health, and education agencies.

Evidence Type: Non-Randomised Evaluation

Main Focus: Wellbeing / Quality of life

Research Purpose: Process Evaluation

Context: Community

Art Forms: Multi-Arts

APA Citation:

Elliott, J. & Skinner, J. (2014). Let the Dance Begin: A creative community well being partnership project. Belfast: Arts Care.