Objective: The purpose of this arts program evaluation was to understand the impact of a professionally taught painting class on the health and well-being of fixed-income senior participants in San Antonio, Texas. Method: Data were obtained over a 14-month period through formal surveys, semi-structured and spontaneous interviews, and participant observation. Results: Meanings of art, aging, and health coevolved during the classroom experience to effect positive psychosocial change in participants' lives. Participants perceived significant improvements in mental and psychosocial health through increased social engagement, self-awareness, empowerment, and a sense of calm and relaxation. Conclusions: Structural aspects of the class, free instruction and materials, flexible participation, leadership, and teacher pedagogies facilitated these improvements. Mandated funding through federal policy for senior residential complexes and nursing homes should explicitly include ongoing opportunities for professionally taught creative art classes in a variety of media for healthy and ailing senior populations.
- program evaluation
- psychosocial health
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)