Date of Award


Access Control

Open Access

Degree Name

Art Education (K-12), M.S.Ed.


Art Education Department


Dr. Shirley Hayes

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This case study examines how one particular after-school arts program in an urban environment bridges the gap between a university campus and the community it serves, creating opportunities for collaboration via the arts. The study was conducted at a community center run by Buffalo State.

Over the course of the study, ten interviews were conducted with a variety of people connected to the Community Arts Center’s (CAC) arts programs, including partners in the public arts initiative. The data was collected and analyzed over the course of eight weeks through the lens of Henry Giroux’s public pedagogy, which focuses on educational processes outside of school walls. My goal was to learn more about how the arts program fostered collaboration, and how it functioned to provide free arts programming to neighborhood children. I collected data primarily through interviews, but also through observations, questionnaires, and documents. After collecting data, I spent a great deal of time reading through, coding, and grouping by the themes that emerged.

Among the findings were: the asset of a diverse community, the freedom of art outside of school, the success of Grant Street Global Voices, reciprocity between campus and community, and how to build strong partnerships. The findings represent a broad range of the possibilities that occur when looking at a community’s offerings through an assets-based model rather than a deficit model. They showed that with the power of communication and the inclusion of people at a grass-roots level, arts programming can act as a springboard for growth in community services and in partnerships, creating a network of support.

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