Community art and public-school partnership : a case study of the participation of one public-school art program with the East Austin Studio Tour




Selinger, Sarah Belle Elizabeth

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This thesis examines the benefits for teachers and students when they participate in community art initiatives, especially the East Austin Studio Tour (EAST) in Austin, Texas. This study examines how this partnership can strengthen the bonds of the community and create a sense of place for the teachers and students involved. EAST is “a free, annual self-guided art event spanning two weekends in November. EAST provides opportunities for the public to meet the artists of Austin in their creative spaces” (Big Medium, 2019). Schools are welcomed to partner with EAST and participate in the art show case each year. This thesis focuses on Kealing Middle School's art program's participation. Kealing Middle School is located in East Austin. Interviews were the primary data collection tools used and interviews were conducted with the art teacher from Kealing Middle School, one student from Kealing Middle School, and the executive director of Big Medium, the organization that produces EAST. Data was collected between August 2020 and December 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic and social distance protocols changed some aspects of the original plan for this research and some forms of data were not able to be collected. The results of this study were derived from coded interview data and personal experience. Data analysis found that students are teacher do receive benefits when the art program partners with community art initiatives, including a heightened sense of community and a feeling of belonging. I hope this research can add to the field of art education and provide evidence for schools to partner with community events and initiatives in the future.



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