The Art Warriors

Rachel Taylor, Katie Smith, Susan Williamson, Mary O'Connell, Shalane Hodder

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Creative arts participation is widely recognised as a way of supporting the development of resilience and well-being within communities. This includes those who are traditionally excluded from or marginalised within the communities themselves and who may be presented with arts participation as a form of “therapeutic intervention.” Whether implicitly or explicitly therapeutic in nature, creative/expressive arts can act as a means of supporting autonomy, competence and connection to others. These three features are key elements of “Self-Determination Theory” – an approach within psychology which addresses motivation and participation.
However sometimes such practices are accompanied by a set of hidden rules and expectations which in fact undermine rather than facilitate the development of autonomy. Further, even if autonomy is fostered, this is often difficult for arts practitioners to identify and evidence within their work. This session will present a case study of the Art Warriors, a group comprising keyworkers within a third sector organisation and women who involved in the criminal justice system. As part of the activity a “manifesto to promote self-determination within creative spaces” was developed by the group and the session will draw on and discuss the manifesto elements. Reflections on learning from the Art Warriors experience will be presented to show how this could be adapted and extended by other arts practitioners to evidence the impact of their work. Copies of the manifesto will be provided to facilitate discussion. Those attending will be encouraged to share their own insights and reflections on their own strategies to promote self-determination.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 21 Apr 2023
EventParticipation: Norms & Storms - Stage - University of Leeds, Leeds, United Kingdom
Duration: 21 Apr 202321 Apr 2023


ConferenceParticipation: Norms & Storms
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


Dive into the research topics of 'The Art Warriors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this