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Alyssa Austin

English 103
Mrs. Fogelson
19 April 2016

Semester Project: Cause and Effect


Art, freedom and creativity will change society faster than politics -Victor Pinchuk
Art has always been known as a sort of universally spoken language, one where any
message or political statement can be displayed for all to comprehend. In social settings
statements such as artistically founded ones can be quite persuasive and successful. Stereotypes
and discrimination are famously known examples of political statements revolutionizing an
issue. For the hispanic cultural environment stereotypes and diversity are ever present and clearly
cut out. Social projects such as a public art piece to reflect the positive aspects within diversity
will help to diminish walls creating the barriers between cultures across the nation, but more
important locally. The mural will cause adversity towards the hispanic community to lower due
to the positive implications it possesses.
Many studies have been done proving the various results of art within a community as
well as an individual life. Kelly LeRoux and Anna Bernadska from the Department of Public
Administration in the University of Illinois at Chicago researched the Impact of the Arts on
Individual Contributions to U.S. Civil Society. They found that community arts projects due to
their accessibility and inclusiveness lead to increased social cohesion, improved intergenerational
and interracial communication, and enhanced sense of community among dispersed individuals

(Le Roux, Bernadska. Impact of the Arts on Individual Contributions to U.S. Civil Society)
This helped in proving the hypothesis created that art can reflect upon a social group's ability to
be cohesive and accepting. Which relates to stereotypes because art projects that reflect the
positivity of diversity such as hispanic culture within America can help to enhance racial
tolerance. The statistical probability of the community as a whole being higher towards racial
and cultural acceptiveness will improve because of a mural reflective upon this point.
Not only will art bring communication barriers down, but it also is known to improve
educational interest within student lives. In 2002 Princeton University did a study similar to that
of the University of Illinois where research was performed that proved how arts have a positive
influence within a community. They found that [t]he arts have been said to improve health,

mental well-being, cognitive functioning, creative ability and academic performance (Joshua
Guetzkow, How the Arts Impact Communities: An introduction to the literature on arts impact
studies). Thus not only can art impact one's academic standings and motivation for education, but
also your mindset and mental health can improve from having more artistically influenced work
and environment daily. Kenneth Elpus the Assistant Professor of Music Education at the
University of Maryland, also did another study more in depth on the actual improvement of
adolescent education because of the influence of art. He states that his study suggests that in
many respects, adolescent arts students achieve significantly more positive developmental
outcomes than their peers who do not pursue arts coursework in schools (Kenneth Elpus, Arts
Education and Positive Youth Development: Cognitive, Behavioral, and Social Outcomes of
Adolescents who Study the Arts).

The charts above are all direct research from Elpus through the look upon high school students
by University of Michigan, and they found quite like their own and the previous researchers
hypothesese art does in fact improve your life in more aspects than just emotionally.
There is no doubt that art will not have the ability to bring down racial stereotypes placed
upon the hispanic community. Through their quality of education, mindsets, and intercommunal
tolerance the mural will be able to influence an individual's daily life. The positive influence can
be tremendous if the community works together to bring more socially stated art projects within
the city to display the great inflictions of diversity. The youth and older influenced generations
alike can all use and benefit from this project.

Works Cited
LeRoux, Kelly and Bernadska, Anna. Department of Public Administration in the
University of Illinois at Chicago. 2010. Impact of the Arts on Individual Contributions to U.S.
Civil Society. <Retrieved 20 April 216> Web.

Elpus, Kenneth. Assistant Professor of Music Education at the University of Maryland.


2011. Arts Education and Positive Youth Development: Cognitive, Behavioral, and Social
Outcomes of Adolescents who Study the Arts. <Retrieved 19 April 2016> Web.
Guetzkow, Joshua. Princeton University. 2002. How the Arts Impact Communities: An
introduction to the literature on arts impact studies. <Retrieved 21 April 2016> Web.