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Arts and Kindness

Could arts be a ‘superconductor’ for kindness?

Written in association with the Centre for the Study of Group Processes at the University of Kent, this paper is for practitioners, arts professionals, policy makers, researchers, funders, and all those who have a passion for building kinder, more caring communities.

Much is claimed for the transformative power of the arts. Driven by curiosity and a desire to understand how our work can be more effective we have been exploring those claims and examining them more closely. Drawing on evidence and research across a range of academic disciplines including psychology, sociology, philosophy, economics and neuroscience, this paper proposes a model for how the arts might create the conditions for kindness to grow. Defining kindness as something that goes beyond individual acts of generosity and thoughtfulness, we examine the potential of the arts to be at the heart of strengthening our capacity for empathy, friendship, social bonds and concern for others, including future generations.

People United thinks the arts have an important and unique role to play in exploring questions of kindness and inspiring change. This paper is just the beginning of our exploration, and we look forward to your creative ideas and thoughts on how we might develop it further.

You can download a copy here.

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Your Comments

I believe that the arts and kindness are intertwined because the arts are a true expression of a person's unique talents and kindness (which also includes interest, encouragement, and interaction with others) provides the environment to develop and explore one's artist creations no matter what the medium. Every artistic creation is unique like your thumb print. Yours and yours alone. If a small child makes their first crayon drawing and they get laughed at or ignored, then their first attempt at self expression is squashed. ENCOURAGEMENT is a wonderful thing. Barbara Blair from Lakehills, Texas

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