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Spark Change

Measuring the Intrinsic Impact of Performing Arts on Children

Throughout New York City schools, New Victory has witnessed the performing arts’ powerful ability to inspire and ultimately change the lives of young people. As we come to understand the full scope and implications of Covid-19-related challenges and their effects on children’s social and emotional well-being, it is essential we equip our kids with the tools to process this trauma and move beyond it. As our research shows, the performing arts are uniquely situated to fill that need.

Research & Outcomes

Through New Victory SPARK, led by Courtney J. Boddie, Vice President, Education and School Engagement, New Victory was able to collect data from schools with no arts teachers or arts programming, and maintain a control group from the same student body.

Lindsey Buller Maliekel, Vice President, Education and Public Engagement, partnered with Dennie Palmer Wolf, Steven Holochwost and Alan Brown from the research firm WolfBrown to develop a rigorous research protocol measuring many impacts of the arts on young people, including children’s appreciation for artistry, the impulse to try new things, the capacity for self-reflection and an appreciation of someone’s life that is different from their own, among others.

Through this landmark study, we know that kids’ access to and engagement with the performing arts…

  • Cultivates an enduring love of the performing arts
  • Expands perspectives and interpersonal skills that strengthen teamwork
  • Inspires creative thinking, which encourages innovation and problem solving
  • Nurtures hope and improves self-confidence, which fosters optimism and resilience

Read the Research Report

Spark Change: The Impact of Performing Arts on Children,” a New Victory research report by New 42
Read Report

Related Reading:

Research Support

The New Victory longitudinal research study was made possible thanks to the generosity of The Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation.

Re-thinking Research and Practice

WolfBrown researcher Steven Holochwost writes on unexpected findings and the importance of not always relying on existing research.

Read Article