Growing together in a creative community: The power of participation in an arts project with young migrants


Supporting young people with minority backgrounds may both strengthen their own health and society as a whole. The aim of the study is to explore how participation in a multicultural creative project affects the lives and health of young participants. Kaleidoscope is a multicultural art project where young people with different cultural backgrounds share their songs and dances, creating a combined performance with professional musicians. Does participating on this creative arena make a difference in young lives, and if so, how? A mixed-methods analysis of both quantitative and qualitative survey data (N = 102) shows that participation is important to most participants, providing opportunities to express themselves creatively and participate in a friendly community. The project is described as particularly important in hard times, as recently arrived in Norway, or while dealing with sadness or illness. Professionals can learn about what matters to these young people by collaborating and co-creating with them over time. Participation and creativity are not variables in an equation, but ways of being together that catalyze salutogenesis through meaningful experiences and mutual growth. Creative participation is therefore suggested for professionals as much as for the young people described here. The analysis points to the potential of participatory and cultural health promotion, particularly for groups in risk of marginalization.


DOI Code: 10.1285/i24212113v8i1p41

Keywords: Participation; Creativity; Co-create; Young migrants; Salutogenesis


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