Date of Award

Summer 6-1-2024

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Courtnie Wolfgang

Second Advisor

Dr. Caitlin Black


Arts programming for underserved youth holds great significance in fostering holistic development, empowerment, and a creative outlet for students. This thesis dives into the importance of such initiatives by addressing the multifaceted needs of marginalized communities.The arts serve as a catalyst for self-expression, creativity, and emotional well-being, offering a platform for individuals to explore their identities and narratives. For underserved youth facing socio-economic challenges, access to arts programming can be transformative, providing avenues for personal growth, and empowerment. Through collaboration, exploration and experimentation I’ve investigated the ways in which underserved youth can benefit from artmaking, through a collaborative workshop titled “Collaborative Quilting.” I also look at what ways youth are affected by the lack of arts resources and where they face challenges and limitations.

Furthermore, community arts-based programs play an important role in offering students access to arts education. Through creative expression and collaboration, young people can make discoveries about their own creative voices, build confidence, and envision hopeful futures.

However, despite its proven benefits, access to quality arts programming remains at a disadvantage, with underserved communities disproportionately lacking resources and opportunities. Addressing these disparities requires concerted efforts from policymakers, educators, and community stakeholders to prioritize and invest in arts education and cultural enrichment.

In conclusion, arts programming for underserved youth is a crucial part of their access to art education. By nurturing creativity, fostering self exploration, and promoting experimentation, underserved youth have the potential to unlock their full potential. We must acknowledge the ways in which underserved students are not considered, and reflect upon the areas we continue to serve and the ones that are neglected.



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