Project

ArtsEqual

Goal: The ArtsEqual research initiative, coordinated by the University of the Arts Helsinki, examines the arts as public service, with equality as the starting point, and explores how the arts can meet the social challenges of the 2020s.

In ArtsEqual, my research focuses on arts-based work in health, welfare and care contexts.

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Heidi Westerlund
added 12 research items
Leaning particularly on Zygmunt Bauman’s thoughts, this paper analyses past theorizations of music education, asking if these trends have created a value indifference and moral blindness in terms of who ‘we’ want to be in super-diverse societies. The paper pinpoints the need for a professional social epistemology in which social integration brings forth the use of moral imagination beyond the bounds of existing musical and educational practices whilst constructing the ‘we’. Post Second World War music education theorisation shunned the idea of schools as spaces of education fostering a ‘common culture’, an idea seen as characteristic of nationalistic music education. The cognitive turn towards individual knowledge construction, first manifested in the aesthetic approach and then followed by the ‘practice turn’ and rights-based multiculturalism, has focused on individual cognition and identities in relation to diverse musical practices. The paper argues that the increasing diversity, polarisation, and consequential policy demands for social integration now require that music education needs to return to moral questions about how we as a profession potentially construct ‘our life’ and ‘our values’ in educational contexts.
https://publish.iupress.indiana.edu/read/music-education-and-religion/section/638611b3-69b4-453c-8be2-c82cfe020097
By synthetizing a compilation of theoretical lenses and exemplifying narration in one institution's community building, this inquiry explores the idea of stories and narratives as important strategic agencies of change for music education professional communities. More specifically, it examines narrating as forward-looking and as a source for creating identities for academic communities and organizations, and how the meaning, related to narration, anticipates action. It also highlights the importance of identifying Future Narratives in nodal situations that present the potential for changing the course of action. Through theoretical exploration and practical illustrations, the inquiry aims to trace the connection between narration, meaning, action, and imagination in supporting the emergence of desirable scenarios as well as the significance of language and positive narration in developing a sense of transformative music education professionalism.
Tuulikki Laes
added a research item
Tarkastelemme artikkelissamme suomalaisten eläkkeensaajien taide- ja kulttuuriosallistumista ja osallisuutta hyvinvoinnin ja osallisuuden viitekehyksessä. Tutkimme, millaisena eläkeläisten taidetoimijuus näyttäytyy vanhuuseläkesiirtymässä sekä miten taidetoimijuuden aktiivisuus tai passiivisuus suhteutuu nykyisiin käsityksiin vanhuuden ikäkauteen kuuluvasta merkityksellisestä toiminnasta. Aineistona on eläkevakuutusyhtiö Ilmarisen asiakkaille toteutettu kysely (N=510), jossa selvitettiin vastaajien taide- ja kulttuuriosallistumisen tapoja sekä arvioita omasta hyvinvoinnistaan. Kyselyyn vastanneet jakautuivat neljään taidetoimijuusprofiiliin. Sosioekonomisilla tekijöillä ei ollut tilastollisesti merkitsevää yhteyttä taidetoimijuuden asteeseen. Sen sijaan vastauksissa korostui kokemus taiteiden ja kulttuurin merkityksestä omalle hyvinvoinnille taide- ja kulttuuriosallistumista selittävänä tekijänä. Hyödynnämme artikkelissamme myös kyselyä syventäviä, taiteisiin ja kulttuuriin passiivisesti suhtautuneiden vastaajien haastatteluja. Havaintojemme perusteella ehdotamme ja perustelemme toimenpiteitä taidetoimijuuden vahvistamiseksi työelämästä eläkkeelle siirtymisen vaiheessa.
Taru-Anneli Koivisto
added a research item
This policy brief is intended for healthcare authorities and health service organisations, producers of art, artistic activities, and art-related services, educators and students in the health and social service sector and the cultural sector, and decision-makers in all these fields. The policy brief aims to encourage health service organisations to pay attention to the cultural contexts of health and integrate culture and art into their activities to promote health and wellbeing. Photo: Matti Snellman/ HUS
Sari Karttunen
added 4 research items
Tarkastelen artikkelissani hybridisyys-käsitteen kautta yhteisöllisen taidetoiminnan luonnetta ja sen harjoittajien identiteettiä. Kysyn, ylittävätkö yhteisötaiteilijat työskentelyssään eri yhteiskuntasektorien rajoja ja sulautuuko heidän toiminnassaan yhteen useilta eri suunnilta tulevia elementtejä. Mille pohjalle yhteisötaiteilijan identiteetti rakentuu? Rajat rikkova moniammatillisuus ja uudet taiteilijatyypit Pohdin artikkelissani yhteisötaiteilijoiden toimintaa ja identiteettiä hybridisyyden käsitteen valossa. Testaan samalla empiirisen, useita taiteenaloja kattavan haastatteluaineiston avulla hybridisoitumisen käsitteen toimivuutta suhteessa yhteisötaiteilijoiden kasvavaan ryhmään. Hybridisoituminen kuuluu taiteensosiologisessa tutkimuksessa keskeisiin käsitteisiin, joilla viitataan taiteilijan ammatin ja roolin viimeaikaiseen muutokseen. Monet hybridisoitumiseksi lasketut piirteet näyttävät sopivan yhteisötaiteeseen, kuten taiteilijan roolin tavanomaistuminen, toiminta taideinstituutioiden ulkopuolella ja muidenkin kuin taiteen sisäisten tavoitteiden palveleminen. Hybriditaiteilijuutta ei kuitenkaan ole liiemmin tutkittu suhteessa sosiaaliseen praktiikkaan vaan huomio on kohdistunut kehityssuuntiin, joissa taide ja talous sekoittuvat.[1] Taiteilijan ammatin muutosta luonnehditaan usein monipuolistumisskenaarion avulla, ja siihen myös hybridisoitumisen käsite olennaisesti liittyy. Monipuolistuminen taas kytketään yleensä taiteilijoiden pyrkimykseen lieventää toimeentulonsa epävarmuutta taloudellista riskiä hajauttamalla. Merign Rengers ennakoi, että tulevaisuudessa autonominen taiteilijuus on mahdollista vain harvoille ja valituille. Valtaosa ammattikunnasta joutuu kohtaamaan entistäkin kovempia vaatimuksia tilaajilta ja taistelemaan toimeentulostaan. Rengers katsoo, että selviytyäkseen taiteilijan on muututtava nykyistä joustavammaksi, kaupallisemmaksi ja monitaitoisemmaksi.[2] Taiteilijan aseman muuttumista on selitetty viittaamalla taiteen "dedifferentiaatioon" tai ja "deinstitutionalisoitumiseen".[3] Termit kuvaavat tilannetta, jossa taiteen ja muiden yhteiskunnan sfäärien rajat liudentuvat, taideinstituution autonomisuus purkautuu ja taidetta määrittelevä erityislogiikka murenee. Tällöin taidetta ja taiteilijaa ei ole enää tarvetta eristää ulkoisilta Laajentuva taiteilijuus-yhteisötaiteilijoiden toiminta ja identiteetti hy.
The article presents the ArtsEqual initiative, which is funded by the strategic research council of the Academy of Finland. The six-year project, funded from a sub-programme aiming to increase equality in society, is constructed on the visionary question: What if the arts were understood to be an essential part of public services? The project sets out to identify mechanisms and remove barriers that hinder equality from being established both within the arts and through them in society at large. The project is multidisciplinary and draws largely upon participatory, practice-led methodologies. It is carried out in six research teams and in two phases, the first of which consisted of numerous arts interventions combined with research. The conclusive phase that links the findings and experiences from the case studies together via qualitative system analysis started in the beginning of 2018. The authors are leaders of two of the research teams, and here they present the entire research initiative as well as exemplary sub-studies from their own teams. They discuss the research project and the preliminary findings in view of the changing role of the artist in society, a shared problematic between their teams. They also reflect on the advantages and challenges that programmatic funding may bring to artistic practices and research.
Heidi Westerlund
added 2 research items
Expert musical memory has been the fundamental focus of research in the field of musical memory, and this line of research has demonstrably informed the ways memory is understood by the current generation of music professionals. In this theoretical inquiry, we draw on Foucault to first argue that the dominant Western classical music expert gaze in music and memory studies can be seen as a form of ocularcentrism. Second, due to this narrow gaze, the field also fails to recognise that the human memory system is characterised by a unique symbiosis of not just learning and remembering, but also forgetting, a potentially powerful theoretical aspect of memory in music education. Third, we argue that the recent 'genetification' of musical memory, together with the narrow expert gaze, may further reinforce old dichotomies between the talented and untalented, abled and non-abled. Through a critical lens towards the politics of knowledge production in memory studies, we argue that there is a need for a more critical, holistic and ethically reflexive understanding of memory in professional education in music and music education.
Sari Karttunen
added a research item
This article discusses the situation of Finnish visual artists, taking as its starting point ideas presented by Hans Abbing in his book Why Are Artists Poor (2002). The empirical data derive from a survey on young artists conducted at the end of 2017, including both open and closed questions. The questions chosen for analysis concern the definition of art and artists, the nature of the job of artist, the preferred and actual earnings methods and the role of grants. The article argues that although voicing in many respects pragmatic views concerning their job, many visual artists act upon the mythical conception of artist. Hence, they fall victim of their own ideology, only adding to the precarious situation for their part. In a country where the art market is lagging but the public training and support system is well developed, artists expect the state to provide for their practice and defy attempts to foster entrepreneurship. Obliterating the idea of selling products on the market, visual artists have started to redefine their role as public service providers that should be compensated for organizing exhibitions for the people. Visual artists moreover cherish the idea that art should be open to everybody. In these circumstances, in line with Abbing’s theory, the number of artists keeps on rising and their economy worsening despite increases in government support.
Heidi Westerlund
added 4 research items
This article addresses the discourse on social justice and inclusion in music education by exploring how educational systems can be transformed in the rapidly changing world of late modernity. We aim to show that one possible approach to tackling injustice in music educationat the micro level is to reflect on the possibilities for institutional change at the macro level. As an institutional context, we use Basic Education in the Arts, a characteristically Finnish system of extracurricular arts education. With the help of systems analysis and a case from the Arts as Public Service: Strategic Steps towards Equality (ArtsEqual) research project, we aim to show that the resilience of a music education system can be supported by institutional innovations that help to redefine the system’s purpose and identity and make its boundaries more flexible. Our case study, the Flora project, suggests that institutional innovation can lead to new insights on how social justice and inclusion may be enhanced within a music education system by opening its borders to the exchange of new information and resourcing options. However, to grasp the full import of such initiatives requires that policy makers and institutional leaders understand the need toreflect critically on the possibilities of institutional change, recognizing the important role that operators within the system can play in such change.
Alexis Kallio
added a research item
In this article, we report an instrumental case study of extracurricular music education as an arena and means for securing the capability for self-determination among Finland’s Indigenous Sámi population. Finland’s egalitarian approach to education is rooted in complex, and at times contradictory, colonial legacies, raising questions as to whether or not mainstream education systems afford the Sámi the capability to enact their human and constitutional rights to sustain and develop their own languages, cultures, and worldviews. Through a critical analysis of international and national policy documents, and interview data from four Sámi music educators in Finland, we consider the capability for Indigenous self-determination as essential criteria for enacting social justice in, and through, music education.
Heidi Westerlund
added a research item
In recent decades there has been a proliferation of neuromyths based on oversimplifications and over-generalisations of research findings. As part of a larger project that examines the societal impacts of the arts and arts education practices, this interdisciplinary collaborative study examines the translation of recent neuromusical research into the public domain, one of the main generators of neuromyths. We review the claimed benefits of musical engagement to other domains, and the ways that researchers discuss these claims. To accomplish this, we first provide a thematic analysis of the kinds of claims that are made in research texts. We analysed 76 review articles published between 2006 and 2016 that both concern brain imaging studies in humans and involve music. The analysis highlights the ways that researchers qualify the potential benefits of music. Second, we explore the ways that neuroscientists report their results to the public and the ways that these results are taken into public discourse. In order to do this we analysed the homepages of the researchers who published at least 2 review articles in our dataset, focussing on the media linked to their homepages. We also explored over 100 websites that mention the benefits of music and also refer to brain imaging research. These overviews allow us to show that the same criteria commonly applied in research are almost never applied in public discourse. We conclude that there is an ethical imperative for researchers to take care in presenting the research results of brain imaging studies to the larger public, and furthermore argue that there is an ethical obligation for researchers to speak out against misuse of research findings.
Anu Laukkanen
added a research item
The principles of culture for all and diversity are central in Finnish cultural policy concerning accessibility of art and culture. Although the concept of accessibility has its roots in disability studies and activism, the accessibility of art and culture has not been articulated from the point of view of critical disability research in the international culture policy conversation. Following disability researcher Tanya Titchosky we argue that accessibility can be considered as interpretation of relations between human and the environment they live in. In our analysis of culture projects that aimed making art and culture accessible for those living in social and health care institutions, we examine what kind of interpretations about those lacking access to arts and culture were constructed in the interviews of the personnel. How were the lack of art and culture or hindrance to art and culture defined? How was art and culture made accessible and how this was rationalized?We argue, that the figure of non-participant and its lack and need for art and culture was partly constructed as a rationalization for the culture projects we studied. This figure and the values attached to it may work as an obstacle in making arts and culture more accessible because it does not allow context-specific understanding of the conditions for participation in arts and culture. Keywords: Cultural participation, accessibility, arts for health, social and health services
Kai Lehikoinen
added 2 research items
The book introduces recent international research on the connections between the arts, culture, health and well-being. The introduction explains some key concepts such as cultural rights and cultural well-being. Five chapters focus on the well-being impacts of participation in the arts in relation to five target groups: young people, immigrants, people in late adulthood, disabled people, and mental health recoverees.
Arts-based initiatives have been increasingly introduced into elderly care in recent years in Finland. Consequently, there are more and more reports and dissertations that address such initiatives: their rationale, practices and impacts. Located at the interface between arts educational research and cultural health and well-being research, this article explicates the interpretative repertoires and dis- courses used to justify arts in elderly care in such documents. The article describes the discourse analytic approach used in the study. Text excerpts are introduced to illustrate the key interpretative repertoires and discourses identi ed from the data, including discourses on (1) physical and mental health, (2) meaningful life, (3) cul- tural rights, (4) care ethics and (5) employment. It is argued that how the role of the arts in elderly care is articulated depends on the particular interpretative repertoires and discourses that provide justi cation statements for their argumentative lever- age in the contexts where they are addressed.
Eeva Anttila
added a research item
Yhteiskunnan monimuotoistuminen heijastuu koulumaailmaan monella tavoin. Se näkyy erityisesti oppilaiden erilaisina kulttuureina ja uskontoina ja on luonut tarpeen kehittää liikunnanopettajien kulttuurienvälistä osaamista. Kulttuurienvälisellä osaamisella tarkoitamme muun muassa omien, kulttuurisidonnaisten ajatusmallien tiedostamista, vuorovaikutustaitoja sekä kykyä toimia eri kulttuureista tulevien ihmisten kanssa tilannekohtaisesti. Suomesta puuttuu lähes kokonaan tutkimus, jossa tarkastellaan kulttuurienvälistä osaamista liikuntakasvatuksen kontekstissa. Tartumme tähän aiheeseen selvittämällä liikunnanopettajaopiskelijoiden kokemuksia, kun he kohtasivat kulttuurisesti monimuotoisia ryhmiä liikunnallisissa kielityöpajoissa. Tutkimusaineiston hankimme havainnoimalla työpajoja ja haastattelemalla kirjallisesti niitä ohjanneita opiskelijoita. Aineiston analysoimme temaattista analyysiä hyödyntäen. Jäsensimme aineistosta kolme pääteemaa: tunteiden ja käsitysten yhteenkietoutuneisuus, yhteenkuuluvuuden rakentuminen kehollisen vuorovaikutuksen avulla sekä liikunnalliset kohtaamiset kulttuurienvälisen osaamisen kehittymisessä. Tutkimuksemme tukee käsitystä siitä, että toiminnallinen vuorovaikutus eri kulttuureista tulevien ihmisten kanssa, näihin kohtaamisiin liittyvät tunnekokemukset sekä omien käsitysten ja kokemusten pohdinta ovat tärkeitä tekijöitä opiskelijoiden kulttuurienvälisen osaamisen kehittymisessä. Tällainen muutosprosessi voidaan paikantaa transformatiiviseksi oppimiseksi, jossa aiemmat käsitykset, totunnaiset ajattelu- ja toimintatavat muuntuvat. Esitämme tutkimuksen johtopäätelmänä, että toiminnalliseen vuorovaikutukseen kulttuurisesti monimuotoisten ryhmien kanssa tulisi suunnata enemmän huomiota ja resursseja kaikessa opettajankoulutuksessa.
Sari Karttunen
added a research item
Festivals currently function as crucial actors and platforms in the production, distribution and consumption of the arts and culture. They have proven to produce valuable effects on the cultural, social and economic dimensions, both directly and indirectly. In cultural policy discourse festivals are sometimes defined as a 'Swiss army knife' that is expected to serve a variety of goals concurrently. Festivals are moreover seen as an agile, flexible and cost-effective way of guaranteeing arts and culture provision today. Our paper focuses on the relation of public cultural policy to festivals in Finland. In December 2016 the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture released the first ever action plan for arts and culture festivals. We look into the processes leading to the policy document and assess its contents against the overall framework of cultural policies in Finland and the role of festivals in Finnish cultural life. Having served as research-based experts in the process leading to the action plan, we pose such questions as: How are festivals strategically positioned in cultural policies? How can the state steer the multitude of independent festival actors and make sure that its policy targets are realised? What are the prospects that festivals will fulfill the expectations that cultural policy assigns upon them? The implementation of the government action plan for festivals has only just begun, hence our reading remains provisional and tentative. Still, the action plan may be interpreted as an official recognition of the increasingly important role of festivals in the cultural production cycle ('festivalisation'). The document bases the cultural policy promise of festivals both upon their artistic-cultural gains and the expected social and economic returns, combining intrinsic and instrumental value. In the future the Ministry will concentrate on selected key festivals, while the rest will be delegated to Arts Promotion Centre Finland. This may help in profiling between the different types of festivals and the policy targets set for them. It is nevertheless to be expected that the government will have difficulty in orchestrating the motley field toward its cultural policy goals. Platforms for dialogue with independent festival organisers, other funders and other stakeholders will have to be invented; and lastly, more developed tools are needed for assessing festival activities and the achievement of policy goals through funding and steering the activities otherwise.
Heidi Westerlund
added a research item
Although rituals are considered central to human life, scholarship on rituals in music education is sparse. This may be due to a more general emphasis on the individual and private at the expense of the social and public aspects of music in education. This article highlights the educational value of school rituals in festivities and celebrations, arguing that there is a need to revisit the idea of musical performance as ritual from an educational perspective. By leaning on anthropological viewpoints, musical performances in school rituals are seen as having a central place in youth life and as revealing a school's core values: rituals are considered as social arenas where students can enact who they are and gain implicit knowledge that guides them on an embodied way. They also aid students to explore, affirm, and celebrate their important life relationships. School rituals, however, involve a pedagogical paradox: they not only manifest traditional values and the prevailing order, but may also reflect and actively promote desired changes. Therefore, school rituals and musical performances in rituals should be constantly re-evaluated from an educational perspective so that they can function as critical educational-culture machineries for conscious change.
Heidi Westerlund
added a research item
In this chapter I argue that the profession of education needs to engage more actively in reflecting how the current societal changes challenge our prevailing understandings of diversity and suggest that intercultural identity be considered as a project identity for teachers who wish to meet the social needs of 21st-century superdiverse societies. There is a need to consider teacher’s identity work beyond poly-cultural omnivorousness and to reconstruct teacher education through collective identity work which strives towards creating solidarity in and through ‘imagined communities’. This kind of identity work is not grounded on ‘neutral’ knowledge, but is a resource for teacher reflexivity that can deal with ambivalence, social struggle and change. It could be developed collaboratively by consciously positioning teachers at the heart of societal transformation. The chapter takes music teacher education as an example.
Heidi Westerlund
added a research item
Disability is a neglected field of diversity within music education scholarship and practices. The study reported in this article sought alternatives for the hierarchical practice-model and ableist discourses that have thus far pervaded music teacher education, through a reconceptualization of expertise. The focus is on a Finnish university special education course, where musicians with learning disabilities conducted workshops for student music teachers over three consecutive years. Student teachers’ written reflections (n = 23) were reflexively analyzed in order to examine how performing disability may disrupt, expand, and regenerate normative discourses and transform inclusive thinking in music teacher education. Performing disability is here seen to generate critical discursive learning, and create third spaces for pedagogical diversity and the co-construction of professional knowledge. It is thus argued that through teaching with, and by, rather than about, we in music education may move beyond normalizing understandings and practices of inclusion, towards an expanded notion of professionalism.
Kai Lehikoinen
added 48 project references
Kai Lehikoinen
added a project goal
The ArtsEqual research initiative, coordinated by the University of the Arts Helsinki, examines the arts as public service, with equality as the starting point, and explores how the arts can meet the social challenges of the 2020s.
In ArtsEqual, my research focuses on arts-based work in health, welfare and care contexts.