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A Phenomenological Study of Aesthetic Experience Within an Arts Council's Events and Programs: Finding Joy, Expression, Connection, and Public Good in the Arts
Smith, Katherine K.

2016, Doctor of Philosophy, Miami University, Educational Leadership.
City Township made a township-level decision to utilize arts events and programming to create community formation within its public. A non-profit entity entitled the Arts Planning Council was established to harness the aesthetic experience within the arts and to address the deep state cuts to the township budget. My aim was to understand the formation of a community based arts education program, how it contributes to the meaning and creation of community, how human connection is created through existential aesthetic experience, and how it can lend a feeling of communitas (V. Turner, 1969) among township members.
Through the interpretive discourse and the methodology of hermeneutical phenomenology, I analyzed how the Arts Planning Council made meaning of the aesthetic experiences that occurred in their arts events and programming that result in community creation. For two years, I functioned as a participatory observer and conducted formal and informal interviews with Arts Planning Council board members, township trustees, and township administrators. I applied horizontalization (Moustakas, 1994) to cluster significant statements from their accounts into consistent themes of understanding. Using the emerging themes of the arts as joy, the arts as expression, the arts as connection, and the arts as a public good as generative guides for writing, I divided the study into sections that elaborate on the phenomenon of the aesthetic experiences within the arts events and programming and how those experiences lead to community creation.
I concluded that the members of the Arts Planning Council and township trustees understand the receptive joy, expression, and connection derived from the liminal experience of the arts creation and participation. The resulting feeling of spontaneous communitas lends a desire to continue communitas into a normative state. Ultimately, desire engenders a joint aim to deliver the arts as an irreducible, social good. This idea interrupts the discourse that arts education should only occur in schools and makes the responsibility for educating the public one held by all township members. The result is an ecology of education built within the revitalized community of City Township.
Kathleen Knight-Abowitz, Ph.D. (Advisor)
177 p.

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Smith, K. (2016). A Phenomenological Study of Aesthetic Experience Within an Arts Council's Events and Programs: Finding Joy, Expression, Connection, and Public Good in the Arts . (Electronic Thesis or Dissertation). Retrieved from https://etd.ohiolink.edu/

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Smith, Katherine. "A Phenomenological Study of Aesthetic Experience Within an Arts Council's Events and Programs: Finding Joy, Expression, Connection, and Public Good in the Arts ." Electronic Thesis or Dissertation. Miami University, 2016. OhioLINK Electronic Theses and Dissertations Center. 23 Oct 2017.

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Smith, Katherine "A Phenomenological Study of Aesthetic Experience Within an Arts Council's Events and Programs: Finding Joy, Expression, Connection, and Public Good in the Arts ." Electronic Thesis or Dissertation. Miami University, 2016. https://etd.ohiolink.edu/

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