BUILDING SOCIAL CAPITAL THROUGH INTERGENERATIONAL ART PARTICIPATION: AN ANALYSIS ON TRENDS IN GENERATIONAL SOCIAL CAPITAL
Degree awarded: M.A. Performing Arts. American University Numerous studies claim that social capital is declining in the United States. This thesis explores how the use of intergenerational arts activities can create social capital. Through a review of social capital literature and a qualitative study of Elders Share the Arts' intergenerational arts program, Generating Community, findings suggest a significant correlation between bridging generational relationships through art while increasing social capital measures. Based on interviewing staff, interpreting evaluation data, reviewing multi-media materials, and participating in an intergenerational session, I argue that organizational evaluation measures are essential for making community building claims and will contribute to research, cultivate relationships with participants, and provide hard data for future funding.