This National Endowment for the Arts Research Lab, in partnership with Tempe-based Childsplay Theatre company, will study the effects of the theater arts on individual and family wellbeing. Also In the pipeline are studies related to caregiving situations for people coping with cancer and PTSD.

Parallel to the Lab’s research activities is the development of collaborative research and practice frameworks that will guide others who seek to work at the intersection of the arts, caregiving, and research. We will look at larger questions of implementation and translation science that inform the cultivation of cross-sector partnerships and which allow these findings to travel from the lab to the settings where they will do the most good. Throughout our journey, we will highlight infrastructural considerations necessary to support the scientists, artists, humanists and community partners who wish to work together through effective and creative health collaborations.

Participatory Theatre for Families of Children with Special Needs

Liz Reifsnider and Stephani Etheridge Woodson, Co-PIs

A multi-week theater experience in partnership with Childsplay Theatre Company in which caregivers collaborate with their children on creative exercises and activities delivered to them in monthly imagination boxes. Exercises will center around the theater studio praxis which draws on a multi symbol system of visual art, sound, movement, and storytelling. The project will work to support joy building, creativity, and emotional wellbeing in the caregiver and child relationship.

See how we pivoted during the pandemic!

Music-Based Intervention for Veterans with PTSD and Their Family Members

David Coon, PI

The development of a new music-based intervention for veterans with PTSD and their family members (caregivers or care partners who are often their spouses, partners or siblings).

Technology-Enhanced Narrative Expression for Caregivers of People Living with Cancer

Shelby Langer, PI

Assessment of a smartphone- and web-based platform designed to provide a narrative emotional outlet for persons coping with cancer including caregivers. This project will be done in partnership with Cancer Support Community Arizona.

The opinions expressed in materials on this website are those of the author(s) and do not represent the views of the National Endowment for the Arts Office of Research & Analysis or the National Endowment for the Arts. The Arts Endowment does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information included in these materials and is not responsible for any consequences of its use. This NEA Research Lab is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts (Award #: 1862894-38-C-20).