Graduation Date


Document Type

Master's Thesis


Master of Science



Program Director

Jennifer Lucko, PhD

First Reader

Jennifer Lucko, PhD

Second Reader

Whitney Hoyt


Previous research on the benefits of art classes beyond being a creative outlet show that art classes can be a good place for students to practice being a better citizen. However, in the research there is a lack of the student view on completing a socially engaged art (SEA) project and what they learned from it. The purpose of my research was to understand student perception of socially engaged art, as well as to explore the skills learned from art that can help students be socially active in their communities. More specifically, this research shows that art classes teach skills that are beneficial to students in helping them become better citizens and connect with their community. A mixed methods approach was used in order to have a well-rounded understanding of the students’ views on art classes and completing the SEA project. Post project interviews with students show that many students were not aware of the potential for art to be a voice for their opinions, and that they were considering how to continue to use their art to speak out for what they believe in. Students also enjoyed participating in an activity that was purposeful, and many felt that completing the SEA project made them practice real life skills. This evidence suggests that implementing SEA projects in the art curriculum allows students a chance to practice being a democratic citizen.