International Journal of Art & Design Education

The Arts and People in Institutions

Volume 13.1   1994



The paper explores an important area of arts activity which falls between concepts of education and therapy. It examines the consequence of the increasing professionalisation of the arts in institutions which took place between 1950-1980, showing how it led to all arts activities in institutional settings being classified as therapy, training or rehabilitation. It charts the changes in attitude which have taken place over the past fifteen years and demonstrates that whilst freedom to become involved in creative activity should be seen as a basic human right, such engagement may, as a bi-product, offer benefits of a therapeutic, educational, social, recreational and commercial nature. Important and innovatory work is being carried out by artists working on creative projects with people in institutions and effective techniques are being developed by them in order to draw adults, with no previous experience of this kind of activity, into arts education.