Arts & Technology in Community Development
by Matthew A. Davis
June 26th, 2021
The purpose of this project was to provide community leaders, community developers, and educators with the impact of arts and technology programming on youth outcomes from the southside of Houston. The findings presented concrete evidence regarding these programs’ effectiveness and the positive impact on community development, particularly in low-income sectors of their community. The end goal was to present the youth on Houston’s southside with better options that could lead to sound educational foundations, long-term careers, and wholesome godly livelihoods and futures. Using asset-based community development (ABCD) and transformational leadership perspectives and the proven track record for youth engagement in arts and technology programming, I explored the effects of youth growing up amid similar social, economic, and spiritual disparities and the impact these programs have had upon their outcomes. With a qualitative research methodology involving interviews (from practitioners), surveys (from present-day adult learners), and focus groups (from facilitators and instructors), the data supported a positive impact upon the youth, the surrounding community, and other participants as well. The participants included practitioners of the arts, adult learners in technology, professors of mathematics, and pastors. They presented the benefits and challenges common in each of these careers and positively influenced participating youth through their examples. The positive impact on community improvement, transformation, and development was overwhelmingly in favor of arts and technology programs. The research overwhelmingly proved that to build healthy community relations, exposure to practitioners and expressions of spiritual ideas produced positive outcomes for youth participating in arts and technology programs.