Social capital and participation: The role of community arts festivals for generating well-being | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 9, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 2040-2457
  • E-ISSN: 2040-2465



Community arts festivals have a potential role in fostering social capital and population well-being. This small, exploratory study collected and analysed qualitative data from eight semi-structured interviews with festival organizers. Thematic analysis was applied to the interview transcripts. The findings suggest that festivals create bridging social capital. Festivals also stimulate self-efficacy, which facilitates participation, an emotional response and may lead to a sense of personal well-being, with a living legacy for the community. The article posits a model to articulate the suggested interrelationship between these concepts. Very little research exists on the contribution of arts festivals towards community health and well-being. This nascent research therefore adds to the body of knowledge, and suggests the importance of developing participatory activity at local arts and cultural festivals for community health and well-being.


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