Arts-based knowledge translation (ABKT) is a process that uses diverse art genres (visual arts, performing arts, creative writing, multimedia including video and photography) to communicate research with the goal of catalysing dialogue, awareness, engagement, and advocacy to provide a foundation for social change on important societal issues. We propose a four-stage ABKT planning framework for researchers: (1) setting goals of ABKT by target audiences; (2) choosing art form, medium, dissemination strategies, and methods for collecting impact data; (3) building partnerships for co-production; and (4) assessing impact. The framework is derived from examples across sectors of the different art forms currently being used in ABKT, and discusses how researchers have attempted to evaluate the impact of their ABKT efforts. Ultimately, our goal is to provide a practical ABKT framework to assist researchers, but more work is needed to explore the four dimensions in practice.
Interest in using arts-informed approaches within research to increase stakeholder engagement is growing; however, there is little work describing how these approaches are operationalised across contexts. This article addresses that gap by exploring the use of arts-informed approaches across three projects.
Aims and objectives:
We explore how conceptualising research and evaluation as creative endeavours, particularly in arts-informed approaches to co-production, create opportunities to move knowledge into action (knowledge mobilisation). We propose an actionable configuration of context + mechanism = outcome (CMO) to understand the influence of arts-informed approaches to co-production.
Multi-case design and cross-case synthesis was conducted of three studies that used arts-informed approaches. A common focus across our cases was evidence use in the K-12 education sector; however, each engaged with this focus by involving different types of evidence and sets of education stakeholders.
Arts-informed approaches and co-production were influenced by a variety of contextual factors such as relationships between researchers and stakeholders, ethical issues of collaborative research activities, approaches to meaningful stakeholder engagement, co-production of knowledge, capacity-building support and resources, and communication between multi-stakeholder partners. Outcomes included new ways of thinking about research topics based on arts-informed approaches, more positive attitudes about co-production, more relevant and useful research and evaluation findings, and increased openness to future co-productive work.
Discussion and conclusions:
Four propositions arising from this article include: (1) arts-informed approaches address context specificity and sensitivity; (2) arts-informed approaches promote engagement; (3) arts-informed approaches enhance and intertwine skills; (4) arts-informed approaches broaden thinking about impact.