Date of Award
“Be the change you wish to see in the world,” declared Mahatma Gandhi. There is a profound awareness of the need for change as individuals reflect on the impact of global and system challenges as well as community challenges. People cannot just “be the change” until they themselves are first changed. Beauty is a powerful catalyst for change that begins with the individual, expanding to the community. To solve community problems, program designers must find a way to unleash untapped creativity. This study explores the impact of engaging beauty via the arts (paintings, Mary Oliver poetry, and The Lark Ascending) on the lives of seven women (American and British South Asian) living in London. Using theories surrounding Barbara Fredrickson’s “broaden-and-build” work as well as Developmental Evaluation and Most Significant Change techniques, this multi-cultural and multi-sensory approach shows the powerful role of beauty and art to change individuals’ thinking and actions.
Musser, Rebecca Byrd, "Generative Beauty: How Engaging with Beauty Sparks Transformation" (2023). Honors Theses. 1667.