Exploring arts-based inquiry is a program at UBC, Facilitators: Susan M. Cox and Darquise Lafrenière with additional guest-experts. Poetry, drama, dance song and a variety of visual arts are emerging as promising avenues for innovation in qualitative research in fields such as education, healthcare and law. Drawing on the expertise of both artists and researchers, this intensive program offers a practical framework for understanding and developing arts-based approaches to inquiry and knowledge dissemination. The summer institute context includes presentation, the exploration of key issues and concepts, and offers participants opportunities for hands-on experimentation, networking and exchange.

Day 1: Exploring the Historical and Theoretical Dimensions of Arts-Based Inquiry/Crafting
Facilitators: Susan M. Cox and Darquise Lafrenière

Morning – Theory and concepts
Increasingly, researchers in a variety of disciplines use arts-based methods of inquiry for generating and interpreting research data and representing research findings.  In this opening session, we will make use of examples from many different fields to explore the history and theory of arts-based modes of inquiry, and compare and contrast the varied contexts in which they are employed.

Afternoon – Experiential activities
We will explore, through a series of short presentations, dialogue and practical exercises, several approaches to the use of poetry as a means of understanding and expression as well as a tool for conducting and representing social research. Using your own or a provided data set, we will also create and display ‘found’ poetry.

Day 2: Considering the Ethical and Social Implications of Arts-Based Inquiry/ Inquiring Through Visual Arts
Facilitators: Susan M. Cox and Darquise Lafrenière
Guest Expert: Vjeko Sager

Morning – Theory and concepts
As is the case with many forms of research, arts-based approaches have significant ethical and social implications for participants, researchers and artists-creators. In this session, we will make use of examples from many different fields to unpack some of the issues commonly encountered in using arts-based methods of inquiry in various settings. A DVD featuring an experimental performance using four different arts-based methods will prompt reflections and discussion about the creative process and the issues it raises.

Afternoon – Experiential activities
During the afternoon, Vjeko Sager, an active artist and accomplished educator, will guide us through a series of approaches to using images, visual art and related techniques for arts-based inquiry. There will be an opportunity to experiment with photographic images, drawing, painting and collage and consider various modes of display.

Day 3: Examining Challenges and Opportunities Emerging from Arts-Based Inquiry/Identifying and Developing Topics of Interest and Seeking Advice on Projects
Facilitators: Susan M. Cox and Darquise Lafrenière

Morning – Theory and concepts
The field of arts-based inquiry has flourished in the last decade.  There are, however, many new challenges and opportunities associated with such rapid growth.  In this session, we will examine some of the most controversial issues (such as assessing the quality of arts-based work and competence of arts-based researchers) as well as some of the pressing concerns related to obtaining funding and support or networking in the area of arts-based research.

Afternoon – Project development
This segment of the workshop will be tailored to your specific needs and interests.  Throughout the first three days of the workshop,  you will be invited to submit any arts-based ideas or topics that you would like to discuss and develop further.  You may want to take the opportunity to seek  advice on an arts-based project you are currently working on or planning to design. Or you may wish to develop specific skills. Time will be allocated to meeting your specific needs.

Day 4: Performing Arts-Based Theatre/Preparing your Arts-Based Inquiry Project
Facilitators: Susan M. Cox and Darquise Lafrenière
Guest Expert: David Beare

Morning – Experiential activities
We will explore with David Beare, a talented performer and educator, theatre as a performative method of inquiry. We will participate in theatre games and hands-on exercises to develop practical skills in transforming our understanding or observations of the world into a dramatic form. Dialogue will allow us to focus on how this works and what the process has to offer researchers in various fields.

Afternoon – Integration of learning
We will use the second portion of the day to work on an arts-based project.  There will be plenty of opportunity to experiment with your own research or other data or to work with data that will be provided for you. The project may involve the creation and display of poetry and visual art and/or a dramatic performance or perhaps a blend of all three.

Day 5:  Presenting your Arts-Based Inquiry Project
Facilitators: Susan M. Cox and Darquise Lafrenière

The final day will centre on sharing and discussing the projects you are engaged in creating. Using whatever forms of presentation or performance you wish, you will present to the group your arts-based project (whether complete or in-progress), and have the opportunity to reflect, with your co-participants, on practical, ethical or theoretical dimensions of the work. The session will conclude with a celebratory lunch.

More information on http://www.lifeandcareer.ubc.ca/summer/

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