The APRG is a pioneering multi-disciplinary research group that meets most months to discuss and disseminate ideas exploring the impact of the arts on prosocial attitudes and behaviour. Hosted and led by the Centre for the Study of Group Processes at the University of Kent with People United, the group draws expertise from across the academic and voluntary sectors.
The APRG is an initiative of The Centre for the Study of Group Processes, part of the School of Psychology at the University of Kent, Canterbury (UKC) and the arts charity People United. Together we have worked on a number of projects over the last 13 years, developed an Arts and Kindness model (published in Arts and Kindness by Broadwood, Andrews, Abrams and Van de Vyver, 2012) and produced a plethora of supporting research evidence.
Throughout this collaboration, there has been a marked increase in interest in the specific work of UKC and People United and the field of the arts, creativity and prosocial behaviour in general.
In an increasingly complex and fragmented world, we believe that there is a pressing need to explore and share research that aims to build cohesion, active citizenship, understanding and tolerance.
The APRG has a number of key aims:
- To provide a platform to explore the role of the arts in influencing attitudes and action.
- To cultivate new ideas and to stimulate more research in the area. The APRG will provide the opportunity to discuss related theory and application. This will allow us to build upon the current Arts and Kindness model.
- To raise the profile of arts and the prosocial field of work.
- To disseminate research findings and discuss how they can be used to best influence policy and practice.
- To work across disciplines, enabling academics, professionals and practitioners to share knowledge between and within a variety of different fields. It will be an opportunity to connect and develop collaborations.
- To draw further attention to and raise the position of the School of Psychology, UKC as a hub for this research.
The APRG is coordinated by the Creative Programmes team at People United with support from Shazza Ali (UKC) who is a PhD psychology student at UKC who obtained an ESRC studentship in collaboration with People United.
The APRG is open to all interested in the area of arts and prosocial behaviour. We anticipate that the key participants will include:
- Psychology students and academics from UKC and other universities
- Students and academics from other disciplines at UKC and other universities (for example across the arts and humanities)
- Arts organisations
- Voluntary/ third sector organisations
- Government and policy organisations
- The APRG meet on the first Monday of most months at the UKC campus for two hours.
- First hour: Introductions, keynote presentation (semi-formal) followed by Q and A.
- Second hour: News and updates, discussions, group activities, individual contributions, sharing and problem solving.
- Annual events (e.g symposiums/conferences) at the UKC campus and the innovation centre.
Please see People United’s events page for up to date information including venue information and speakers.