The Scholar’s Eye

The Scholar’s Eye

A summary of arts-based research developing inquiry about theatrical arts, specifically theatre’s impact on and with communities.

With a growing body of research indicating  that lively arts activity in communities helps social cohesion, enhances well-being, and supports economic resilience, this is a key moment to be sharing thought-provoking research, critical analysis, and information on the topic of the arts’ roles in fostering community well-being.

In 2021, the Africana Repertory Theatre of IUPUI (ARTI)  conducted a survey of OnyxFest attendees. 

According to 116 respondents, 100 strongly agreed that the ARTI/ONYXFEST productions  “are an important cultural asset to our community.” There was a wide age range of attendees — from 20 to 60 years!

Most of the respondents that attended the play, The Price of Progress strongly agreed that the “play portrayed a genuine aspect of Black life.”  

When asked about the “strengths” of the Onyxfest performances the responses from the predominantly Black audience included: 

  • “Cast was very good/talented”
  • “Educational AND Entertaining” 
  • “Combination of music and history to create an engaging and informative experience”
  • “The music and singing”; 
  • “It helped me connect with community that I live in through educating me about the past”
  • “I enjoyed it all”
  • “The heritage, The true story” 
  • “Celebrates the history/legacy of Indiana Ave community”

According to the survey, 109 of respondents would recommend ARTI/ONYXFEST to their friends!