Community Arts, Employment and Poverty: Exploring the Roles of Musical Participation and Professionalisation in Health Equity

  • Klisala Harrison


Thousands of health studies correlate improved socioeconomic status with improved health; however, this author has published the first ethnomusicological studies about how musical arts engage social determinants of health, including socioeconomic status. This chapter identifies roles of musical participation and professionalisation in promoting health equity. Focusing on urban poor, and the promotion of professional employment in the arts, the chapter discusses possibilities of community arts participation and approaches for enhancing socioeconomic status. The main finding is that community arts approaches that pursue professionalisation on an ongoing basis are special when it comes to increasing socioeconomic status through the arts. Everyone who participates gains at least some socioeconomic status. If such professionalisation efforts are continued, the status increase can build continuously.



Many thanks to Savannah Walling of VMT for supporting the development of this chapter by sharing VMT research and publications as well as detailed and helpful writing suggestions. Thank-you to other community collaborators, especially Dalannah Gail Bowen, Terry Hunter, Priscillia May Tait and Kathryn Walker. Writing of this chapter was funded by the Academy of Finland.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Klisala Harrison
    • 1
  1. 1.University of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland

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