Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Nonprofit Administration (MNA)


This study examines the role of the community arts in addressing social issues in communities. Using data gathered from community arts organizations in two San Francisco neighborhoods, this study examines the histories, missions, methods for measuring results and ideologies of San Francisco community arts organizations for the purpose of uncovering the development of the community arts movement in San Francisco, prevalent perceptions among practitioners about community art's ability to impact civil society and theories around why the community arts are an effective agent for effecting social change.

This study uncovers that the community arts grew out of a grassroots movement to improve community conditions and bring community members together. Using existing models of community sociology, this study concludes that the community arts have the ability to provide the links between individuals that makes one "identify with, feel a part of, and needed by a community." It further concludes that the reasons for this are that the arts are an inclusive form whose language is nonselective and that the arts have the ability to transform gesellschaft to gemeinschaft.