Meanings of participation in a leisure arts pottery programme

M. Rebecca Genoe, Toni Liechty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Participation in creative arts programmes can have many benefits for both individuals and communities. Extant literature demonstrates that engagement in creative arts and crafts can enhance well-being, self-expression, and community involvement. Little research, however, has explored the meanings of participation in community-based leisure arts programmes in general; and there is a paucity of research investigating the meanings of participation in ceramics specifically. The purpose of this article is to explore the meaning of participation among students engaged in a community-based leisure arts pottery programme. Using a qualitative approach, we interviewed 14 pottery students to inquire into the meanings they attributed to engagement in pottery itself as well as being part of the community-based programme. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed, and analysed through initial and focused coding and constant comparison. Meanings of participation in the programme included having a creative outlet; building social connections; and self-care and personal growth. Participants valued the process of creating pottery and developing their skills over the final product and appreciated the opportunity to build friendships outside of work and to be part of a community of potters. The findings support previous research regarding benefits of creative arts, provide insight into the meanings of engaging in pottery specifically, and highlight the need for recognition of the role of community arts programmes for individual’s well-being.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-104
Number of pages14
JournalWorld Leisure Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 3 2017


  • Community-based programming
  • creativity
  • leisure arts
  • meanings
  • pottery
  • qualitative research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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