An exploration of artistic creation in makerspaces and youth identity
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The purpose of this qualitative case study was to understand how engagement in the arts in maker sessions might contribute to healthy identity development for youth experiencing risk factors in a maker-settings. Youth utilized different maker and technology tools, as well as art mediums. Data (observation notes, transcribed sessions, art creations, participants descriptions) was collected and analyzed from three participants to determine how they experienced the artistic process in the maker sessions and how this contributed to their identity formation. Findings indicate that the artistic process in the maker space program supported the youth’s identity formation in a positive manner, specifically in four domains: exploration, character and self-esteem, industry and confidence, and social and emotional competency. Although youth may not have reached full identity integration during this time, they were able to explore aspects of their identity in a safe and supportive environment and view themselves as artists and makers.