Youth Empowerment Through Arts Education: A Case Study of a Non‐Formal Education Arts Centre in Barcelona

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-2803

Article | Open Access

Youth Empowerment Through Arts Education: A Case Study of a Non‐Formal Education Arts Centre in Barcelona


  • Mariona Ferrer‐Fons Department of Political and Social Sciences, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain
  • Marta Rovira‐Martínez Department of Political and Social Sciences, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain
  • Roger Soler‐i‐Martí Department of Communication, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain


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Abstract:  This article discusses how non‐formal arts education attenuates socioeconomic and cultural barriers in a vulnerable context. Although cultural capital has usually been conceived as dependent on high socioeconomic status, we explore the inclusiveness of a project of non‐formal education and how it enhances the capacity of youth to achieve empowerment and self‐confidence through the arts. We analyse the case study of a non‐formal arts educational organisation located in a deprived neighbourhood of Barcelona (Spain) and identify several key factors associated with successful social inclusion and its limitations. We find that the pedagogical processes involved create both learning opportunities and social and interpersonal skills useful for the present and future lives of the young participants. Methodologically, the case study combines non‐participant observation of the different activities of the organisation and semi‐structured qualitative interviews with young people and educators. The article concludes with some recommendations for considering artistic non‐formal education as a tool in any social inclusion agenda.

Keywords:  artistic education; arts; empowerment; non‐formal education; social inclusion; vulnerable youth

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.17645/si.v10i2.4923


© Mariona Ferrer‐Fons, Marta Rovira‐Martínez, Roger Soler‐i‐Martí. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.