First Advisor

Dr. Linda Land-Closson


Prof. Linda Irwin


Regis College

Degree Name


Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Number of Pages



Inspired by her own work in the art programs in Denver’s own The Gathering Place, the author explores the role that art programs play in the lives of people experiencing poverty. This interdisciplinary thesis challenges our traditional notions of poverty-alleviation services that would construe art programming as a misappropriation of limited resources. The author explores social isolation and social exclusion in the lives of people experiencing poverty through the broad framework of intersectionality. Art programming is offered as one potential way we could navigate intersectional concerns of exclusion, and this programming is explored through the framework of Relational-Cultural Theory. Art Programming offers to people experiencing poverty social connection, which enables financial independence, close bonds with other participants, individual rehabilitation, and the chance to be integrated and make an impact on the broader community. For these reasons, Art programs can be a powerful tool in changing the lives of people experiencing poverty.

Date of Award

Spring 2020