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Conflict Resolution and the Arts

NCJ Number
Marianne Klink; Donna Crawford
Date Published
June 1998
4 pages
This fact sheet describes onsite workshops for nine arts-based youth programs designed to teach youth conflict resolution (CR).
The workshops were designed to teach CR skills and processes to artists, program administrators, and staff; enable arts organizations to infuse CR principles and processes into the design of their youth programs; and strengthen the partnerships between arts organizations and community groups that support youth programs. Methods for integrating CR education into arts programs were also presented. The 2-day training workshops drew heavily on the creative ability of the artists to make use of CR processes and principles in their work with youth. Through interactive, experiential learning activities, participants explored five CR learning modules: understanding conflict, tools for de-escalating conflict, tools for resolving conflict, negotiation processes, and group problem-solving. Evaluations showed that all sites believed that staff training in CR was desirable and helpful. Those with extended and repeated involvement with individual youth (e.g., daily summer program, after-school programs) also believed that providing CR education for youth was viable. When staff used CR techniques, relationships with youth clients improved. Staff developed a better understanding of conflict and of the reactions and behaviors of youth. Tools for de-escalating conflict helped staff deal positively with unacceptable youth behavior. Organizations that participated in the Partnership for Conflict Resolution Education in the Arts during 1997 are listed.