Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Donald C. Weaver

Second Advisor

Dr. William Buys

Third Advisor

Dr. Howard Poole

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Peter Schmitt


The goals of this study were: (a) to produce and test the impact of a film on public art in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and (b) to demonstrate through development and use of a film on public art how public art can contribute to the building of community.

A survey of public art in the United States suggests that people's commitment to their community can be influenced by their relationship with the public art in the community. In 1965 Congress created the National Foundation on the Arts and Humanities. Stimulated by that support over the past 15 years, works of art, funded by public and private sources, appeared on streets, in parks, and in buildings all over the country. Several federal agencies now include money for public art in their budgets. This funding recognizes that artists are a national resource, and that public art enriches individuals and communities by improving the quality of life.

For a city of its size, Kalamazoo, Michigan, has a tradition of unusual support for the arts. Within such an environment the arts have flourished, becoming an integral part of community life. Public art in the downtown area is symbolic of that support. The goals of this study were to produce a film to document and to celebrate this unique aspect of community life and to demonstrate the use of public art in building community.

The film "Art Is All Around Us" was produced to foster curiosity, to generate discussion, and to stimulate and enhance community through increased awareness and appreciation for the art resources in the community. Its intended audience is the general public. Paintings and sculptures in the film are on the interior and exterior of buildings, on the streets, and in Bronson Park. Architecture is represented by examples of design styles spanning the city's history. The film documents 16 sculptures, 11 paintings, and four buildings. The 22 minute, 16mm color, sound film gives viewers the rare opportunity to see and hear artists describe their work, to perceive it as the artists intended.

Gerald Nadler's model for the Process of Development was used to create a framework for developing the film. The key elements of Nadler's model are included in a sequence of events which documents the film's development process, including research, fund raising, project development, production, and distribution.

An evaluation procedure, administered to selected audiences who viewed "Art Is All Around Us," measured how effectively the film fulfilled its function. Evaluation results revealed a high level of understanding of the film's key components and indicated that the film appears to have a positive impact on individuals and the community.

The writer found the Nadler model to be helpful as a guide to researching and documenting the various aspects of community and to the development of the film regarding the use of public art in building community. Further, the writer recommends the documenting of public art via film as one means of developing awareness of and appreciation for community art resources.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access

Included in

Education Commons