Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)

Degree Level



School of Social Work


Kim Stauss

Committee Member

Jacob Goffnett

Second Committee Member

Adrienne Callander


Public Art, Public Spaces, Social Work


Where we live and how we feel about this environment shape our quality of life. Our geographical location can contribute to our self-perceptions and bond-forming. These are each prioritized by the National Association of Social Workers’ (2021) ethics as essentials for overall health. The areas we live in steward different resources to meet local needs and priorities, ultimately achieving varying impact. Minimal, if any, research exists on topics such as Springdale, Arkansas’ public art, the impactful qualities of public art as defined by members of the public, and how the public art may change individuals’ navigation of and interactions within public spaces. This qualitative research used purposive interviews with Northwest Arkansas residents to explore the impact of downtown Springdale’s public art on locals’ lives and their social network diversity. Throughout the interviews several themes emerged. These include notions that the public art’s impact on an individual is driven by the individual’s 1) relationship with the art’s setting, 2) self-identified commonalities with the art’s content, and 3) perceptions of self. Implications for social work practice, policy practice, and future research are listed.