The George Mason University Arts Research Center is a multidisciplinary research center involving the expertise of three faculty members at George Mason University, with a focus on arts engagement, child development, and education. The overarching goal of the Mason Arts Research Center is to investigate the role and effects of arts engagement, across all art forms, on social and emotional development in educational, out of school, and other contexts. This center is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts as part of its Research Labs program. For more on the NEA Research Labs program, click here.

Principal Investigators

Dr. Thalia Goldstein

 Dr. Goldstein is Assistant Professor of Applied Developmental Psychology at George Mason University.  More…

Dr. Adam Winsler

Dr. Winsler is a Professor of Applied Developmental Psychology and Associate Chair for graduate studies in the Psychology Department at George Mason University.  More…

Dr. Kimberly Sheridan

Dr. Sheridan is an associate professor with a joint appointment in Educational Psychology and Art Education at George Mason University. More…


Improvisational Theatre May Help Improve Self Concept
by Thalia R. Goldstein and Brooke DeBettignies Improvisation (“Improv”) theatre has been made famous by Saturday Night Live, books by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, Whose Line is it Anyway, and many others. Improv is often pointed to as a way for groups of people to bond, to increase confidence, and to have some…
Developing Wonder: Theatre for Babies?
Reposted from Psychology Today, April 29, 2019. You have probably heard of theater for young audiences, but did you know there is a theater for babies? In fact, some of the most experimental and boundary-pushing contemporary live performance around the world is being made for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers. Artists who make work…

Sponsors and Arts Partners

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