Helping funders and arts organizations realize their vision since 1996.


Our Approach to Arts Evaluation

Evaluation and measurement are often crucial to obtaining funding. But artists, faculty, and arts organizations
are sometimes expected to use evaluation methods that were not designed to measure the unique aspects
and outcomes of their arts programs.

Using the right methods can demonstrate the value and benefits of arts programs.

Callahan’s depth of understanding and commitment to the field provides us with an essential text and guidance that translates intimidating concepts into manageable practice.

—Kim Chan
Former Director of Programming, Washington Performing Arts Society

Read guides on Evaluation including our Evaluation Glossary.

Discover our specific approach regarding Evaluation for Arts and Social Impact.

A Creative Solution

Our work has three guiding principles:

  • The creative process is central to our evaluation approach.
  • Our clients – artists, colleges, and arts organizations – are key participants in their own evaluations.
  • Our senior staff – with both graduate level training in evaluation and extensive experience in the arts field as artists, educators, and arts administrators – provide specialized knowledge to clients.

Evaluation can – and should – be a creative process that emulates what takes place in the artist’s studio. You bring the unique insights about your creative process, programs, and context. We bring arts evaluation and research expertise. Together, we create the tools and process that document, measure, and share your story and impact.

Measuring Your Success

Our approach to evaluation can be tailored to:

  • Philanthropy, such as how a grant portfolio meets a foundation’s goals, and can be presented to its board.
  • The Creative Process, such as how the commission of new art is experienced by the artists involved and the audiences who attend performances.
  • Arts Service Delivery, such as a national association that wishes to learn about the quality of its services from its members.
  • Arts Education, such as a school system or charter school that wants to assess its in-school programs according to the language art standards. Or, a college department that wants to develop a meaningful approach to its own accreditation process.
  • Arts in Healthcare, such as how an arts program affects patients and caregivers in a healthcare environment.
  • Arts and Social Impact, such as how artists’ community-based programs can change attitudes or encourage action about an issue of civic or social importance. 

A Flexible Framework

The firm matches your evaluation needs with customized evaluation services. We offer a range of opportunities to collaboratively plan and implement your evaluation design:

  • Half or full day training introduces the principles, leaving you with an overview of the process and a new way of thinking about evaluation, along with several introductory tools. Appropriate for conferences and small or large groups.
  • One-on-one consultations for funders or arts administrators, usually conducted on-site, gives tailored guidance on your specific programs, and customized data collection instruments.
  • Ongoing consultation as programs are underway allows arts organizations or faculty to take advantage of specialized expertise as they need it, in areas such as data collection and analysis. 
  • Full scale evaluation can be provided after initial planning. Organizations that are too busy with their own responsibilities can turn over the data collection, analysis, reporting, and even board presentations to us.
  • Fundraising consultation guides you in framing your evaluation findings in reports and presentations to funders, boards, or the leadership of large institutions.

Expertise in Arts Evaluation and Education

Staff and Senior Consultants bring expertise in evaluation and research methods. They are also artists themselves and have taught art.