Helping funders and arts organizers realize their vision since 1996.

Evaluation Guides for Arts and Social Impact

[Since your training] People are beginning to see program in a new light — as truly centered on the student’s experience rather than from a functional, administrator’s or instructor’s perspective. And we owe so much of our success in this work to you. Thanks again for lighting the fire!
—Scott Lundius
Former Director of Education, Marwen

As Affiliate Researcher at the Center for Culturally Responsive Evaluation and Assessment (CREA) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Callahan published a blog entry about the effects of COVID on the arts industry. Read it here.

About

These guides are designed for artists and administrators working in arts and social change. Based on our direct experience with arts clients, they address areas such as genocide, mental illness, after school arts education, arts in healthcare, and residencies for college students.

These guides were part of our extensive work on the website IMPACT Arts for the Arts and Civic Engagement Impact Initiative of Animating Democracy. As one of their national advisors, we provided text and guidance for their original website, and created an extensive database of resources and tools that can help you better evaluate and report the social and civic outcomes of creative work that aims to make social change. Visit this resource.

Outcomes Worksheet

This worksheet helps you to better frame the kinds of change your programs seek to foster. Arts practitioners can learn to categorize their own impact by considering these 22 outcome categories, most of which are drawn from the work of Michael Quinn Patton, and the ways in which they relate to arts-based social impact projects.
Download the Outcomes Worksheet. (174 KB PDF)

Guiding Questions for Process Evaluation

This tool provides questions for evaluators to ask when designing process or implementation evaluations.
Download Guiding Questions. (107 KB PDF)

Evaluation Plan Worksheet

This template helps summarize your evaluation plan. Starting with your desired outcomes, it helps track the indicators and data collection strategies you choose. The example is a hybrid project that involves social impact and arts education.
Download the Evaluation Plan. (122 KB PDF)

Data Collection Worksheet

This worksheet helps you to consider and select data collection strategies. It connects highlights of your evaluation plan (including outcomes and indicators) to details about data collection.
Download the Data Collection Worksheet. (70 KB PDF)

Examples of Purposeful Sampling

This guide gives examples of purposeful, as opposed to random, sampling. It is designed to show the difference between selecting typical and atypical cases, as well as selecting a representative range of cases.
Download Examples of Purposeful Sampling. (74 KB PDF)

Field Study

Moments of Transformation: Rha Goddess’s LOW and Understanding Social Change
Completed for AFTA, this case study focuses on the impact of artist Rha Goddess’s one-woman performance, LOW, on audiences’ attitudes, beliefs, and perceptions about mental health and illness.

Singing Our Praises: Case Studies in the Art of Evaluation

This book demystifies evaluation by highlighting examples of how arts presenters have used it to learn about their success. Honored by the American Evaluation Association, Singing Our Praises received the AEA’s sole national award for a publication in 2005.
Learn more about the book.
Download a summary of the book. (14 KB PDF)
Download the Press Release on the AEA 2005 Publication Award. (89 KB PDF)
Purchase the book.