Evaluation Guides for Arts and Social impact

Evaluation Guides for Arts and Social Impact


The guides below are designed for artists and administrators who are using the arts as a mechanism to foster social change. They are based on our direct experience with arts clients working in 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 at Americans for the Arts (AFTA). As one of their national advisors, we provided text and guidance for the 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 bring about. 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 you select and the 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 think about and develop 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.