Helping funders and arts organizations realize their vision since 1996.
Our special thanks go to Callahan Consulting, whose written text and generous advice and collaborative work have added important substance and clarity to the [Impact Arts] site as a whole. Callahan’s extensive research… forms the heart of the site.
— Pam Korza and Barbara Schaeffer Bacon, Animating Democracy
In 2019, Suzanne Callahan and Katrina Bledsoe taught Culture and Context Matter: An Introduction to Culturally Responsive Evaluation at the National Performance Network Annual Meeting. This workshop shared with artists and presenters evaluation methods that fit their contacts and practices. Learn more about speaking and training here.
Suzanne Callahan founded Callahan Consulting for the Arts in 1996 to help artists, arts organizations, and funders realize their vision through services that include strategic planning, resource development, evaluation, research, and philanthropic counsel. Callahan brings 30 years’ experience as a national funder, having begun as Senior Specialist for the Dance Program at the National Endowment for the Arts and later run national funding initiatives. Among the company’s clients served nationally have been the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Association of Performing Arts Professionals, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, and Urban Bush Women. Her firm currently manages Dance/USA’s Fellowships to Artists program, and formerly managed their Engaging Dance Audiences and National College Choreography Initiatives. While at the NEA, she received a Distinguished Service Award for her leadership as Chair to the agency’s AIDS Working Group and for her efforts to address the issues of AIDS and health insurance for artists. The firm has conducted research on Small and Midsized Presenters (SAMP) for the Association of Performing Arts Professionals (APAP).
Her evaluation writings have been published in the Grantmaker for the Arts Reader, the Chronicle of Philanthropy, and the journals of national arts service organizations. Her book Singing Our Praises: Case Studies in the Art of Evaluation, published by APAP, was awarded Outstanding Publication of the Year from the American Evaluation Association (AEA). She also produced the Dance/USA book Dance from the Campus to the Real World (and Back Again): A Resource Guide for Artists, Faculty and Students; both of her books are used as college texts.
She has served as panelist or site visitor for the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, the New England Foundation for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, The Pew Charitable Trusts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation. A Certified Fund Raising Executive based in Washington, DC, she has spoken and published for many national and local arts organizations and funders including Dance/USA, the National Performance Network, the Association of Performing Arts Presenters, Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers and the Association Foundation Group.
A former dancer and dance teacher, Callahan holds a Master’s Degree in Dance Education from George Washington University, where she was awarded a graduate teaching fellowship, Professional Certification in Fundraising from George Washington University, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Policy from Northwestern University. She completed post-graduate study in program evaluation and research methods at George Washington University. She was appointed as Affiliate Researcher of the Center for Culturally Responsive Evaluation and Assessment at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
For some projects, Callahan Consulting engages in partnerships with other senior consultants, who are carefully selected for their expertise, skills, and/or artistic background.
For over 20 years, Katrina Bledsoe, a trained evaluator and social psychologist, has evaluated programs at the federal, state, and local levels. In her roles of principal investigator or project director, Bledsoe has secured grants and contracts to evaluate programs ranging from education to school-based health and mental health. She is a consultant or advisor to agencies including the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the National Science Foundation, Annie E. Casey Foundation and to schools, universities, and community-based organizations. Bledsoe has trained college students, evaluation practitioners, and nonprofit and government staff who wish to understand and conduct evaluations. She has taught graduate level courses at George Washington University and Claremont Graduate University. She is an advisor for the Center for Culturally Responsive Evaluation and Assessment of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Bledsoe’s writings address topics at the forefront of the professional evaluation field. Through chapters, articles, and blogs, her perspective provokes thought and informs practice in the areas of mixed methods, cultural responsiveness, and social psychology. She has written for journals such as the American Journal of Evaluation, New Directions in Evaluation, and Families in Society. She has also been published in edited volumes such as Qualitative Inquiry in the Practice of Evaluation; Continuing the Journey to Reposition Culture and Cultural Context in Evaluation Theory and Practice; the International Handbook of Urban Education; the Handbook of Mixed Methods Research; When Research Studies Go Off the Rails: Solutions and Prevention Strategies; Evaluation in Action: Interviews with Expert Evaluators; and Evaluation for Equitable Development Results.
Since completing his doctorate in Educational Research Methodology at the University of Virginia in 1998, Painter has held multiple academic positions, including at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and continues to serve as a consultant with professional evaluators. Over the course of his career he has been involved with a number of evaluation and data analysis projects, often as the lead analyst and data manager. Painter is highly experienced using SPSS, SAS, and SQL to extract and manage data, and is well versed in conducting statistical analysis ranging from descriptive to multivariable inferential. For the past three years, Painter has turned his attention to using data visualization techniques to summarize data and communicate results; and using predictive analytics to improve student educational outcomes. His teaching experience includes serving as a graduate student TA, where he tutored students and taught classes on regression analysis, analysis of variance, multivariate analysis, and SPSS programming. He has also taught graduate courses in Research Methodology.
Wayne works with nonprofits and has specialized in early childhood topics. She provides evaluation and data expertise to ensure program accountability and maximize available technology. After working as a toddler teacher at a childcare center and a case manager for families of children with cancer, Wayne obtained dual MSW and MSPH degrees, with an emphasis on maternal and child health. Based in North Carolina, she has worked in the Family Support Department and as a Special Projects Coordinator for T.E.A.C.H.(R) at Child Care Services Association. She now provides program evaluation, support, and monitoring for early childhood agencies and Smart Start local partnerships for children and youth in Caswell, Chatham, Guilford Dare, Orange, and Wake Counties in North Carolina.
Above: Suzanne Callahan (center) with Kennedy Center honorees Jawole Zollar (left) and Diane McIntyre (right).