Blog Posts for Research

Why Evaluation?

Posted by Maurine D. Knighton, Oct 26, 2015 0 comments

“Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.”  Undoubtedly, we’re all familiar with this quote, which is popularly but erroneously attributed to Albert Einstein.  (In fact, this statement first appeared in 1963 in Informal Sociology: A Casual Introduction to Sociological Thinking,” written by sociologist William Bruce Cameron.) 

Whether or not Einstein said it originally, there’s irrefutable truth in the statement. And, this idea causes us to think about two key aspects of evaluation and assessment: what’s the best way to measure what we believe we can, and how to deal with the “unmeasurable.” 

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Dispatches from the Evaluation Learning Lab

Posted by Alicia Gregory, Oct 26, 2015 0 comments

In 2014, Animating Democracy, in partnership with the Art x Culture x Social Justice Network (ACSJN) and the Nathan Cummings Foundation launched the Evaluation Learning Lab. The lab builds practical knowledge and resources in three areas as they relate to arts and social change projects and programs:  measuring social impact, evaluating artistic/aesthetic dimensions, and equalizing power in evaluation.

Over the past year, guided by the Lab’s theory of change, we’ve gathered 20 artists, arts practitioners, funders, and evaluators in learning exchanges that combined case studies, presentations and discussion around existing evaluation theories and approaches, analysis of current frameworks, criteria, guidelines, and tools, and development of new tools for ethical practices.

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It’s not about marketing

Posted by Ms. Sarah Lutman, Oct 23, 2015 0 comments

There’s a very specific reason we pitched a session to the National Arts Marketing Project Conference on behalf of the Philadelphia-based Wyncote Foundation.

In a year’s research in 2014, we set out to understand the conditions and capacities that are encouraging innovation in the deployment of digital technology in the cultural sector, particularly among legacy cultural institutions. 

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The Impact of the Arts in the Innovation Era

Posted by Ms. Stacy Lasner, Oct 22, 2015 0 comments

In 1883, John Michael Kohler, who was in the business of making cast iron farm implements and cemetery crosses, looked at a watering trough and realized he could add four ornamental feet to transform it into the company’s first bathtub. 120 years later, that same innovative spark is what turned a simple dorm room project into Facebook, a $200 billion company that changed the world and ignited a new era in entrepreneurial innovation.

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Teaching Arts Education Advocates

Posted by Jennifer Katona, Oct 21, 2015 0 comments

How many of us have had the conversation around Arts Integration and Arts for Arts sake? Value in both right? We know from countless examples and research studies that the best benefit to a child is to have a arts specialist, arts integration AND a teaching artist to provide the ‘expert’ outside perspective. This is something I know in my core –something I teach my graduate candidates at CCNY. So I had to laugh when it took me nine years to apply this same structure to the teaching of Advocacy –which I did for the first time this year and the results have been triumphant! 

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A Look Back on National Preparedness Month: How Hurricane Katrina Gave Rise to ArtsReady

Posted by Mr. Omar Nelson, Sep 24, 2015 0 comments

Did you know September is National Preparedness Month (NPM)?

Have you reflected on the significance of the ten-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina? If so, have you been inspired to take steps in your arts organization to make it more resilient?

For South Arts, National Preparedness Month and the ten-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina are momentous with the two occasion’s eventually giving rise to ArtsReady, a national initiative which has a mission to make emergency preparedness a high priority in the arts.

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