Better Arts Ed Program Evaluation

Posted by John Abodeely, Mar 04, 2008 3 comments

“Without research, you’re just another person with an opinion.” –Ken Robinson

Evaluation is instrumental in developing and sustaining good work. Directors of social service organizations must demonstrate their impact in order to sustain funding; program directors must constantly improve their services in order to maintain integrity; funders must show the impact of their granting design to satisfy the scrutiny of their boards and benefactors. For a long time, program effectiveness was communicated through sentimental anecdotes. These stories, while important in our hearts, cannot stand alone when one asks, “Why this program?” It is not sufficient to assume that an inspiring story about one child can be extrapolated to others. Nor do these stories guide us in program development and improvement.

Americans for the Arts now offers funders and arts education providers the opportunity to improve the quality of evaluations they read or produce. We're offering a floating graduate-style course, replete with one-on-one coaching, and a curriculum designed specifically to fit into the overtaxed schedules nonprofit leaders. Learners demonstrate quality and impact. Arts education providers develop acumen and expertise, which will result in a higher capacity in identifying and reporting impact.

This course is available to bring to your community, to your grantees, or to your schools. It is made to travel, relying in part on in-person training, part on web-based learning, and part on one-on-one coaching. A starter course is available at our Annual Convention, one day prior to the larger program, on June 19.

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Take the Leap Day Challenge

Posted by Americans for the Arts, Feb 28, 2008 1 comment

This peice comes by way of Julia McBride’s “Coach Julia” e-newsletter. It is too good not to share.  Julia is one of the coaches in the Personal Evolution advanced workshop of our Annual Convention.

A North Carolina teacher named Julia Scatliff O'Grady has created the Leap Day Challenge, urging readers of her blog "to take a leap during the year of the leap." A leap can be anything you choose to pay attention to in 2008 that will make you and the world stronger as a result. O’Grady has designated Friday, February 29 as the day on which all of us who accept the challenge will set aside some time to act on our leap and to celebrate.

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Personal Evolution: Peer-Coaching Circles

Posted by Americans for the Arts, Feb 19, 2008 2 comments

There's been a lot of buzz lately about coaching and I thought I'd extend this invitation to anyone who is interested in finding out more about and actually experiencing peer coaching circles. You'll have an opportunity to find out more at the 2008 Annual Convention in June.

Finding time to rejuvenate ourselves is a constant challenge when we commit our personal and professional lives to nurturing others. Are you asking yourself the difficult questions about your career? Trying to find a life-work balance? Put yourself in a solution-focused state of mind for the annual conference at this Advance Workshop.

Personal Evolution: Peer-Coaching Circles Thursday, June 19 1:30 to 5:00pm at the Americans for the Arts Annual Convention in Philadelphia. Space is limited to 50 people.

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Professional Development Fund for Emerging Leaders of Color

Posted by Americans for the Arts, Feb 14, 2008 0 comments

Deadline for applications is 5:00 pm (CST) February 20. 

Americans for the Arts has received generous support from the Joyce Foundation to re-grant Professional Development Funds to emerging arts leaders of color from the Great Lakes region. Grant dollars will be used to partially offset the costs for 12 exceptional emerging arts leaders to attend Arts Advocacy Day in Washington, DC (March 31–April 1, 2008), the Annual Convention in Philadelphia (June 20–22, 2008), and the National Arts Marketing Project (NAMP) Conference in Houston (November 9–12, 2008).

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