Blog Posts for arts and diversity

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.

Read More

Search and You Shall Find... a Cultural Destination

Posted by Ms. Victoria L. Hamilton, Feb 05, 2015 0 comments

Since the inception of our work at the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation (JCNI), arts and culture taken form in the development of an emerging cultural district, bringing together community members, organizations, and artists to shape both its look and character.

Read More


Posted by Mr. Mark Valdez, Oct 27, 2015 2 comments

Here's a thought: what if we stopped thinking about art and social justice and instead looked at art as social justice? By keeping them separate, we are asked to value one over the other, or worse, we make one subservient, a mere tool that's in service of the other. I posit that maybe they can be one in the same.

I don't mean to imply that all can or should function as social justice. But there is a small and growing part of the field that is proving that the art itself can be a manifestation of social justice.

Read More

Arts Ed in Museum Spaces: The Rebirth of the Fitchburg Art Museum

Posted by Meg Salocks, Feb 13, 2015 0 comments

The Fitchburg Art Museum (FAM), located in Central Massachusetts, is an interesting example of a small community museum founded for a very different local population than the one in which it finds itself today. This has led to an even more interesting fold of arts education within their walls, as you’re about to find out!

The FAM was originally founded by Fitchburg native and painter, Eleanor Norcross, in 1929 to share her collections of European, Egyptian, and ancient art with local middle class families. Today, the local population is approximately 40% Hispanic, as well as Laotian, Mung, and Cambodian. The Fitchburg Art Museum must not only appeal to this varied population that is so different from its founding environment, but also to a significantly different base of older families and private schools that also consider the greater Central Massachusetts area home; a tricky task for any small institution.

Read More

Arts and Social Justice: Searching for a Framework to Describe Quality

Posted by Chris Dwyer, Oct 29, 2015 0 comments

I’ve been engaged in planning and conducting evaluations for several decades now and I’m still intrigued by the intellectual puzzles involved even in the smallest evaluation project—especially the challenge of answering the related “compared to what?” and “how meaningful are the results?’ questions. Both are essential for determining the value (e-valu-ation) of the program or idea being evaluated. 

Read More

Teen Turns From ArtsEd Participant to ArtsEd Spokesperson

Posted by Natalie Resendiz, Feb 19, 2015 0 comments

I had no idea that art would even be one of my passions or interests. I quickly figured out that I loved to dance, play the clarinet, and that the stage felt a little like home. Now, as an eighteen year-old college student, I find that educating younger students like me is also one of my passions. Teaching dance is one of my favorite things I’ve ever done. I know what it is like to not have an outlet or activity to channel your emotions or feelings. Art can serve as this outlet for many. The importance of art for young inner-city kids like myself is substantial, but I believe it goes beyond that; art is a necessity for everyone.

This video project is the realization of one of my goals. There was a script, lighting, a director, a crew, and, most importantly, passion. The professionalism behind this project was beyond what I’d pictured and it was much different than the videos I usually record with my phone for my Instagram account. Being a part of a project like this was definitely something out of my comfort zone. I’m not someone who hides in their comfort zone, however, this project was something that threw me off my center. The crew and director were amazing and supportive, which eased my racing mind and jitters. Ultimately, this was a dream come true; I enjoyed every last minute of working on this project.

Read More