Stories & Examples

The Annotated Guide to Tools & Resources provides tools, frameworks, and resources to help you develop and implement your evaluation. It’s a repository of useful, practical materials that can help you create an evaluation plan; design your evaluation approach; develop or adapt tools and instruments; and otherwise move your evaluation forward.

This Guide was originally assembled from many sources and fields and annotated by evaluator Suzanne Callahan of Callahan Consulting for the Arts. We continue to add resources. Your suggestions are welcome!

Do you have a useful tool or resource to add? Contact animatingdemocracy@artsusa.org.

Animating Democracy resource
Authors: Chris Dwyer
Resource Format: practical tool
This item relates to the Preliminary Menu of Possible Outcomes/Indicators/Measures from the Starksboro Art and Soul Project, as both are part of the Art and Soul Project. This item is a ten page community survey with thirty questions. The survey is an adaptation of a standard survey developed by the Orton Family Foundation to use in tracking changes in perceptions about land use planning in all their Heart and Soul community projects.
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Animating Democracy resource
Authors: Maranatha Bivens
Publication Date: May 7, 2013
Conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan have produced a wave of returning veterans suffering from both physical and emotional traumas as well as families, communities, and a society in need of ways to understand, adjust, and heal. Writer and “former military kid” Maranatha Bivens characterizes ways that art is raising awareness of the issues facing service members, bridging gaps in knowledge and communication between veterans and civilians, and offering veterans paths to healing and reintegration in family and community life.
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Authors: Diana Barrett and Sheila Leddy
Publication Date: December 31, 2007
Resource Format: book / article
In order to better understand film as an agent of social change, this article offers examples of documentary films that have led to change in viewer behavior, public policy, and discourse.  After examining the successful impact of these examples, the authors offer planning tools for outreach campaigns, an approach to assessing impact, and lessons learned.  This article may be useful to the strategic design of programs and outreach efforts that aim to affect change.
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Authors: Jonathan Hollander, Artistic & Executive Director
Publication Date: March 31, 2012
Resource Format: case study
Battery Dance employed a pre and post program participant survey to assess its program, Dancing to Connect - Iraq. In doing so, the dance company and the program participants explored areas of self-expression, attitude and perception changes, and conflict resolution. Three attached documents provide more detail of these evaluation tools: 1) a final program report, 2) an executive summary of an evaluative report with survey questions and results, and a graphical representation of survey results.
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Authors: Dudley Cocke, Linda Frye Burnham, Erica Kohl, Craig McGarvey
Resource Format: book / article, case study
"Connecting Californians" reports on a research project completed in 2000, that explored story as a powerful means of building community. The project conducted a search in each of California's 58 counties to find projects that engaged residents in a public performance or story about local history and life. Maps were created to represent the various projects. It is a helpful model for collaborative planning and discussion regarding the arts, culture, and civil society.
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Authors: Clayton Lord, editor
Publication Date: February 29, 2012
Resource Format: book / article
The strength of Counting New Beans is in its impressive list of contributors.  Through interviews, artistic leaders engage in conversation about audience, community, and the value of art.  Beyond these thoughtful essays, the book includes the results of a two-year study titled, Understanding the Intrinsic Impact of Live Theatre.  This study, composed of patterns of audience feedback in 18 theaters and 58 productions, was commissioned by Clayton Lord of Theatre Bay Area and was completed by Alan Brown and Rebecca Ratzkin of WolfBrown.
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Animating Democracy resource
Authors: Marty Pottenger
Publication Date: May 1, 2012
Resource Format: website
Marty Pottenger discusses Art at Work in Portland, ME and the evaluative practices that were used in assessing participant impact.  This resource captures Pottenger’s contribution from Animating Democracy’s 2012 Social Impact & Evaluation Blog Salon.
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Animating Democracy resource
Authors: Mark J. Stern, Susan Seifert
Grounded in a recent strategic plan, the Tucson Pima Arts Council is moving to advance civic engagement in the city and county through its programming, funding, and partnerships. As part of Animating Democracy’s Art & Civic Engagement Impact Initiative, and in addition to the qualitative focus reflected in the evaluation inquiry with Maribel Alvarez, TPAC wanted to know what concrete measures are reasonable to use to understand the civic engagement effects of its work as an agency.
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Authors: James Diamond, Cornelia Brunner
Resource Format: case study
Breakthrough, an international human rights organization, invited Education Development Center/Center for Children and Technology to complete an evaluation of “ICED! (I Can End Deportation),” a video game that teaches young people about the effects of American immigration and detention policies. The video game presents scenarios of five different immigrant teenagers and asks players to answer questions about immigration and deportation policies. The evaluation focuses on two measures of social impact: the extent that “ICED!” increases players’ knowledge about the U.S.
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Animating Democracy resource
Authors: Chris Dwyer
Resource Format: case study, practical tool
Art & Soul is a project of the Orton Family Foundation. The Orton Family Foundation, in partnership with the Town of Starksboro and the Vermont Land Trust hypothesize that, by getting in touch with deeper community values and connections to place, citizens will be able to improve upon traditional approaches to planning and make better decisions about the future of their communities.
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Animating Democracy resource
Authors: Chris Dwyer, Marty Pottenger
Resource Format: case study, practical tool
The Art at Work is a national initiative to improve municipal government through strategic art projects between artists, city departments, unions, elected officials and the community.  Launched in 2007 in Portland, ME, as a three-year project, the initiative includes artmaking workshops led by artist Marty Pottenger with local artists (currently a printmaker, poets, and photographers) within the city’s Public Works, Health & Human Services, and Police Departments.
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Authors: Rachel Grossman, Ring Leader, Organizational Advancement and director of Beertown
Publication Date: August 31, 2012
Resource Format: case study
Beertown is a live-performance, guided in part by audience participation and feedback.  The attached evaluation tools and results give insight into dog & pony dc’s evaluative approach, guided by Beertown director, Rachel Grossman.  Survey instruments were modeled after Theatre Bay Area’s intrinsic impact assessment work that measures the effect of live performance on audience from a variety of different aspects including social/communal, intellectual, emotional, and aesthetic.  More about this work can be found in their publication, Counting New Beans: Intrinsic Impact and the Value of
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Animating Democracy resource
Authors: Maria Rosario Jackson, John Malpede
Resource Format: book / article, case study
Los Angeles Poverty Department (LAPD) is a Skid Row-based theater organization, founded and directed by artist John Malpede. LAPD has distinguished itself by its longstanding commitment to making change in L.A.’s Skid Row community, particularly regarding the homeless, through theater-based civic engagement work. Many have observed LAPD’s apparent potent effects on individuals and on social relations in Skid Row, and acknowledge its contributions to influencing structures, systems, and even policy.
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Authors: Chris Dwyer
Resource Format: practical tool
This tool serves as a model to align values, actions, and measures of progress for State Art Agencies. In table form, it lays out a generic base for locating concepts of participation within a framework of concepts of public value and motivating values of different groups. The table can serve as a basis for developing the types of outcomes and measures related to State Art Agencies' actions to broaden, deepen and diversify creators, stewards and spectators/participants.
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Animating Democracy resource
Authors: Suzanne Callahan
Resource Format: book / article, case study
Artist Rha Goddess’s Hip Hop Mental Health Project (HHMHP) seeks to contribute to shifting the cultural paradigm of shame and alienation surrounding mental illness, and satisfy a need for a SAFE place to confront the issue and obtain vital information.
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Animating Democracy resource
Authors: Sue Wood
Resource Format: book / article, case study
When Flint Youth Theatre began planning for a new play addressing the local and national problem of school violence, it had no idea that, in the process of developing the project, its own community would experience a devastating elementary school shooting. A year after the tragedy, the play ...My Soul to Take, written by artistic director and playwright William Ward, became a focal point for fresh attention on this persistent and painful issue.
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Authors: Virginia Lacayo, Arvind Singhal
Resource Format: case study
Edutainment - the mixture of education and entertainment ranging from video games to soap operas, harnesses the power of entertainment to promote social change.
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Animating Democracy resource
Authors: Chris Dwyer
Resource Format: case study, practical tool
The Preliminary Menu encompasses process outcomes (short-term), intermediate outcomes (during the life of the project), and impact (long-term, post-project results) for the Art & Soul Project in Starksboro, VT. Community members and researcher/evaluator Chris Dwyer used the worksheet to clarify what to measure and how.
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Publication Date: October 16, 2013
Resource Format: book / article, database, website
A new take on bringing activism to life, Public, Imagining America's new online journal, empasizes dialogue between communities and humanitarians.
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Animating Democracy resource
Authors: Penny Balkin Bach
Publication Date: May 14, 2012
Resource Format: practical tool
MWW: Audio in Philadelphia serves as an example of innovation in data collection and evaluation.  This resource captures Penny Balkin Bach’s contribution from Animating Democracy’s 2012 Social Impact & Evaluation Blog Salon.
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Animating Democracy resource
Authors: Mark J. Stern
Publication Date: April 30, 2012
Resource Format: website
Principal investigator of the Social Impact of the Arts Project at the University of Pennsylvania, Mark J. Stern suggests that cultural research must move beyond purely economic yardsticks in judging well-being.  This resource captures Stern’s contribution from Animating Democracy’s 2012 Social Impact & Evaluation Blog Salon.
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Authors: Suzanne Callahan
The 171-page book, Singing Our Praises, demystifies evaluation by highlighting glowing examples of how arts presenters have used it to learn about their success. Case studies tell the stories of presenters, artists and funders as they learned about the concept of participatory evaluation and put it into practice. These voices from the field provide real-life experiences, but they also reflect some of the more universal issues that will arise for other arts practitioners.
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Resource Format: case study
The Channel 4 BRITDOC Foundation used evaluation and visual engagement techniques to document how “The End of the Line,” a documentary addressing the problem of overfishing our oceans, has impacted the debate in the UK surrounding sustainable fishing practices in England. The foundation conducted multiple entry/exit surveys at movie theaters in London collecting both qualitative and quantitative data, measured social media and press coverage, and conducted follow-up focus groups with the initial survey takers to determine the lasting impact of the film.
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Publication Date: October 11, 2013
Resource Format: database, practical tool, website
Filled with resources, blogs, current events and much more on arts in the prison community; the Prison Art Coalition is a valuable tool to create awareness and promote the arts for the incarcerated.
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Animating Democracy resource
Authors: Maribel Alvarez
Resource Format: book / article, case study
Finding Voice, an ongoing program supported by the Tucson Pima Arts Council (TPAC) and Every Voice in Action Foundation, helps refugee and immigrant youth develop literacy and second language skills by researching, photographing, writing, and speaking out about critical social issues in their lives and communities.
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