Resources

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.

An online service based at the University of Kansas, this extensive site aims to promote community health and development by connecting people, ideas and resources. With over 7,000 pages presented in user-friendly language, the Community Tool Box (CTB) hopes to build capacity for those who wish to change their communities for the better. Users can approach the site in five different ways: To read about specific skills in community work, users may click on the Table of Contents to locate the 46 chapters and nearly 300 distinct CTB sections.
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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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Creative CityMaking Cover
Authors: William Cleveland
Publication Date: July 7, 2016
Resource Format: case study
In 2013 the City of Minneapolis and Intermedia Arts collaborated on Creative CityMaking, a program aimed at integrating creative thinking, strategies, and processes into the ongoing operations of City Departments. Functioning within the Department of Community Planning and Economic Development (CPED), five core projects enabled artists and planners to explore new ways to involve citizens who typically haven’t participated in planning processes.
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Authors: Johanna Misey Boyer
Resource Format: practical tool, website
This site is an easy-to-follow guide for developing and enhancing arts programs for older adults. Essentially an online book with ten chapters, all of which are available as pdfs for easy printing, the toolkit is a good example of a "soup to nuts" approach to program design, including evaluation.
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Animating Democracy resource
Authors: Caron Atlas, Pam Korza
Resource Format: book / article, case study
Critical Perspectives is a collection of reflective, critical, and creative essays about the role of arts and humanities in civic dialogue. Twelve essays focus on three very different projects that employed the unique capacities of theater, visual art, and historic preservation to reach people and stimulate them to talk together in new ways about issues that matter in their communities.
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Authors: Creative City Network of Canada
Resource Format: practical tool
This PDF is related to two resources: (1) the Cultural Planning Toolkit, and (2) a related Web Resource . The related web resource on integrating cultural and community planning offers more of an overview and is only nine pages long. It opens with a series of nice, concise definitions of cultural planning and some related terms.
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Authors: Maria Rosario Jackson, Florence Kabwasa-Green, Joaquin Harranz
This 104 page report (with eight chapters and seven appendices), based on extensive community research, discusses cultural vitality and gives extensive information on indicators. This piece -- primarily for evaluators, researchers, and policymakers -- is written in clear, user-friendly language. The fundamental goal of the Urban Institute's Arts and Culture Indicators Project (ACIP) is to help policymakers make better decisions for neighborhoods and cities.
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Animating Democracy resource
Authors: Sara Reisman
Publication Date: May 23, 2017
Resource Format: practical tool
The Curator Companion to Animating Democracy’s framework, Aesthetic Perspectives: Attributes of Excellence in Arts for Change, offers ideas and insights to help curators working in/with visual arts and time- and performance-based projects to enhance understanding, description, and evaluation of such work at the intersection of artistic creation and civic engagement, community development, and social justice.
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Authors: Aaron Koblin
Publication Date: April 1, 2012
Resource Format: book / article
Data Visions, by data artist Aaron Koblin, calls for artists and computer-scientists alike to tap into the growing field of data visualization. Through his own works, Koblin demonstrates the power of numbers to tell a story. This new language transcends boundaries and creates a space where quantitative research can become accessible through its more simplistic visual representation. As Koblin suggests, new types of creativity are waiting to be uncovered by anyone who takes this new technology and uses it to re-think old rules.
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Authors: Ernest R. House, Kenneth R. Howe
Resource Format: practical tool
This checklist is a guide to incorporating democratic processes in an evaluation to assure valid conclusions where there are conflicting views. A concise checklist aims to ensure that the evaluation process, and thus conclusions, are inclusive and unbiased. The checklist is built around three principles: 1) Inclusion, 2) Dialogue, and 3) Deliberation. The Inclusion principle implies that all relevant interests, values, and views of major stakeholders are taken into account when designing and conducting the evaluation.
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Authors: Jamie A. A. Gamble
Resource Format: book / article, practical tool
This short book defines developmental evaluation and addresses some myths. Offering an alternative approach to linear logic of traditional methods, developmental evaluation supports the process of innovation within an organization and its activities. The book outlines developmental evaluation's uses in innovation and developing project ideas and defends the approach's credibility. It is an appropriate resource for organizations that work in an innovative manner and thus seems tailored to arts organizations.
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McConnell Foundation Youthscape Initiative
Authors: Kevin Chin, Ph.D.
Publication Date: May 22, 2013
Resource Format: case study
Developmental Evaluation: An Overview (J.W. McConnell Family Foundation Powerpoint) presented at the Animating Democracy/Americans for the Arts' Funder Exchange on Evaluating Arts & Social Impact at the Nathan Cummings Foundation on May 22, 2013.
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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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The initial scoping phase, so important for providing a sound and lasting framework for the data and evidence reviews, has now ended and the hard work has begun. Technical work on the modelling is under way, including reviewing over 50 different datasets in the UK that could be useful for the model. The systematic review of the research – a wide-ranging hunt for any study in our sector that addresses engagement – has unearthed over 10,000 studies. This allows us to begin the process of mapping the research onto systems dynamics model of engagement, putting evidence-base into action.
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Animating Democracy resource
Authors: Bob Leonard
Publication Date: May 23, 2017
Resource Format: practical tool
The Educator Companion to Animating Democracy’s framework, Aesthetic Perspectives: Attributes of Excellence in Arts for Change, offers ideas and insights to help educators and students apply the framework in curriculum development, faculty/student critique and review, planning community-based projects, assessing Arts for Change work using criteria aligned with the values of community-engaged scholarship, and more.
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Authors: W.K. Kellogg Foundation
Resource Format: book / article, practical tool
These appendices are lists of indicators for evaluating the impact of leadership development programs.
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Authors: Hallie Preskill and Tanya Beer
Publication Date: July 31, 2012
Resource Format: book / article
The authors suggest that traditional evaluation approaches (formative and summative) fail to meet the complex needs of social sector innovators. Instead, grantmakers should approach evaluation differently, specifically involving the use of developmental evaluation (attributed to Michael Quinn Patton). Through a review of literature, interviews, and case studies, this piece assists with putting developmental evaluation into practice. At the heart of this call for new evaluation approaches, is the encouragement of social innovation and change.
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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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Resource Format: database, practical tool, website
This website is a good resource for individuals and community groups working for change in their communities, specifically with issues relating to race and racial equity. The site is written for users who are new to evaluation -or perhaps those who give funds related to racial equity, but who are not yet clear on how to evaluate it. The site discusses how to apply a “racialized” perspective to evaluation, meaning using the ideas of racism, oppression, privilege and access to power as a lens through which evaluation questions are developed and results are analyzed.
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Animating Democracy resource
Authors: Susannah Laramee Kidd
Publication Date: May 23, 2017
Resource Format: practical tool
The Evaluator / Researcher Companion guide to Animating Democracy’s framework, Aesthetic Perspectives: Attributes of Excellence in Arts for Change, offers ideas and insights to help evaluators and researchers apply the framework to address their needs and interests.  Aesthetic Perspectives aims to enhance understanding and evaluation of creative work at the intersection of arts and community/civic engagement, community development, and justice.
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