• Local Arts Index: NEA & State Arts Agency Grants in Your County
    This post is one in a series highlighting the Local Arts Index (LAI) by Americans for the Arts. The LAI provides a set of measures to help understand the breadth, depth, and character of the cultural life of a community. It provides county-level data about arts participation, funding, fiscal health, competitiveness, and more. Check out […]
  • Reevaluating My Thinking Around Evaluation
    When I asked the bloggers for Animating Democracy’s Evaluation & Social Impact Blog Salon to write about this topic, I thought I knew what I was going to get. Animating Democracy’s Impact Initiative has been going strong for several years now with a fantastic set of evolving framings, vocabulary, metrics, methodologies, etc. and so forth. […]
  • Thinking About the Impact of Public Art
    I was impressed that so many posts during the Blog Salon have tackled the challenge of assessing the impact of public art—a particularly challenging area for building indicators of impact. Several years ago I heard Richard Florida describe public art in terms of community image when making a point about vital cities, i.e. those that […]
  • The Public Kitchen & the Dilemma of Evaluating a Gesture
    The next intervention the Design Studio is working on is called the Public Kitchen. It’s part of larger project we are developing called “The Public: A Work in Progress.” As public infrastructures—hospitals, water, schools, transportation, etc.—are privatized, the Public Kitchen takes a stab at going in the reverse direction. It is a “productive fiction”; it’s […]
  • How Art Can Strengthen Evaluation
    Let’s be honest: sometimes evaluation can feel like taking medicine. What’s more, the results of evaluation often take the form of dry reports that are unwelcoming and, at worst, hard to penetrate. But evaluation doesn’t have to be this way. Evaluation can be a useful and engaging process that incorporates creativity and participation to help […]
  • Visionaries in Evaluation: Beyond Samples & Quantitative Data
    In my first post, I explained why we mustn’t let our fears prevent us from experimenting with evaluations that are neither purely quantitative nor based on random samples when trying to understand whether our social interventions are working. Now, I want to share examples from visionaries who practice what I preach. The people you should […]
  • Making a Difference Online and Off
    There are several particularly interesting things about The Awesome Foundation. First, it’s not a Foundation. It’s 30+ self-organized chapters around the world of individuals kicking in $100/month to get behind ideas they think are cool. Second, the grants that Awesome Foundation recipients get are $1000. And for all the variety to be found in the […]

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