Capacity Building in Arts Organizations

Session Number: ACA2
Track: Arts, Culture, and Audiences
Session Type: TIG Multipaper
Session Chair: Patricia Moore Shaffer [Deputy Director, Research & Analysis - National Endowment for the Arts]
Presenter 1: Patricia Moore Shaffer [Deputy Director, Research & Analysis - National Endowment for the Arts]
Presenter 2: Antonio C. Cuyler [Assistant Professor of Arts Administration & Coordinator of Internships - Florida State University]
Presentation 1 Additional Author: Patricia Moore Shaffer [Deputy Director, Research & Analysis - National Endowment for the Arts]
Presentation 1 Additional Author: Kristi Wagner [Sr. Research Associate - Shaffer Evaluation Group]
Time: Oct 28, 2016 (05:30 PM - 06:15 PM)
Room: M107

Abstract 1 Title: Evaluation Capacity Building in an Arts Organization
Presentation Abstract 1:

This presentation seeks to share recent experiences as professional evaluators in an evaluation capacity building (ECB) role with a small, non-profit arts education organization that provides arts based programs for at-risk and disadvantaged youth. The non-profit organization sought the services of a professional evaluator in order to improve their own evaluation knowledge and practices, continue to improve programs, and enhance funding opportunities. In an effort to utilize meta-evaluation to improve evaluation practices, this presentation will reflect on the ECB context, roles, processes, and practices, as well as share challenges and successes in building the evaluation capacity of a small non-profit organization to conduct high quality internal evaluations that meet the Program Evaluation Standards (2011).


Abstract 2 Title: Navigating unstill waters: Lessons learned from evaluating a diversity program in the cultural sector
Presentation Abstract 2:

This paper presentation will describe five key lessons an evaluator learned by evaluating the Diversity Initiatives at the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts, the nation’s national performing arts park. The evaluator used a participant-oriented evaluative case study approach that included an alumni survey, document analysis, focus groups, and interviews to assess the program’s efficacy. The evaluation revealed that Wolf Trap’s Diversity Initiatives works well because it (1) recruits culturally and economically diverse interns, (2) provides quality professional development in arts management valued by the participants, and (3) places and retains participants in careers in arts management. Although evaluating diversity programs is a relatively new practice in the cultural sector, the lessons shared in this presentation will help inform the practices of evaluators interested in evaluating diversity programs in the near future.


Audience Level: None

Session Abstract:  Capacity Building in Arts Organizations