Building Arts Evaluation Capacity: Examinations of Theater Arts Programs, Social Emotional Development, and Living History

Session Number: ACM2
Track: Arts, Culture, and Audiences
Session Type: TIG Multipaper
Session Chair: Annabel Jackson [Annabel Jackson Associates Ltd]
Presenter 1: Leigh M. Tolley [Assistant Professor, Secondary Education - University of Louisiana at Lafayette]
Presenter 2: Kelly Fisher [Executive Director - Johns Hopkins University]
Presenter 3: Emily Miller [Director of Strategic Partnerships & Programs - Theatre Forward]
Presentation 1 Additional Author: Brady McKellar [Director of Museum Operations - Vermilionville Living History Museum]
Presentation 1 Additional Author: Toby Daspit [Associate Professor - University of Louisiana at Lafayette]
Presentation 1 Additional Author: Melanie Denise Harrington [Education Coordinator - Vermilionville]
Presentation 2 Additional Author: Steven J Holochwost [Senior Research Scientist & Associate Principal - WolfBrown]
Presentation 2 Additional Author: Dennie Palmer Wolf, Ed.D [Principal Researcher - WolfBrown]
Presentation 3 Additional Author: Emily A Diaz [Researcher - Westat]
Presentation 3 Additional Author: Lauren Elizabeth Decker-Woodrow [Senior Study Director - Westat]
Time: Nov 03, 2018 (10:15 AM - 11:00 AM)
Room: CC - 25A

Abstract 1 Title: Sharing Voices, Sharing Truths: Evaluation Capacity Building through a Living History Service Learning Partnership
Presentation Abstract 1: For over six years, the Vermilionville Education Enrichment Partnership (VEEP) has existed as an academic service learning collaboration between Vermilionville, a living history museum and folklife park, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette (UL Lafayette), and the Lafayette Parish School System (LPSS). Through VEEP, and under the mentorship of UL Lafayette faculty and Vermilionville staff, pre-service elementary and secondary social studies and English/language arts teachers prepare and implement interdisciplinary lessons—anchored in Acadian, Native American, and Creole cultures—with LPSS students. Although some evaluation processes have been in place for this program through the collection of qualitative and quantitative data, a more formal evaluation system has become necessary due to increasing participation and interest in the program. This presentation will describe the evaluation capacity building frameworks that are currently being developed with Vermilionville and program stakeholders in order to continue to support the partnership as it flourishes.
Abstract 2 Title: The Arts and Socioemotional Development: Evaluating a New Mandate for Arts Education
Presentation Abstract 2: At the Association’s 2016 conference we presented an overview of a mixed-methods evaluation designed to assesses whether an education in the arts may contribute to the development of socioemotional skills among under-served and under-represented students. In this paper we present the results of this study, in which data were collected from N = 892 students (77.3% of color, ages 8 to 18) participating in one of 11 programs in visual arts, music, theater, or dance. While our analyses revealed trend-level effects for programs on growth mindset and artistic goal orientation for the sample as a whole, significant effects were observed among younger students for growth mindset and for school engagement among students with high levels engagement prior to program participation. We discuss the implications of these findings, as well as the methodological challenges posed by conducting an evaluation with diverse sets of students and programs. 
Presentation 2 Other Authors: Kerry O'Grady, Kristin Gagnier, Madhura Shah
Abstract 3 Title: Understanding the first year of a theatre arts evaluation across 4 theatres new to evaluation: Findings and lessons learned
Presentation Abstract 3: The purpose of this evaluation was to investigate the relationship between student participation in theatre programs and engagement in the arts, engagement in school, and student social skills. Four theatres affiliated with Theatre Forward and their five high school district students were included in the evaluation, which was the first evaluation experience with multiple modes of data collection for the four theatres. Through its theatres, Theatre Forward provides students access and opportunities to experience art education across the country. Findings from the first year evaluation demonstrate participation in the theatre programs was inconsistently related to school attendance and there were statistically significant increases in social skills, communication, assertion, responsibility, and engagement, and statistically significant increases in nonmusical stage play attendance and participation, and craft fair participation, after one year of participation. The findings, limitations, and challenges encountered in conducting an evaluation for multiple theatres will be discussed.
Audience Level: None

Session Abstract (150 words):  Building Arts Evaluation Capacity: Examinations of Theater Arts Programs, Social Emotional Development, and Living History