Miriam King

Champions of Change Makers: Follow Your Leader

Posted by Miriam King, Dec 15, 2021

Miriam King

Read on for takeaways from the November Arts Marketing Coffee Chat “Champions of Change Makers: Follow Your Leader,” where senior marketing leaders explored how to reaffirm purpose and passion for their work as leaders of change-making in the arts.

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Author(s): McQueen, Ann
Date of Publication: January 2014

The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation, based in Montreal and funding throughout Canada, supports what it calls socially engaged arts—arts organizations and activities that build bridges between culture and community—as a way to realize its vision of “a Canada where all people feel a sense of belonging and contribute as active citizens to improving the well-being of all.” The foundation’s most recent initiative focused on arts-based social inclusion owes much to what it learned from ArtsSmarts, an arts-infused learning program launched at

Author(s): W.K. Kellogg Foundation Evaluation Handbook
Date of Publication: Nov 22, 2021

Available online as a pdf (or it may be ordered from the Kellogg website for free), this 116-page handbook from the Kellogg Foundation provides a framework for thinking about evaluation as a relevant and useful program tool: “For those with little or no evaluation experience, and without the time or resources to learn more, this handbook can help project staff to plan and conduct an evaluation with the assistance of an external evaluator.” A blueprint for conducting project-level evaluations, this handbook is an excellent resource and was written primarily for project directors

Author(s): Bare, John
Date of Publication: December 2009

This piece suggests that the accountability movement is “setting a floor for minimum standards” (p. 84) and has consequences for effective social change work. Foundations, in particular, measure impact in terms of attentiveness to accountability standards, but this is a false measure of success.  Instead, the organization’s focus should be on its transformative value to society. Focusing on narrow measures of accountability is problematic, because, as Bare states, “For foundations, when they attempt to deconstruct complex social change agendas to create bite

Author(s): Preskill, Hallie and Beer, Tanya
Date of Publication: July 2012

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. Stanford University’s Center for Social

Author(s): Bacon, Barbara Schaffer; Korza, Pam
Date of Publication: May 2013

A May 22 Funder Exchange on Evaluating Arts & Social Impact, presented by Americans for the Arts’ Animating Democracy program and hosted by the Nathan Cummings Foundation, brought together funders, evaluation professionals, and arts practitioners to learn about concrete approaches and measures funders are using to understand the impact of arts and social change investments.

Author(s): Whang, Vanessa
Date of Publication: February 2008

In the spring of 2004, an anonymous donor made a five-year gift to underwrite the National Black Arts Festival’s (NBAF) use of venues on the The Robert W. Woodruff Arts Center’s campus—which includes the Alliance Theatre, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, High Museum of Art, and Young Audiences.  The gift (and its forthcoming expiration) served as the impetus for NBAF to explore possible ways of working with The Woodruff that would institutionalize a relationship of mutual benefit and enhance the sustainability of both organizations.

Dr. Melissa Akaka

Three Insights Tools for Increasing Audience Engagement

Posted by Dr. Melissa Akaka, Oct 29, 2021

Dr. Melissa Akaka

In the recent Arts Marketing Coffee Chat entitled “Research & Data: What Do You Need?” I shared the process for how arts organizations can address a specific a business problem by identifying data that an organization has or needs, which can provide insights into developing an effective solution. 

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Author(s): Ingersoll, Sarah
Date of Publication: December 2010

Popular media—film, television, celebrity, online games, and online videos—is a powerful way for the creative community to depict critical social issues and engage people in contributing to social change.  This paper focuses primarily on popular media examples that combine social message, narrative, and outreach tactics into intentional strategies to influence behavior and support broader-systems reform. Emphasis is on for-profit media in partnership with nonprofits.  Examples include:  Bono’s (U2) Product Red fundraising effort to benefit the Global Fund to

Kristie Swink Benson

Maintaining and Cultivating New Audiences During COVID-19 and Beyond

Posted by Kristie Swink Benson, Aug 24, 2021

Kristie Swink Benson

Breaking down barriers for our audiences to engage with our organization should be a top priority as we navigate today’s ever-changing landscape. Our new and existing audiences will thank us with continuous support, which helps us thrive as arts organizations. 

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