In November, we put out a call for artists to participate in the “control group” for an annual evaluation study of the Assets for Artists program. We’ve just completed the 2011 edition of that report — in time to submit to our main funder, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, before the end of the year — and we thought we might as well post it here, too.
With some help from the economic modeling tools available from the Center for Creative Community Development (tools I had a hand in developing while helping staff the Center from 2004 – 2009), the report suggests that the program is having a strong economic impact on the participants and the community overall.
Full disclosure: the report was not authored by an outside evaluator; I wrote it myself, so it probably shouldn’t be a surprise that I give us an “A” for effort. Honestly, I tried to let the data mostly speak for itself, not fill the report with anecdotal impressions, and I’ll be the first to admit that it’s an early stage evaluation and the results should be viewed as preliminary findings at best. I think of it largely as a teaser for future evaluation efforts.
Anyway, I’d welcome thoughts on what this evaluation is worth and directions to take it in the future.