The Cultural Policy Class from Drury University Arts Administration Program completed cultural impact assessments of perceived artistic, environmental, economic and social value of two projects of the ideaXfactory. In alignment with the university’s commitment to engaged learning and the personal teaching philosophy of providing hands-on practical experience for students, Drury University Director of Arts Administration Leah Hamilton assigned this collaborative project to her upper-level undergraduate students.
Using criteria based on the ixia public art think tank and OPENsource Evaluation Toolkit (Birmingham, UK), the class met with the ideaXfactory to identify prioritized values. Students were asked to select indicators to measure both quantitative and qualitative data and encouraged to be creative in their methods of interacting with participants and audience members to collect data. The purpose of the assessment is to gain an understanding and communicate the impact of the arts and to provide students with experience in assessing, evaluating, and articulating the value and impact of the arts in any given community.
The Beaux Arts Ball and Charity Art Auction cultural impact assessment
Team HufflePuff assessed The Beaux Arts Ball and Charity Art Auction. Aesthetic enjoyment, community development, marketing and place identity ranked high on the value matrix. Data collection methods included personal surveys, a mood box, photographic records, counting bidding sheets, and outside car traffic count. Following are their presentation graphics:
In closing comments Team HufflePuff said that most people surveyed loved the ideaXfactory. The team suggested that the ideaXfactory could utilize more partnerships, Facebook had not registered as a factor in event promotion and might be used to better advantage. Some people felt the installation was a little too low, and the car traffic count was recorded because the team felt the data from peak traffic times could be used to plan more storefront concept events.
Short-term my hope is that the data provided is useful information for the partnering organization’s leadership regarding what it currently offers for the community as well as needs that have yet to be fulfilled. Long-term my hope is to continue the student assessment project now that a certain baseline of information has been created. From these assessments, perhaps we can provide best practices in evaluating the cultural and economic impact of the arts in any given community.
Leah Hamilton (firstname.lastname@example.org), Director and Instructor, Arts Administration, Drury University
May 11, 2014
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