“Evaluation is important, not only for proving what you do is effective but also for improving programs and contributing to better outcomes.
There is enormous value to be gained by community arts practitioners through evaluating community arts projects. An evaluation provides the opportunity for all participants to measure and compare where they were before the project started, and where they reached by the project’s end. Evaluation results also provide valuable information for project staff, including creative staff, volunteers, mentors and so on.
Evaluation information can be useful across a range of areas. For example, a project evaluation can help feed into the organization’s own planning and evaluation processes. It can provide useful information for future funding applications. It can provide a useful record for measuring progress with community arts projects, and helping to develop and extend the work of the organization. The information can help shape future promotion and recruitment strategies for new projects.
On a broader scale, when community arts projects evaluate and document their achievements, the community arts sector begins to accumulate a body of evidence that provides meaningful information about the contribution of the sector to the wider community. On the other hand, if the outcomes of community arts projects are not documented with rigour and consistency, the sector is left without a record of its history or achievements. In addition, project evaluations contribute to the collective practice wisdom of the sector. Evaluation results can provide valuable lessons and insights for practitioners in other places, new organizations and so on. The more that is known about community arts and its work, the greater the opportunities to form partnerships and links across sectors.”
– Victoria, Arts, and Darebin City Council. (2002).
“Evaluating Community Arts & Community Well Being.”
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