Tag Archives: impact assessment

Come be nerdy with Ian and Nina Simon in Santa Cruz!

Have you ever wondered what all this impact assessment and evaluation stuff is all about, but haven’t been sure how to get started? I bet you’re not alone! That’s why I’m psyched to be involved with a great and affordable professional development event happening this summer in gorgeous Santa Cruz, CA, called Museum Camp 2014: […]

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Uncomfortable Thoughts: Are We Missing the Point of Effective Altruism?

Toward the end of the summer, bioethicist Peter Singer raised the hackles of art lovers everywhere with a New York Times op-ed that considered a hypothetical dilemma: should you donate to a charity that combats blindness in the developing world or should you spend that money instead on an art museum? After running through a […]

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No Strings Attached

A few years ago four grad students from Harvard and M.I.T. decided they wanted to use their brains and dollars to improve the lives of some of the poorest people in the world. They researched different strategies of philanthropy, looked at the data available, and based on the evidence they chose a novel approach. No […]

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The Cultural Data Project and Its Impact on Arts Organizations

For all of the predictions flying back and forth about what 2013 holds for the arts and culture sector in the United States, one of the few things we can say with near-certainty is that 2013 will be a year of major transition for the Cultural Data Project (CDP). Our sector’s largest-scale effort to quantify and […]

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Solving the Underpants Gnomes Problem: Towards an Evidence-Based Arts Policy

That’s the title of a talk I presented via the University of Chicago’s Cultural Policy Center on November 14, 2012. It’s long, but I think it’s one of the more significant things I’ve done recently and hope you’ll check it out if you have some time. The actual lecture portion of the talk occupies the first […]

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Economies and Diseconomies of Scale in the Arts – Take Two

(The following post is part of a weeklong salon at ARTSBlog on the subject of “Does Size Matter?” The entire salon is worth checking out, and former Createquity Writing Fellow Katherine Gressel has an entry as well.) How does scale influence impact in the arts? In 2007, back when I was a fresh-faced grad student, […]

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Fuzzy Concepts, Proxy Data: Why Indicators Won’t Track Creative Placemaking Success

(If you don’t know the name Ann Markusen, you should. As professor and director of the Project on Regional and Industrial Economics at the University of Minnesota Humphrey School of Public Affairs, Ann has become one of the most respected and senior voices in the arts research community over the past decade. Among her best-known recent […]

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Science Doesn’t Have All the Answers: Should We Be Worried?

On October 1 the science section of the New York Times ran two articles next to each other. One of them describes a recent study that concluded young children at play display behaviors similar to those of scientists, suggesting scientific inquiry is driven by human instinct. The other refers to the alarming extent to which […]

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Around the horn: Highly Efffective edition

IN THE FIELD RIP Artnet Magazine; more here. I will always be grateful to Artnet’s Ben Davis for being just about the only arts journalist worth his salt during the whole Yosi Sergant debacle. Congratulations to GiveWell, which has announced a not-quite-merger with Good Ventures, an emerging foundation led by Cari Tuna and Dustin Moskovitz (the latter is one of the […]

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In Defense of Logic Models

Last month, my post Creative Placemaking Has an Outcomes Problem generated a lot of discussion about creative placemaking and grantmaking strategy, much of it really great. If you haven’t had a chance, please check out these thoughtful and substantive responses by—just to name a few—Richard Layman, Niels Strandskov, Seth Beattie, Lance Olson, Andrew Taylor, Diane […]

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