Creating and Maintaining a Culture of Evaluation

Sunday, June 17, 9:00 am - 10:30 am

More and more, local arts agencies (and the rest of the arts sector) are being called upon to evaluate the impact of our work in inclusive and equitable ways. How can we create a culture of evaluation that recognizes and pushes against more tradition, non-inclusive ways of evaluating "quality," "impact," and "excellence?"

Learning Objectives:

  1. Learn what a "culture of evaluation" is, and why it is important.
  2. Hear about a set of alternative ways of thinking about the impact and "value" of the arts to community life.
  3. Discuss how to make evaluation a manageable, useful exercise by scaling to what you'll have time for, identifying what you really need, and exploring partnerships and shared responsibility.

Presentation Slides


Barbara Schaffer Bacon
Co-Director Animating Democracy
Americans for the Arts
Belchertown, Massachusetts

Barbara Schaffer Bacon co-directs Animating Democracy, a program of Americans for the Arts that inspires, informs, promotes, and connects arts and culture as potent contributors to community, civic, and social change. Additionally, she contributes to Local Arts Advancement work at Americans for the Arts. Barbara has written, edited, and contributed to many publications including Trend or Tipping Point: Arts & Social Change Grantmaking; Civic Dialogue, Arts & Culture: Findings from Animating Democracy; Case Studies from Animating Democracy; Animating Democracy: The Artistic Imagination as a Force for Civic Dialogue; Fundamentals of Local Arts Management; and The Cultural Planning Work Kit. A consultant in program design and evaluation, Barbara has served as an adviser for state and national arts agencies and private foundations. Barbara previously served as executive director of the Arts Extension Service at the University of Massachusetts. She is president of the Arts Extension Institute, Inc. and a board member for WomenArts. Barbara served for 14 years on the Belchertown, MA School Committee.  She currently serves as a member of the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

Gregory Burbidge
Research & Policy Specialist
Calgary Arts Development
Calgary, Alberta (Can)


Gregory Burbidge is a Research & Policy Specialist at Calgary Arts Development (CADA). In this role he is responsible for the management of research and policy projects that support the indicators and outcomes related to CADA’s strategic plan. This work also includes supporting the development of data and evaluative tools for use by the arts community.

Prior to joining CADA, Burbidge served as a Principal Program Specialist at the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC), building a program around the ARC board's vision for a regional focus on arts and culture planning. Previous to that Burbidge spent time managing a performance and concert facility in Saskatchewan.

Born in the wilds of northern Canada, Burbidge spent his early professional life as a gold miner. In his spare time he enjoys playing board games, petting his dogs, and creating art with textiles, a hobby that intertwines his interests in mathematics, sheepherding and wearable art.

Julane Havens
Associate Artistic Director
Commonwealth Theatre Center
Louisville, Kentucky

Julane Havens is the Associate Artistic Director for Commonwealth Theatre Center in Louisville, where she co-manages the Walden Theatre Conservatory and has managed student assessments since 2013. She participated in student assessment development for The Kentucky Center Governor’s School for the Arts, where she is the Chair of the Drama program. Julane is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association and is honored to have directed the first productions of HENRY IV PARTS 1 & 2 for the Young American Shakespeare Festival, to have led two arts-immersion trips to Nicaragua with Hand in Hand Ministries, and to have founded the Summer Shakespeare Intensive at CTC in 2011. She earned a Master of Fine Arts in Acting and Directing from the University of Missouri – Kansas City/ Kansas City Repertory Theatre, and recently graduated with a Master of Arts in Business Design and Arts Leadership from Savannah College of Art and Design.

Emiko Muraki
Director, Community Investment & Impact
Calgary Arts Development
Calgary, Alberta (Can)

Emiko Muraki is an arts manager focused on research, strategy and systems thinking. As Director, Community Investment & Impact for Calgary Arts Development she oversees grant investment programs, evaluation, performance measurement and a research agenda focused on the benefits of the arts to a city, community and individual. Emiko holds a BFA in Theatre as well as a BA (Honours) in Psychology from the University of Calgary. She has been an active member of the Calgary arts community for over a decade, working as an arts administrator, director, dramaturg, stage manager, and actor. Emiko is a member of the Calgary Board of Education’s Fine Arts Advisory Committee and Research Sub-committee, The City of Calgary's Event Advisory Committee and the Canada Council for the Arts’ Qualitative Impact Research Advisory Committee. She is also pursuing graduate studies in cognitive neuropsychology, with an interest in the neurological processes underpinning the human capacity for language.