Evaluating Museum Education as Community Outreach and Engagment

By Jennifer Bransom, Gail Davitt, Elizabeth Gerber, and Susy Watts
May, 2010

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Summary: Four educators presented on evaluating museum education as community outreach at this spring’s AAM in Los Angeles. Their outline includes a definition of the Theory of Change Process and an evaluation chart.

Guiding Principles of Community Evaluation

  • Evaluations should be formative and summative and involve community partners from planning to implementation and through to the conclusion.
  • Evaluations should define the partnership, including each individual’s role and responsibility.
  • Define clear, shared outcomes using language that is concrete and specific and understood in the say way by everyone involved.
  • Program evaluation should be sustained over time and shared beyond the boundaries of the project.
  • Lessons learned from the evaluation should be applied to other programs.
  • Shared evaluation processes and outcomes build trust by developing reliance, confidence, and shared values.

Project Descriptions
Art Programs with the Community: LACMA On-Site¬†is a comprehensive partnership with schools, libraries, and community organizations to bring arts-related programming to children and families in the schools and neighborhoods of LosA ngeles Unified School’s local (LAUSD) District 4. Programs include looking and talking about works of art from TACMA’s collection, artmaking, and developing connections between art objects and participants’ lives.
A Thriving Partnership
Every child deserves the chance–and resources–to succeed. Thriving Minds is a network of community partners working together to ensure that every Dallas child has access to the tools necessary to: think creatively, excel academically,m ake healthy choices, and contribute to our community. Managed by Big Thought, Thriving Minds brings together resources from the City of Dallas, Dallas Independent School District and more than 100 arts, cultural, educational, youth development and social service organizations. With these partners, Thriving Minds delivers close to 1 million hours of programming and serves more than 300,000 students, teachers, parents, caregivers and mentors annually.

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