Arts-Based Evaluation: A workshop for community workers, peer workers, participatory evaluators, youth, students, and adult allies

 Are you running a program or project in your community with young people? Are you interested in evaluating it but tired of conventional evaluation methods? Are you curious about ways to identify and document the meaningful impacts your programs or workshops have on people’s lives? Wondering about the best ways to develop, incorporate, and facilitate arts-based evaluation strategies into your workshops or programs? Confused about the bridge between arts-based facilitation and arts-based evaluation? You’ve come to the right place.

There is a growing interest in arts-based evaluation methods, however resources on how to effectively use arts-based evaluation methods to identify and analyze findings are limited. When used correctly, and with a mix of more traditional methods, arts-based and creative evaluation methods may support organizations, workers, facilitators, and participants to collectively identify and measure the impacts of a program, project, or workshop. Arts-based evaluation methods can also be a way to identify important issues at the beginning of a project, or give back to a group by allowing them a space to reflect on the meaning of your work together.

This workshop was hosted by Gendering Adolescent AIDS Prevention (GAAP) (New College, University of Toronto).

Event Speakers


Part I: Conceptual Frameworks and Key Principles for Practice (9:30-12:00)

Part I will include an introduction to arts-based evaluation. It will include a focus on program evaluation basics in order to help participants establish solid building blocks to launch their arts-based evaluation skills. The morning will conclude with a panel of practitioners that use arts-based evaluation methods in their work in order to provide participants with a range of opportunities for using arts-based evaluation methods in their work.

Introduction and Welcome: Sarah Switzer and June Larkin, GAAP

Program Evaluation 101: Nakia Lee-Foon PhD Candidate, Dalla Lana School of Public Health

Learning from the Field — Arts-Based Evaluation in Practice:

Erin Kang, Independent Facilitator; Lydia Hernandez, community artist/program host, SKETCH; Stefanie Stuart, Youth Program Supports Manager for Central Ontario. YouthREX

Moderated by Leah Burns, Post-doctoral fellow, Visual Communication Design, Aalto University, Finland

PART II: Building your arts-based toolkit (1:00 – 4:00)

Part II focuses on how to put arts-based evaluation methods into practice. Participants will learn how to design, document, and analyze particular arts-based evaluation methods to meet unique process or impact outcomes. Participants will walk away with concrete activities they can apply in their practice.

Interactive skill-building workshop – Sarah Switzer, PhD, Community researcher, GAAP, New College