Register Now | Impact Evaluation and How to Better Communicate It With Your Stakeholders

Register Now | Impact Evaluation and How to Better Communicate It With Your Stakeholders
Image: David Lavin, Founder and Director of Spark Impact, Photo credit: Jody Christopherson

These two free online workshops, offered in partnership with Spark Impact, will take place in March and April 2021.

Interested in learning more about impact as it relates to artists and arts organizations? New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) is pleased to announce two free workshop offerings in partnership with Spark Impact, an organization that works to build flexible, scalable, and replicable systems for both groups and individuals. 

The first workshop, in March, will focus on “Impact Models for arts Administrators/Arts Organizations,” and the second, in April, will cover how to “Communicate Impact for Individual Artists.” Both online workshops will be taught by David Lavin, Director of Spark Impact. Participants of either workshop will come away with practical tools and tips to aid them in their practice as either artists and/or administrators.

The workshops will be recorded and shared with all previously-registered participants after each session. The recording will be available for viewing for up to one month after the scheduled date, but not available for download.

Read on for more details on each and how to register.

Impact Models for Arts Administrators and Arts Organizations

Date: Tuesday, March 16, 2021, from 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM EDT
Location: Zoom Webinar Platform

Want to learn how to decide on the right type of evaluation for you? We’ll help you identify which of the various approaches to impact evaluation or assessment will work best for you based on your organization’s size, focus, stage of development, and type of need.  

We’ll share common pitfalls to avoid and discuss the pros and cons of internal vs. external evaluations. You’ll come away with practical suggestions to develop internal buy-in for evaluation, ideas for how to use evaluations to support your fundraising and capital campaigns, and tips about what to look for in an evaluator. David will share examples from his own work, and invite participants to share their own experiences so we can learn from one another. 

Audience: This workshop is geared toward arts and culture administrators and organizations who are interested in learning more about impact evaluation or are starting to think about conducting impact evaluation in their organization. During this workshop, we will answer the following questions: 

  • What are the various ways in which effective evaluation can benefit you? People and organizations consider impact evaluation for a variety of reasons, from a desire to learn about their pilot program’s potential, to a need for evidence in service of a major capital campaign’s efforts. For different needs–and stages of development–there are different approaches to evaluation that are best suited. Learn how to assess your needs so you can understand the best type of evaluation for you.
  • What is the best tool for your organization’s stage of development? While some long-established organizations may want to invest in years-long evaluation processes with thousands of participants, for a pilot project or young organization this type of project would be neither helpful, practical nor cost-effective. Learn how different evaluation approaches serve different purposes, and how to match them with organizations at different stages of development.
  • How to decide if you should conduct your evaluation internally or with the help of an external evaluator? Both methods have their pros and cons. Deciding this will depend on your organization’s capacity as well as on the type of evaluation needed. You will learn how to determine what is best for your organization, and what you need to keep in mind when conducting internal or external evaluations. 

To register for “Impact Model for Arts Administrators and Arts Organizations,” click here.

Communicate Impact for Individual Artists 

Date: Tuesday, April 13, 2021, from 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM EDT
Location: Zoom Webinar Platform

Social impact is at the heart of what drives many artists to create art in the first place, but many don’t know how to communicate that impact, let alone evaluate it credibly. It can be incredibly valuable to learn to understand and effectively communicate the impact of your creative endeavors, especially for those working in public spaces, in education, or with institutional support. This skill can also help build relationships with stakeholders–from community-members to benefactors.

We will discuss the basics of communicating about impact in the arts, introduce some common tools to understand your impact, show you how these tools can benefit you and your audience or community, and offer some tips on how to approach impact-focused communication to get your art more reach and support.

Audience: This workshop is geared toward individual artists. Whether you are an artist who wants to understand how best to frame your work within the overall benefits of the arts or a socially-engaged artist who wants to learn how to measure the impact of your work, this workshop will offer you practical tools and insights into furthering your goals. During this workshop you will learn:

  • About the benefits of having a clear (and credible) impact message and how to define it. Having a clear impact message can help you connect more deeply with the communities in which you make art, draw wider audiences/participants, get more favorable press, and attract financial backers to your projects.
  • How to develop an impact-based communication strategy that meets the needs of those who are interested. From donors and government funders to community members, many people want to understand the impact that art can make on their community. Understanding their priorities can help you tell more compelling stories about and with your art.
  • When you should consider impact-evaluation and why. Impact evaluation can help you access grants, fellowships, and partnership opportunities. Evaluation can be incredibly helpful for this and other reasons but isn’t necessary or appropriate for everyone. 
  • How to contextualize your work within the broader benefits of the arts. Experiencing or participating in the arts has been shown to have myriad benefits. Even for art that is not explicitly activist, impact messaging can help you attract resources by helping funders, partners, and audiences understand how it can serve their community. 

To register for “Communicate Impact for Individual Artists,” click here.

Presenter’s Bio:

David Lavin, Founder and Director of Spark Impact, has worked across sectors to develop social impact strategies, implement meaningful programs and create impact measurement systems for organizations in the U.S. and Latin America for 15 years. He is particularly focused on economic inclusion and advancement, race and gender justice, education and the arts, and creating community around meaning and purpose. 

Lavin has taught Social Impact Strategy, Measurement, and Evaluation at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA). He holds a Master of International Affairs degree in Economic and Political Development from SIPA, received his B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, and studied composition and music education at Berklee College of Music. 

Also a musician, Lavin lived in Seattle for many years, where he designed music education curriculum for youth, taught lessons, created teacher training and evaluation systems for arts organizations, founded a recording studio, and fronted a rock band.

This program is presented by NYFA LearningSign up here to receive NYFA News, a bi-weekly organizational email for upcoming awards, resources, and professional development. NYFA Learning also offers the monthly Immigrant Artist Program (IAP) Newsletter if you are interested in opportunities, professional development, events, and tips and advice specific to immigrant artists.

Luiza Teixeira-Vesey
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