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The Art of Measurement; Contemporary Approaches to Arts Evaluation

  • Footscray Community Arts Centre, 45 Moreland Street Footscray, VIC, 3011 Australia (map)

Arts West are pleased to present The Art of Measurement; Contemporary Approaches to Arts Evaluation. Find out about the five measurable cultural outcomes for engagement in cultural development activities; learn the difference between an output and an outcome and why it matters; and hear how evaluations can assist in making your activities more meaningful and informative. You will also receive top tips for successful evaluations, practical tools, resources and templates to give you a framework to help you communicate your outcomes to your stakeholders.

WHEN:            Thursday 30th November, 10am-1pm
WHERE:          Footscray Community Arts Centre,  45 Moreland St,  Footscray
COST:               $10.00 Unwaged Artists & Producers / $30.00 Waged Artists & Organisations

Measurable cultural outcomes for engagement in cultural development activities.

Presented by John Smithies, Cultural Development Network

This session will introduce the five measurable cultural outcomes for engagement in cultural development activities (i.e. arts, libraries and heritage).  These measures have been endorsed by the National Local Government Cultural Forum and are in trial in Australia and overseas.  The significance of focussing on outcomes is discussed and how activities can change to reach better outcomes and how evaluation is meaningful and informative.  The session will explain the research and theory behind the schema and how it is being developed, through trials, for application in the field.

Capturing the elusive – measuring outcomes

Presented by Jenny Riley, Navigating Outcomes

Everyone is talking about outcomes and increasingly government and funders want us to report on outcomes. What is the difference between an output and an outcome? Why does it matter? What does an outcomes mindset mean? Who has ‘outcomes’? When do outcomes occur? What can we realistically expect in terms of short, medium and long term. How do we measure outcomes? How do we communicate our findings?

This session will cover some of the basics of outcome measurement in plain language. We will provide some examples, templates and tools so that you can walk away with a framework to help you communicate outcomes to your clients, staff, volunteers, board and funders.

Secrets of successful arts evaluation

Presented by Tandi Palmer Williams & Brooke Boyce, Patternmakers

Developing an evidence base through evaluation can be invaluable for arts and culture organisations. Evaluation demonstrates value beyond the number of people organisations interact with. It informs decision making, and helps organisations build strong cases for investment. It also sparks new thinking, and can help arts organisations contribute to broader conversations and public policy development.

But when resources are limited, what should you prioritise? How can you make it worthwhile and engaging for your team? And what little things can be done to ensure good value for money?

In this session, Patternmakers will share their top tips on how to set an evaluation up for success, and talk through some examples of evaluation in action. Tandi and Brooke will also share some practical tools and resources for practitioners looking to explore this space.

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John Smithies, Cultural Development Network

John Smithies Executive Officer, Cultural Development Network and Adjunct Principal Research Fellow, Centre for Global Research, RMIT University, Melbourne.  His work has been as an executive arts manager with focus on arts business development, research and planning. John has led Cultural Development Network since 2005. Prior to joining CDN, John was an executive in the Victorian public service from 1991 to 2004 holding senior roles in the arts and film industry and in developing programs that enhance the public understanding of media and cinema culture through the 11-year development and opening of the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI), at Federation Square in 2002. Since joining CDN he has worked with the CDN Board and a highly skilled team to support stronger planning of cultural development activities in local government. Key achievements at CDN have been to establish its internationally recognised research program and forming the National Local Government Cultural Forum, a partnership of the Commonwealth government and the Australian local government sector.

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Jenny Riley, Navigating Outcomes

Jenny is a senior consultant with over 17 years’ experience in the social sector. She has worked in state and federal government departments (DEWR) and for international NGOs including Oxfam Australia, Plan International and was recently United Way Australia’s Head of Community Impact. In her last role at Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, Jenny further enhanced her skills in developing and implementing evaluation frameworks for a range of clients from the government, non-profit and philanthropic sectors.

With a strong focus on feedback and continuous learning, Jenny has designed numerous measurement systems for organisations and collaborations. Her work was recognised in 2014 with her learning report for United Way Australia ‘Our Journey So Far’ the runner-up in the SIMNA Evaluation awards. She also has extensive experience in facilitating program logics, theories of change, undertaking outcome harvesting, as well as results-based accountability and developmental evaluation approaches.

Jenny’s specific experience developing shared measurement systems for collaborative and collective impact based initiatives reflect her desire to leverage new technologies and methodologies – including trialling new options for real-time dashboards and SMS surveys – to better understand and use data to inform effective and adaptive decision-making. She is now recognised as a leading practitioner in Shared Measurement in Australia, and sought out for strategic advice into a range of initiatives.

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Tandi Palmer Williams & Brooke Boyce, Patternmakers

Patternmakers was established to inform, inspire and empower creative professionals with data. It is their mission to see a vibrant, creative, strong culture of research, evaluation and data-informed practice in the arts and culture sector.

Patternmakers is led by Managing Director Tandi Palmer Williams – an experienced consultant and arts and culture research specialist. Tandi is an Associate of the UTS Institute of Public Policy and Governance and accredited as a Qualified Practising Market Researcher. She recently spoke about ‘Evidencing the Arts’ at the Australian Performing Arts Centres Association conference and presented a paper on Accessible Evaluation at the ACSPRI Social Science Methodology Conference.

Tandi is supported by Research Manager Brooke Boyce, an experienced analyst and researcher. Brooke has a background in shopping centre research, delivering economic and consumer trends, and managing large-scale innovative market research projects. She recently co-presented with the Australian Theatre for Young People at the 9th Annual International Arts and Health Conference, in Sydney.

Together, Tandi and Brooke have a track record delivering complex research and evaluation projects for organisations like the Australia Council for the Arts, Creative Victoria, Museum of Contemporary Art, The Cube Wodonga, Australian Theatre for Young People and others.

Earlier Event: November 8
Arts, Law & You