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Evaluating Arts Grant Portfolios

The National Endowment for the Arts continued its webinar series on evaluating arts programs with a discussion on how state arts agencies and regional arts organizations are using evaluation to assess their grant portfolios.

Laura Scanlan, NEA Director of State and Regional Partnerships, introduced the topic of state arts agencies and regional arts organizations using program evaluation methods to assess their grant portfolios. The challenges to using program evaluation in these settings are considerable, since the grants awarded tend to be small and diverse in scope, and evaluation capacity of grantees is often low. During the session, presenters Renae Youngs, Director of Research and Evaluation for the Minnesota State Arts Board, and Sara Crawford Nash, Program Director (Dance) for the New England Foundation for the Arts, who have managed grant portfolio evaluation in a state arts agency and regional arts organization respectively, presented two distinct approaches to grant portfolio evaluation and also discussed the unique challenges to conducting this work in the arts.

A question and answer period followed the presentations.

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