Animating Democracy Webinars

Americans for the Arts hosts a full calendar of webinars on a variety of topics, including the intersection of creative work, social justice and civic engagement. You can tune into upcoming webinars and join the discussion live or check out our archived webinars to gain knowledge on past topics of interest.

As a program of Americans for the Arts we are pleased to be able to provide high-quality, online professional development at no cost to our professional members and for a fee of $35.00 for nonmembers. Please visit the Americans for the Arts webinar page for more information.


Webinars in 2014



Arts practitioners want to know: What difference are we making? How can we tell our story better? EVALUATION IN ACTION! Webinars hone in on common evaluation challenges artists, arts organizations, and their community partners face.  This series, offered by Animating Democracy with guest arts practitioners and evaluators, presents specific stories, techniques or tools, along with conceptual frameworks to guide evaluation design.  The goal of the series is to sharpen evaluative thinking and build confidence and can-do capacity in evaluation methods that produce meaningful, useful information!

Art-Based Evaluation Methods
May 28, 2014

Don’t leave your creativity at the evaluation door! Story, poetry, mapping, movement…these and more creative expressions are the work of art but can also elicit information and data useful to assessment and evaluation.   This webinar looks at ways to integrate creativity and art making into all stages of evaluation process, from being a method of data collection to a means for sharing findings that make intangible outcomes visible and meaningful.

Collecting Evidence of Outcomes and Impact
May 7, 2014

To capture what you need by know, you need to know what to look for Indicators are specific changes that can be seen, heard or read to show progress or demonstrate that an outcome is being met. It is useful to identify indicators in order to know what you want to measure and what data to collect. This webinar walks you through the process of devising relevant indicators and identifying practical data collection methods for creative change projects.

Assessing Social Impact: Practical Insights from Tucson, Arizona
April 2, 2014

What has the Tucson Pima Arts Council (TPAC) learned through four studies and three reports on its PLACE Initiative? Nationally recognized, PLACE (People, Land, Arts, Culture, and Engagement), has supported individuals and organizations who implement arts-based civic engagement projects that address critical community issues in the southwest. Learn about what kind of framework cultural workers are creating to assess work that engages community constituents as essential collaborators, and “place makers”, not solely as audience members.


EVALUATION IN ACTION! is supported by the Nathan Cummings, Lambent, and Open Societies Foundations.



Webinar Archive



EVALUATION IN ACTION!: 2013 is Animating Democracy's foundational series, which focuses on common challanges faced when endeavoring to measure social impact.

The webinar series, co-presented by Christine Dwyer of RMC Research and guest practitioners, includes four sessions (90 minutes) each focusing on a skill area, an illuminating arts for change story of evaluative practice, and linking to outcomes from Animating Democracy’s Continuum of Impact.

Linking Your Work to Change – Most arts for change practitioners will never conduct scientific-level evaluation, yet they want to understand links between outcomes and arts for change efforts. Learn techniques to establish connections between arts endeavors and social outcomes.

Credible Qualitative Design & Analysis – Stories and qualitative information are critical to giving a full sense of impact of arts for change work, but they are often considered “soft” evidence. Learn how to collect and analyze qualitative data that’s credible.

Meaningful Numbers! – Sometimes numbers convey meaning even better than words.  Learn what you can and should quantify!

Mapping Long-term, & Cumulative Effects – The effects of arts for change work often occur after project timeframes or grant periods end and are catalytic to other effects such as new connections and deepened relationships. Learn ways to map and assess cumulative and long-term outcomes.


Public Art Evaluation: Principles & Methodology for Measuring Social Impact
August 16, 2012 (60 minutes)

In this webinar, we discuss the challenges facing public art administrators when demonstrating the impact of the arts.


Beyond Good Intentions: Public Art Practices for Achieving Civic Engagement & Social Change
July 19, 2012 (60 minutes)

A follow up to the social engagement session of the 2012 Americans for the Arts convention’s Public Art Pre-Conference—how to engage communities and how public art programs can support artists who do socially engaged work.


Reclaiming the F-Word: Folk Arts, Shifting Populations & Civic Engagement
June 14, 2012 (60 minutes)

In this webinar, we will explore the importance of folk and traditional arts, highlighting how they connect individuals to their communities, foster dialogue between groups, and build cultural and civic capacity.


Trend or Tipping Point: A New Report on Arts & Social Change Grant making
May 10, 2011 (60 minutes)

Learn about Animating Democracy’s 2010 report:  Trend or Tipping Point: Arts & Social Change Grantmaking that assembles a first-time portrait of arts funders, social change funders, and others supporting civic engagement and social change through arts and cultural strategies. 


Arts & Civic Engagement: Policies and Actions for Strengthening the 21st Century Community
March 11, 2009 (90 minutes)

The 2008 National Arts Policy Roundtable, an annual forum of Americans for the Arts and the Sundance Preserve, examined important and timely opportunities for the arts to promote civic engagement toward building healthy communities and a healthy democracy.