Saturday, May 30, 2009

Theory of Change I

Mission Paradox blog asks:

What's your theory of change?

How does your presence, or your organization's presence, in the arts somehow make the arts different from what they were before?

How does your presence move your art form forward?

I'm currently working on a more elaborate theory of change, taking into account a report I recently read about how small communities build thriving arts programs. ( ) The points that I've so far been working on are such:

1) An artists' association with the place he's in.
2) An artists' association with the audience he interacts with
3) An artists' association with the other artists in his community
5) An artists' association with seemingly unrelated arts associations (food appreciation groups, amateur science clubs, church groups, etc.)
6) An artists' association with figures and institutions of power and influence (banks, corporations, political bodies)
7) An artists' association with education and how the future of culture is formed

As of right now, I'm working on exactly HOW those associations spark change, but at the moment, it seems like if you're an artist and you're looking to change those things, those are the associations you need to build.

Association with other artists and with your own audience are very clear to most artists, but I wonder how aware most arts groups are about the importance of the rest.

1 comment:

Ian David Moss said...

Nice start. Part of my work with the Hewlett Foundation last summer was to develop a theory of change for their Performing Arts Program. It's not public yet, but I'll let you know when it is. I'm curious, how are you defining "place" in #1? Is it the place itself, i.e., the physical landscape, or the people in it? And if the latter, in what ways is that distinct from #s 2-6?

Oh, and where's #4?