AAAE 2021 Virtual Conference...
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Monday, May 10 • 2:00pm - 2:30pm
2 PM ET: Conceptualizing Benefit as a Unit of Measure for Arts Organizations

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Currently, a vague notion of “benefit” is widely used in the nonprofit arts sector (DeVereaux, 2006; McCarthy, et al. 2004), yet studies of arts benefits are often methodologically flawed (Belfiore, 2009; DeVereaux, 2018; DiMaggio, 2002). Current practices often fall short of meaningful assessment, for example the number of people attending a performance or the percentage of different demographic groups in the service population, do not capture the unique, positive outcomes expected from arts experiences. Still, the wide acceptance of “benefit” as an appropriate means for analysis leads us to consider the possibilities for development of the concept as a standard unit of measure. This paper first offers a conceptual analysis of and framework for “benefit” as a standard unit of measure for arts organizations. Our analysis works toward definition, standardization, and implementation of this concept as a unit of measure. Second, we report on the application of this benefit standard in practice. Specifically, how arts organizations consider and adopt the standard for measuring and articulating benefit in tandem with other program evaluation practices. It is important that arts organizations can more easily understand their benefit as funding and policy requirements demand discernible, objective, and positive outcomes for the services of arts organizations.

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avatar for Kate Keeney, College of Charleston, Assistant Professor

Kate Keeney, College of Charleston, Assistant Professor

Dr. Kate Keeney is an Assistant Professor of Arts Management at the College of Charleston. Her research interests bridge arts management and public policy and management scholarship with a specific focus on arts policy, organizations, and nonprofit management.
avatar for Constance DeVereaux, University of Connecticut, Director and Associate Professor, Arts Leadership & Cultural Managem

Constance DeVereaux, University of Connecticut, Director and Associate Professor, Arts Leadership & Cultural Managem

Constance DeVereaux, PhD is Associate Professor in Residence and Director, MFA Arts Administration at the University of Connecticut. Her career in arts and cultural administration spans more than two decades as a scholar, researcher, and arts administration professional. As an independent... Read More →

Monday May 10, 2021 2:00pm - 2:30pm EDT
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