2019 GIA Conference
Cultural Intersections
Denver, CO  |  October 13–16

Transformation by Participation

Evaluating a field and funder partnership for racial equity in OST arts education

Monday, October 14, 10:00am – 11:30am


Organized and facilitated by Mac Howison, program officer for Creative Learning, The Heinz Endowments.

Presented by Barbary Cook, senior partner & managing director, Dragonfly Partners, LLC.; Sister Iasia Thomas, director, Children's Window to Africa; and Maria Searcy, education consultant, PA Department of Education.

How can arts funders engage in highly participatory grantmaking that includes building knowledge, networks, and visibility in close collaboration with the field of teaching artists and youth in and from African American and “distressed” neighborhoods? The Transformative Arts Process (TAP) at The Heinz Endowments was a multi-year philanthropic experiment that attempted to answer this question by invigorating the field of teaching artists and arts organizations, challenging structural inequities in OST settings, and bringing transformative arts and African-centered experiences to youth. An essential component of the TAP design was a deeply engaged Advisory Board (AB) that partnered with Heinz in the creation, implementation, and evaluation of the grantmaking strategy through regular meetings with collectively developed agendas, an online community, and subcommittees – all compensated with stipends and professional development opportunities. As a result of this, over $1,000,000 was invested in 30+ organizations, teaching artists, and youth. In this session, Heinz will moderate a presentation and interactive showcase of TAP through the lens of participatory evaluation.