Our Town Program Evaluation (2016-2019)

A Theory of Change and Logic Model for the National Endowment for the Arts’ Creative Placemaking Grants Program

Patricia Moore Shaffer, Jen Hughes, Katherine Bray-Simons, and Sunil Iyengar

From 2011 through 2017, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) awarded $36.5 million to support creative placemaking projects nationwide through its Our Town grants program. In 2016, the NEA initiated a two-phase evaluation for Our Town. Metris Arts Consulting supported the prime consultant, 2M Research Services (2M), in both phases of this work. For Phase 1, Metris principal Anne Gadwa Nicodemus served as a thought partner and creative placemaking evaluation content expert. Nicodemus collaborated on the development of an Our Town theory of change; program-level logic model; and sample, grantee-specific logic models that integrated a range of methods and data sources developed and analyzed by 2M. Phase 2 launched in early 2018. It explores how well Our Town projects align with these theories and models and will inform needed adjustments to better support grantees and achieve program goals. For Phase 2, Nicodemus provided strategic support for three case studies that explore whether and how Our Town projects foster sustained support and recognition of arts, design, and cultural strategies as integral to community planning and development.

Source: Report Description