Arts Informed Education

What is it?

Arts-Informed Evaluation (AE) is the use of art forms and art processes to explore and communicate an evaluation of experiences in community art practices while they are happening

  • AE is a new kind of qualitative assessment
  • AE works to express some of the qualities of community arts that conventional forms, like questionnaires, might miss
  • AE uses art forms integrated throughout the community arts process in ways that are relevant and responsive to the participants, community and project goals

Key Characteristics:


Art is the medium of evaluation.


Arts-Informed Evaluation is built in throughout the process of a community arts project. The art form(s) used for evaluation are relevant to the artists, the participants, the context & the purpose of the community arts project.


Arts-Informed Evaluation is reflexive meaning being aware of the big picture: reflecting on all the stages, activities, and elements (objectives, lived experiences, themes, outcomes) that make up a community arts project and applying what is learned to arts practice.

Ephemeral / Illusive

Arts-Informed Evaluation looks to capture ephemeral moments like feelings, ideas, dynamics, relationships that often last only in the moments or don’t leave an obvious trace. These may also be illusive: they may be hard to point to directly or describe in simple terms.

Arts-Informed evaluation emphasizes these ephemeral / illusive qualities, usually the richest parts of community arts practice and makes them accessible to people outside the process through creative expressions.

Why it’s important:

Participant & Community Voices Heard

Arts-informed evaluation works to make participant and community voices accessible and contributes to fuller understandings of the impact of community work.

Builds Relationships

Shared experiences and reflections can often create and enrich connections when developing relationships within and across communities.

Creativity Honoured

The participants’ creative expressions and experiences are included and honoured in the evaluation.


By supporting equity and diversity of different communities evaluation techniques can be tailored to suit each community context and the unique qualities of each project.

Energizing Evaluation

It uses forms of evaluation that are stimulating and relevant so that evaluation is an enrichment rather than an obstacle.