Metris Arts Consulting"Metris Arts Consulting helped Pillsbury House + Theatre forge our own path through the murky landscape of creative placemaking evaluation. We were struggling to define an evaluation process that made impacts for people the central focus. Working with Anne Gadwa Nicodemus on Adding It Up, we were able to define and assess our own evaluation strategy ‚Äď and in the process, the artistic work and our network of relationships that support the work have been significantly strengthened.‚ÄĚ ‚ÄĒNoel Raymond, Co-Artistic Director, Pillsbury House + Theatre
Who We Are
Metris‚Äô mission is to improve and measure cultural vitality.
Our work in the realm of creative placemaking launched our practice. In 2010, our founder co-authored the seminal report for the National Endowment for the Arts. We remain a leading voice exploring how arts and culture can be an essential tool for community development. Over our thirteen years in operation, we‚Äôve grown and diversified our services. Our team’s experience spans government, municipal arts, nonprofit arts administration, research, evaluation, and planning. We provide essential services for a range of across the country and globe. Our clients include government agencies, community and arts nonprofits, and philanthropic foundations.
What We Believe
We believe in the power of culture to enrich people‚Äôs lives, help communities thrive, empower communities, and cultivate belonging.
- Advance equity through our work culture and our projects. Advocate for equitable creative community development.
- Respect and reciprocity: Treat clients, collaborators, and participants in our work with respect. Always strive for reciprocal relationships.
- People are the experts: Value diverse ways of knowing. Amplify the voices of those closest to the work.
- Embrace critical learning for staff, clients, and collaborators.
- Add critical value: Produce work that is rigorous, compelling, and relevant. Make it accessible and widely available.
What We Do
We help clients understand what difference their efforts make, why, and how. We serve as evaluation and learning partners. Our results help clients course correct. They share their impacts with stakeholders and remain accountable. Others learn from their efforts. We evaluate both local community-arts projects and also support the efforts of national funders. We helped the National Endowment for the Arts develop a theory of change for its creative placemaking grant program. We‚Äôve assessed the impacts of a 20-year grant program on the national dance ecology. We produced a case study of how a creative space in Zimbabwe fosters activism. We developed an indicator system for a cultural district. We assessed the Indiana Arts Commission‚Äôs evaluation and data collection work to help them develop capacity. We offer:
- Equity reflection questions, employed throughout the arc of the project
- Evaluation planning
- Impact evaluations
- Process evaluations
- Developmental evaluations, for real-time feedback within complex interventions
- Theories of change & logic models
- Case studies
- Collaborations with artists on creative evaluation/documentation methods
- Progress assessments
- Performance-based budgeting/performance accountability reports
- Indicator frameworks, using data to monitor implementation and track progress
- Evaluation coaching, learning cohorts & training
RESEARCH for FIELD BUILDING
We use a range of research and communication skills to advance understanding and field building. For a group of foundations, we explored social cohesion and how it relates to place-based arts and cultural strategies. For the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, we developed a web-based guide to federal government funding opportunities for creative placemaking. We‚Äôve conducted creative economy/ecology studies for Minneapolis, MN and on California. We:
- Apply an equity-lens to research work
- Conduct interviews & focus groups (qualitative research)
- Use ethnographic techniques (site visits & participant observation)
- Collaborate with artists on arts-based research & documentation
- Develop & analyze surveys
- Wrangle data and analyze stats (quantitative analysis)
- Execute literature reviews
- Track, articulate & amplify big-picture developments
- Produce articles, case studies, white papers, book chapters, and reports
- Curate webinars and panels
- Lead workshops and deliver keynotes and presentations
We help clients fill knowledge gaps so that they can effectively incorporate arts and culture into their work. We‚Äôre helping the Pennsylvania State Arts Council develop a pilot program for creative placemaking. We evaluate pilot programs and serve as learning partners within programs. This allows us to foster organizational learning help clients make strategic decisions. We support equitable program and policy development for:
- Public art
- Creative placemaking
- Cultural plan implementation
- Creative economy initiatives
- Creative community development
- Cultural programs
- Artist residencies & fellowships
We help clients equitably advance cultural vitality. We connected Grand Rapids, MN with a strategic vision to shape municipal policy and resource allocation for arts and culture. We lead a creative community development planning process for NeighborWorks America. And, we helped Plainfield, NJ assess converting a former church into a cultural arts and education center. We provide:
- Cultural plans for districts, cities, towns & regions
- Strategic advice to advance equitable outcomes
- Creative community engagement
- Arts-based public participation
- Cultural asset mapping
- Public art planning
- Research for cultural facility development
- Creative economy/ecology studies
We serve a national client base from our location in Easton, PA. We are a Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) and a Woman Owned Small Business (WOSB) certified through the National Women’s Business Enterprise National Council.