Boston Youth Arts

Evaluation Project

The new BYAEP Handbook and Workbook are on the next page!

Nonprofits in youth arts collaborating with national leaders to research, design, implement, and share innovative evaluation methods and tools to measure progress and outcomes in the field of youth arts. 


Project Summary

Photo of and artwork by Danny at RAW

When logic models and outcomes-based evaluations were introduced in the 1990s, nonprofits were challenged to implement a new, more precise way to measure and communicate the impact of their work.  Because the field of youth arts blends education, youth development and social services, we had to borrow evaluation practices from these other fields or invent our own with limited resources and few collaborations. Adopting tools from other fields has been cumbersome because their standards often fail to do justice to the beauty, complexity and holistic nature of our work with youth.  We needed a methodology for designing evaluation systems that:

  1.    Are specifically tailored to our programs

  2.    Are manageable to implement

  3.    Speak a common language

  4. Enable us to track and articulate youth development outcomes

  5.    Ultimately inform programmatic improvements

To address this need, Raw Art Works (RAW) obtained funding to create the Boston Youth Arts Evaluation Project (BYAEP), a three-year project with four outstanding nonprofit youth arts organizations in Boston: The Theater Offensive, Hyde Square Task Force, Medicine Wheel Productions and ZUMIX.