Barr Foundation Knowledge Center

This collection includes publications and resources from our partners and in our program areas, both current and legacy. These resources are completely free to access and download. Most of these works were funded by the Barr Foundation. We may occasionally feature items relevant to our program areas which were not funded by Barr. Please be aware that views expressed are not necessarily those of the Barr Foundation. We encourage you to search our collection and suggest potential content to include (use "Suggest an Addition"). For questions or assistance, please contact feedback@barrfoundation.org.
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Featured

The Arts Advantage: Impacts of Arts Education on Boston Students

May 7, 2021

Launched in 2009, BPS Arts Expansion, the public-private partnership led by the Boston Public Schools Visual and Performing Arts Department and EdVestors, brings together local foundations, the school district, arts organizations, higher education institutions, and the Mayor's Office to focus on a coherent, sustainable approach to quality arts education for all BPS students. This collaboration of local leaders along with students, families, and school staff, has enabled Boston to emerge as a national leader among urban districts working to expand arts education.The purpose of this study is to examine how access to arts education in BPS influences education outcomes pertaining to student social emotional and academic outcomes as well as parent and teacher perspectives regarding school climate. This research strengthens the case for quality arts education for every student, finding significant evidence increases in arts education lead to improvements on a range of indicators of student and parent school engagement.

Arts - Public Support

Creative City

April 1, 2019

The inaugural three years (2015-2018) of the Creative City pilot program supported artists of all disciplines to reimagine places for art in Boston, engage public imagination, and inspire community members to share in civic experiences. With acknowledgement of the Barr Foundation's funding and thought partnership, NEFA is excited to share the learnings through the Creative City Report and video series featuring the inspiring stories of the pilot program grantee work and the transformative power art can play in civic life.

Arts - Public Support

Programs Supporting Art in the Public Realm: A National Field Scan

April 1, 2019

A challenge for artists and funders in this intersectional work is to advance both aesthetic and community aims. How do programs balance community development needs and goals with opportunities for artists to experiment? What kinds of supports are needed to help community partners, crucial to the impact of the work, fully engage with artists? What services best support artists who are building their capacity for public realm production and community engagement? What funding strategies and practice standards help ensure projects that meet high marks for both aesthetic achievement and community value?In the spirit of advancing field dialogue in this arena, Americans for the Arts and the Barr Foundation are happy to share the findings of a National Scan of Programs Supporting Art in the Public Realm. The scan, while not intended to be comprehensive, highlights overarching themes and offers snapshots of 30 programs supporting and building capacity for artists to work in the public realm. Detailed summaries from interviews with seven selected programs provide additional insights.This scan was conducted to inform future directions of the New England Foundation for the Arts' (NEFA) Creative City program. Creative City's pilot phase offered direct support for artists at varied stages of experience and career to exercise their creative power to excite the public imagination and engage Boston's diverse communities. A report on Creative City's pilot phase and videos highlighting its value and impact in Boston can be found at: nefa.org/CreativeCityLearning.

Arts - Public Support

Showcasing and serving Boston's evolving Asian cultures: Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center

March 12, 2019

At Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center (BCNC), evidence of how arts, culture and creativity foster connection are all around.From dumpling cooking classes, which offer a window into Chinese culture for some and a chance to pass on their cultural heritage for others; to expressive arts therapy for children with autism and their families; to events designed to engage Bostonians in the area's evolving Asian cultures, including festivals, concerts, classes and artwork showcased in the new Pao Arts Center.

Barr-Klarman Arts Capacity Building Initiative Financial Health Evaluation Summary

January 1, 2018

This document provides an overview of a financial health evaluation TDC conducted in 2017 to capture the financial health trends of a Boston-based cohort of arts organizations who participated in the Barr-Klarman Arts Capacity Building Initiative (2012-2017), a joint grant program of the Barr Foundation and The Klarman Family Foundation. TDC's financial health evaluation was designed to impart a clear financial picture of the cohort at the program's end, as well as complement the qualitative evaluation of the Initiative (2016-2017) led by Diane Espaldon and Sara Peterson.The financial health evaluation measured the growth and scale of grantees' operations over the course of the Initiative; assessed cumulative financial health; and observed capitalization literacy. TDC evaluators provided each grantee with a capitalization assessment reflecting their organization's balance sheet and income statement trends over the course of the program. Grantees subsequently participated in a follow-up phone interview with TDC to discuss their financial results, and answer questions regarding the impact of the Initiative's capitalization training program on their strategic decision-making and financial goal-setting. With a sample of 30 organizations, TDC evaluated grantee financial performance in the context of each organization's individual goals, not against a cohort-wide benchmark. Cohort-wide trends were elicited from an aggregation of individual performance.This summary document provides an overview of the Initiative's capitalization program, the capitalization framework TDC employed, and high-level results from the financial health evaluation.

Arts - Adaptive and Relevant Organizations and Artists

Barr-Klarman Arts Capacity Building Initiative: Executive Summary of Final Evaluation

January 1, 2018

The Barr-Klarman Arts Capacity Building Initiative ("BKI") was created and funded by the Barr Foundation ("Barr") and The Klarman Family Foundation ("KFF") and managed by nonprofit research and consulting group TDC. Launched in early 2012 by the Barr Foundation, with The Klarman Family Foundation joining in partnership shortly thereafter, the Initiative sought to support the artistic quality and long-term strength of select arts and cultural institutions in Boston. BKI served 30 organizations across three cohorts –1) large/mid-size, 2) small/mid-size and 3) youth arts mastery organizations. The Initiative focused on four capacity areas:1.Role of effective capitalization2.Diversifying audiences3.Defining and achieving arts mastery outcomes with youth4.Growing cultural competency and proficiency.Over five years, the Initiative invested over $22 million through multi-year grants, knowledge-building activities, and technical assistance. At the time of the Initiative's design, both foundations were in an early phase of building their arts programs and were also new to collaborating with each other, so while the Initiative had broad goals and principles, it also retained an approach of adaptation to changing needs and learning along the way.

Arts - Adaptive and Relevant Organizations and Artists

Dancing to the Top: How Collective Action Revitalized Arts Education in Boston

May 5, 2016

This case study of the Boston Public Schools Arts Expansion (BPS-AE), a program supported by Barr Foundation and others, examines the expansion of quality in-school arts instruction as a means to increase equity of opportunity in Boston Public Schools.

Forks in the Road: The Many Paths of Arts Alumni

May 3, 2011

Presents findings from a survey of visual and performing arts graduates about current employment, satisfaction with training and careers, ability to continue to create or perform, and elements needed to better connect arts training to artistic careers.

Creative Placemaking

November 10, 2010

Ann Markusen and Anne Gadwa: A white paper for The Mayors' Institute on City Design, a leadership initiative of the NEA in partnership with the US Conference of Mayors and American Architectural Foundation.

Arts - Cross-sectoral Relationships

The Arts Advantage: Expanding Arts Education in the Boston Public Schools

February 12, 2009

Presents findings from a survey on the availability of arts education in the city's public schools, relevant school traits, funding needs, and partners. Offers recommendations and strategies for a three-year expansion plan. Highlights best practices.

Arts Service Organizations: A Study of Impact and Capacity

August 16, 2005

Evaluates the capacity of arts and cultural organizations during a two-year initiative while they assisted other small nonprofits and individual artists. Addresses issues of funding and partnerships; includes recommendations.

Arts - Adaptive and Relevant Organizations and Artists

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