The Researchers in Residence: Arts’ Civic Impact initiative is conducting digital ethnographic research to build knowledge for flexible and responsive impact evaluation, including the identification of impact indicators and measurement frameworks of use to the arts sector. The term impact evaluation refers to what is assessed and counted as “success” for an organization or sector. The project is co-led by Robin Sokoloski at Mass Culture and CDMI Co-lead, Mary Elizabeth Luka at UTSC, with this bibliography as one of several open access contributions. The initiative is funded by Mitacs and by a collaboration between Mass Culture, the Canada Council for the Arts, the Culture Statistics Working Group (Federal-Provincial-Territorial Culture and Heritage Table), the Ontario Trillium Foundation, and Toronto Arts Foundation, and six universities (McGill, Emily Carr’s Aboriginal Gathering Place, Winnipeg, Dalhousie & Carleton as well as UTSC). When completed, this national research model, including the qualitative impact frameworks developed during the research, will be publicly shared.
The Just Transitions themed bibliography was developed by graduate student researcher Emma Bugg, with input from the Artifex resource repository, U of T PhD student Cate Alexander, and research co-leads Luka and Sokoloski. Bugg’s research concerns the role of the arts in collective efforts to address climate change and move towards environmental sustainability. Artistic presentations can play a role in shifting public perception positively towards sustainable transitions. However, there are few tools or frameworks to assess the impact of programming (including and beyond arts programming) on public perception towards environmental issues. Bugg’s research at the intersection of the arts and environmental sustainability can contribute to helping arts organizations better understand and in turn, leverage their impact as the climate crisis progresses.