Project: Field Building Fund: Impact Reporting Technical Assistance
Color Congress is an ecosystem-builder that resources, supports, connects, and champions organizations led by people of color (POC) that serve nonfiction filmmakers, leaders, and audiences of color across the United States and US islands. Color Congress offers free membership to organizations based in the U.S. territories. Congress members have access to monthly meetups, technical assistance, and sustainability support, as well as opportunities to direct resources to field-building interventions.
MCE was hired to produce a trust-based, value-centered approach to assist 16 Congress member organizations that requested support with impact reporting and storytelling/communications. MCE’s technical assistance consisted of (1) a workshop that explored how to use data to learn from and document the past, plan for the future, and improve organizational storytelling; and (2) 10 hours of tailored one-on-one consultation support to 16 Congress member organizations.
The Intercultural Leadership Institute (ILI) was created out of a shared vision among four cultural organizations to create leadership opportunities for artists, culture bearers, arts practitioners, and change-makers. In Native Hawaiian, “ili” means skin – the outer layer that holds together something vital. Like the Native Hawaiian “ili,” ILI’s intercultural approach to leadership aims to hold together a space for resilience and resourcefulness while emphasizing overlapping experiences, shared spaces, and mutual accountability – all in pursuit of cultural equity. Since 2015, when ILI launched its pilot leadership fellowship, ILI has designed and delivered people-centered leadership fellowships with a cultural context that challenges the dominant social norms that permeate the arts and culture sector.
At the height of COVID-19, the ILI leaders observed how the artists, culture bearers, arts practitioners, and change-makers within the ILI community were largely being excluded from funding opportunities. The ILI leaders were determined to ensure that their communities were not excluded in the emergency relief efforts. They organized to design a funding approach that met the needs of their communities, the historically excluded and overlooked. ILI hired MCE to evaluate the impact of the COVID -19 Relief Fund. This impact evaluation was designed with a participatory research approach to help ILI identify, synthesize, and understand the impact of their COVID Relief efforts amongst their designated communities.
The International Association of Blacks in Dance (IABD) preserves and promotes dance by people of African ancestry or origin. It also assists and increases opportunities for artists in advocacy, audience development, education, funding, networking, performance, philosophical dialogue, and touring.
MCE provided data analysis, data visualization, and writing support toward the development of The Black Report: The State of the Union for Blacks in Dance. This report is a call to action meant to highlight the experiences and challenges of a representative sample of black dance companies in the United States and advocate for increased funding and capacity support for black dance companies in the United States. The report was instrumental in IABD securing their first major gift from the Mellon Foundation.
Project: National Theater Project, Evaluation Report
The New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA) is one of six regional arts organizations established with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts. Each program and project that is brought to life at NEFA is created with the underlying goal of building a stronger and more dynamic infrastructure for the arts. In 2010, NEFA piloted the National Theater Project (NTP), modeled on NEFA’s National Dance Project. NTP supports innovative, devised, and ensemble theater artists with building a network of organizations committed to strengthening opportunities and cultivating audiences for their work. Since 2012, NTP has not only provided funding but also has cultivated an informed, interactive network of producing theaters, presenters, and ensembles that promote the funded projects and the development of the field as a whole.
NEFA hired MCE to examine and document the impact of NEFA over the last ten years. MCE worked closely with NTP’s staff, utilizing a participatory research approach to frame the evaluation goals, data collection priorities, and the modes of analysis. MCE designed and launched an impact evaluation to assist NEFA with examining how NTP met its program goals, identifying and tracking the most applicable NTP performance measures.
National Arts Strategies (NAS) develops market-leading education services for individuals who play a variety of roles in the arts and culture ecosystem: artists, cultural entrepreneurs, board members, staff members and executives. MCE is part of the faculty (which includes professors from leading business and graduate schools) for three NAS programs that serve arts and culture leaders across the country. In this role, MCE designs and refines the program content and learning experiences, delivers program content and ensures the mastery of content delivered across all mediums. Program content is delivered online and through in-person convenings.
For over 20 years, the Richmond Memorial Health Foundation (RMHF) has prioritized and invested in efforts that strengthen health outcomes for people in the Richmond, Virginia region. The Health Equity and Arts (HEArts) Program was RMHF’s first attempt to invest in the arts and explore the role that the arts could play in achieving health equity in the Richmond, VA region. Through HEArts, RMHF funded artists to create works that would amplify the voices and experiences of the residents of greater Richmond. MCE was hired by RMHF to conduct an assessment of the HEArts Program’s inaugural year. MCE launched a four phase assessment process-that incorporated a mixed methods research design-to document (1) if and how the HEArts program met RMHF’s goals, (2) what worked well with HEArts’ implementation, (3) opportunities for improvement for the next iteration of the HEArts program, and (4) ideal ways to build connections that integrate artists into RMHF’s overall efforts in the Richmond, VA region.
MCE was hired to lead and manage all elements of the executive search process for Dance/USA’s next executive director. MCE managed a people-centered search process that prioritized transparency, flexibility, active engagement, collaboration, trust, and consensus-building. After presenting Dance/USA’s Search Committee with 76 qualified candidates and demographic data to outline the search’s reach, Dance/USA’s Board unanimously approved the Search Committee’s recommendation. MCE onboarded Dance/USA’s new leader and set realistic short term goals for their tenure in the position.