We have selected the MCL Artist in Residence Program for the Embedding Evaluation project. Our goal is to understand how our support of local artists helps inspire community involvement through art.

The Artist in Residence (AIR) program aims to support the endeavors of our local artists who connect and engage the community with a variety of arts. Artists 18 years of age and older and residing in Mesa County, CO may apply. Artists selected are at all stages in their careers and work in one or more of the following media: drawing, painting, fiber arts, sculpture, photography, video, music, fiction and nonfiction writing, and poetry.

Artists are encouraged to use this fourteen-week residency as an opportunity for growth and development while engaging with the community. Selected artists receive a $500 stipend courtesy of the Mesa County Libraries Foundation. Artists have studio space to hone and focus their creative talents while sharing their expertise and skills through scheduled presentations, workshops at the library tailored for specific age groups from children to adults, and open studio hours, open to all ages.

The goals of the AIR program are to support an art community in Mesa County; provide professional development opportunities for artists; bring a variety of art methods and teaching styles to library patrons in rural areas; and help community members, art lovers, and fellow artists make connections with professional artists actively working in their own and neighboring communities.

We believe it is a good candidate for embedded evaluation for four primary reasons:

1) The existing strength and popularity of this program.

2) Its purpose combines supporting professional development with community engagement.

3) Team members who constructed and currently run the program would like help designing meaningful evaluations.

4) Evaluation will provide evidentiary support for updating the existing AIR program.

Evaluation questions and methods:

  1. In what ways has the AIR benefited from the residency professionally? (AIR focus group, AIR survey)
  2. To what extent have the art programs and open studio hours provided connection within the art community? (participant survey)
  3. How effective is the program in helping the AIR connect to the community at large? (AIR focus group, participant survey)
  4. What parts of the AIR program are most/least relevant to the artist? (AIR focus group, AIR survey)