Our programs make considerable impact on the youth of Detroit. We are committed to performing rigorous evaluation of all of our programs performed by professionals in the field of arts-integrated education. We also utilize the research of partner organizations such as the National Guild for Community Arts Education.

Detroit Wolf Trap

2015-2016: Living Art's Detroit Wolf Trap pre-K students performed significantly better than their peers on all HighScope COR early learning sub-scales, including Approaches to Learning, Social & Emotional Development, Physical Development & Health, Language, Literacy & Communication, Mathematics, Creative Arts, Science & Technology, and Social Studies. The Living Arts Detroit Wolf Trap students also scored significantly higher than their peers for the COR total score.

2016-2017: The results of a 2016-2017 study conducted by Mary Lou Greene, Director of the Institute for Arts Infused Education, Marygrove College and Dr. Shlomo Sawilowsky, Professor, Educational Research Department, Wayne State University confirm that children who experienced Living Arts’ Detroit Wolf Trap residencies scored statistically significantly higher in Approaches to Learning; Social and Emotional Development; Language, Literacy, and Communication; Science and Technology; and Social Studies on the HighScope COR-A in comparison to students who did not have this program in their schools. The children who participated also had higher COR-A scores in Physical Development and Health, Mathematics, and Creative Arts, although these were not statistically significant. In surveys, teachers almost unanimously shared that in the future, they would use the strategies taught by the program, and indicated systemic change to their teaching pedagogy. Parent workshops surveys indicated that parents consistently understand that the arts support learning and that they will use the methods at home.

2018-2021: Living Arts has partnered with Research for Action, a Philadelphia-based non-profit education research organization. With funding from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Living Arts and Research for Action will evaluate the impact of the Detroit Wolf Trap program on teacher growth and professional development.

National evaluation of the Wolf Trap program is available through the Wolf Trap Institute for Early Education Through the Arts.

In-School Arts

Our In-School Residencies are evaluated through a number of mechanisms. Program practices are evaluated through formative assessment activities within each residency session, regular planning meetings with school teachers and administrators, and via the Youth Program Quality Assessment through the Detroit Youth Development Resource Center.

Teaching Artists are continuously observed and coached by program management, evaluating, tracking and supporting best practices in youth development and arts instruction. Arts skill development is measured using the National Core Arts Standards, tracking growth from the beginning of the residency through the final culminating project or performance. Additionally, educational and youth development outcomes are measured by teacher surveys, post-residency interviews with school staff.

In 2018-19, teacher surveys reported:

  • 82% affirmed that the arts-integrated lessons reinforced the core academic content in innovative ways.

  • 82% plan to use arts integration strategies in the future, as a result of this program.

  • 82% observed new abilities, saw their students in a new way during the lessons.

  • 82% reported increased social skills and ability to collaborate as a result of this program.

  • 91% observed increase in student confidence.

  • 100% observed their students' ability to express themselves increase as a result of our program.

  • 100% reported students' increased ability to tell their own stories, share their perspectives, and relate to one another with respect and understanding.

The In-School Arts program was evaluated as part of a larger study for the National Guild for Community Arts Education from 2009-2011, 2013.

 This study on the effects of arts-integrated instruction on memory for science content is also a valuable tool to understanding arts integration.

Out-of-School Arts

Our Out-of School Arts program evaluation reviews accomplishments in creating, performing and responding, as outlined in the National Core Arts Standards. Pre/post tests measure students’ increase in art and leadership skills and social-emotional development. OSA evaluation also receives guidance from Skillman Foundation’s Youth Development Resource Center, which has complimented our exemplary process.  OSA evaluation found that 97% of students were better able to express themselves with confidence; 100% increased and refined their artistic skill and perspective.

Living Arts’ Holistic Student Assessment Retrospective

The Out-of- School Arts program is evaluated by Living Arts’ program staff, The Skillman Foundation and The PEAR Institute – Partnerships in Education and Resilience.