The CRNY team is committed to ongoing reflection about our programs, the impact they are having on participants, and the broader socio-economic conditions in which our work exists.
To that end, CRNY is conducting a range of research, advocacy, and narrative change efforts with a strong commitment to equitable evaluation practices and artist-centered storytelling. We are committed to research that centers equity in its processes and methods—prioritizing the perspectives and knowledge of program participants and ensuring that they are the ones best positioned to use or benefit from the findings.
As articulated by the Equitable Evaluation Initiative, we “embrace new concepts of objectivity, rigor, validity, and complexity” and commit not only to compensation of research participants but also care, trust, and respect for the beliefs, ideas, and expertise they bring to our learning processes.
The following efforts are designed with an eye towards replicability and integration of learnings into policy at the local, state, and national levels.
Honoring the many ways that knowledge can be collected, understood, and shared, CRNY has commissioned multiple approaches to evaluating the impacts of both the Artist Employment Program and Guaranteed Income for Artists program. The following work will happen July 2023 through December 2024, and the results will be disseminated through convenings, social media campaigns, webinars, and more being planned by CRNY and its partners.
Artist Employment Program
- Hester Street Collaborative, working in collaboration with Museum Hue and SUNY Empire State, is leading state-wide participatory action research (PAR) focused on the impacts of the Artist Employment Program on artists and on organizations. A PAR evaluation toolkit will be co-designed with program participants, and artists will be invited to lead data collection efforts as PAR evaluators to inform the final deliverables of this research.
- Using data and cases from the Artist Employment Program, Urban Institute researchers are comparing benefits and challenges of different models for supporting artists’ labor.
- CRNY Artist-Organizer Kevin Gotkin is conducting a series of qualitative interviews with Deaf and disabled artists to understand how the Artist Employment Program is affecting the artists’ work and lives, with a consent process that foregrounds their agency and collaboration. This research will help CRNY document opportunities for future disability-affirmative artist employment program design and will inform Gotkin’s public programming.
Guaranteed Income for Artists
- The Center for Cultural Affairs (CCA) at Indiana University is leading a qualitative and quantitative evaluation of the Guaranteed Income for Artists program. The study is evaluating the social, economic, and artistic wellbeing of artists as a result of participating in the program. As part of the study, the CCA has convened an advisory group of artists to provide input on the research design. In addition to the evaluation, the CCA is also conducting an analysis that simulates the population served in the Guaranteed Income for Artists Program within other geographic areas, including nationally, in order to understand the feasibility of operating similar programs in different contexts.
- Guaranteed income scholars from NYU Cash Transfer Lab, Jain Family Institute, Appalachian State Family Economic Policy Lab, and Washington University in St. Louis Social Policy Institute are collaborating on a mixed-methods evaluation of the Guaranteed Income for Artists program, working with the Center for Cultural Affairs to survey both applicants to and participants in the program. This team is focusing on outcomes of interest to the economic justice and guaranteed income policy community — such as mobility and geographic diversity, spending data, social safety net access, and physical and mental wellbeing — to add important context to the national conversation and evidence base surrounding cash transfer policies and programs.
CRNY is working with research partners to document and assess the design and implementation of each of our programs. These partners are reviewing internal documentation and surveys, conducting interviews and focus groups, and developing a summary of the strengths, weaknesses, and ongoing challenges that have emerged from our programs. Helicon Collaborative is leading this work for the Guaranteed Income for Artists Program, and Danya Sherman and Deidra Montgomery are leading this work for the Artist Employment Program. The results will be publicly available in early 2024.
Because CRNY is a time-bound entity that will close in 2024, we believe it is critical to workshop our process evaluation learnings with a community of peers who are leading similar programs across the country (and beyond). From September through December 2023, CRNY is convening learning communities that will collectively reflect on challenges, opportunities, and best practices related to guaranteed income for artists and artist employment. Most importantly, these groups will consider how to amplify our shared learnings to leverage new support systems for artists at the state and national levels.
Recommendations and next steps from the Cash for Artists Community of Practice and the Artist Employment Program Working Group will be announced in 2024.