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4September 2018

Closing the Loop: Listen for Good Round One

The Art Effect is Listening for Good!

“Last year we provided some feedback about the state of the Art Institute… I wanted to thank you for making so many improvements, including the suggestions we made. We were impressed by the year over year improvement. It shows you listened and are an organization that listens.” — Art Institute parent

Here at The Art Effect, we value the input of the students and families we serve. This past year, we initiated the first of what will become many organization-wide feedback loops through the Listen for Good grant, made possible by the Fund For Shared Insight.

For our first round of Listen for Good, we created a survey and kept it open from December 12th 2017 through March 30th 2018, sending it to over 400 past and present program participants for a selection of The Art Effect’s programs: Dutchess Arts Camp, Art Institute, MADLab, and Spark Studios. We heard back from 160 people about a wide variety of issues, including schedule and structure of programs and classes, effectiveness of different teaching/learning strategies, and more.

Here’s what you told us:

  • When responses are viewed as a whole, we’re doing an above average job on all questions….

The Net Promoter Score (NPS) system is a standard feature of the Listen for Good survey, enabling The Art Effect to compare results to an industry baseline to get a sense of how we’re doing when compared to other arts and education organizations across the country. A high NPS means that our constituents are highly likely to recommend The ARt Effect to a friend, and, by extension, they are satisfied with our program services. The Art Effect netted an overall NPS of 68 (above the national benchmark). Our NPS score of 68 means we have more people who actively promote our organization than the average arts organization.

In addition, half of respondents say we meet their needs extremely well. 135 of 160 respondents say our staff always treat them with, and a majority of respondents (130 of 160) say it’s extremely easy or very easy to get services at our organization. We are very proud of this!

  • Our program audiences are segregated across racial lines and higher-income groups are overrepresented.

Cross-tabulation reveals our program audiences are diverse, but separated by how clients racially identify as well their relationship to our organization. For example, we found through this survey that our Arts Institute and Dutchess Arts Camps programs serve audiences who are primarily white, and our Spark Studios and MADLab programs serve audiences who are primarily people of color. The Art Effect stands for diversity, inclusion, and so we plan to use this feedback as an opportunity to ensure that our programs are equally accessible to all people, regardless of race, class, gender, and other demographics.

This information also helps us realize the nuances of how this programmatic segregation plays out and helps us to learn more about the people we serve and how their situations influence how they rate The Art Effect. For example, when counted as an average, our NPS is 68, above the national benchmark. However, when the results are cross-tabulated by race, it emerges that white respondents rated us an NPS of 74, Latinx respondents rated an NPS of 63, and Black/African-American rated NPS of 52. We first interpreted this to mean that the white folks we serve are largely enthusiastic “promoters” of our work, while most people of color we serve are largely passive. However, because our programs are also predominantly segregated by race, this could also mean that some programs are much better than others. In fact, neither of these assumptions are exactly true. When we closed the loop with Spark Studios and MADLab program youth (who are predominantly Latinx and Black/African-American) and asked for insight as to why they gave us such a low NPS, it turned out that, contrary to what we’d thought, they said they were unlikely to recommend the program because they viewed it as theirs and wanted to keep it for themselves. Though the NPS was low, we now understand that the wording of the question (likelihood to recommend) signified something to students that we had not considered.

  • Small logistical improvements can make a huge difference to how an overall program flows and feels.

If you participated in any Dutchess Arts Camp, Art Institute, or community program such as MADLab or Spark Studios in 2018 we want to hear from you! Please take the following anonymous survey. It should take no more than 5 minutes to complete: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PWRCLVF. If you have any questions, please call 845.471.7477 and someone can assist you.

BY mslspark