Chapter 4 described an effort to engage in action research involving evaluation systems in a non-profit art gallery. The initial research attempted to discover existing organization-wide processes for assessing how well the gallery was faring in achieving its mission of ‘enlivening and enriching the human spirit through the visual arts’. As revealed in the earlier chapters, this first attempt at action research did not succeed. However, subsequent discussions with the gallery’s Director revealed that she had several concerns that could be tied to the researcher’s interests in evaluation. These concerns had to do with how she ‘told the art gallery story’ to funders and the public. Believing that the organization was well run and effective, she also believed that it could do a better job of showing this to critical external stakeholders. In particular, she wanted to tell the story about specific programmes within the gallery rather than attempting to make generalizations about the gallery as a whole. This chapter is an abridged version of a study of the gallery’s programmes which, as part of the research project, was completed as a graduate dissertation in 1999 at the University of Victoria. 1
The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria (AGGV or the Gallery) is one of Canada’s finest mid-sized art museums and the only not-for-profit public collecting art museum in its geographic area. It comprises a permanent collection of 15,000 objets d’art. The collection features art from Asia, Europe, and North America with primary emphasis placed on Canada and Japan. The Gallery commits to about thirty exhibitions per year, covering historical, Asian, and contemporary curatorial themes in approximately equal proportions. AGGV public programmes are designed to provide individual contemplative viewing of art, information about the art and artists, and interactive and hands-on participation. Programmes delivery occurs in the Gallery itself, in the community of Victoria, throughout the province, and on the Internet. The Gallery also runs a gift shop and an art rental and sales service with works by local contemporary
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Publication information: Book title: Accountability and Effectiveness Evaluation in Non-Profit Organizations. Contributors: James Cutt - Author, Vic Murray - Author. Publisher: Routledge. Place of publication: London. Publication year: 2000. Page number: 178.
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