Promising Practices and Learnings

Beverly Everett Conductor at the piano

Through the evaluation process the following key features and elements of ArtsLab have repeatedly been found to be core to the strength of the program:

  • Multi-faceted learning: holistic program
  • Values-driven program: (mission and vision that drive decisions re. program content/development)
  • Quality of trainers/strategists: expertise in a knowledge area, in adult education, in arts and culture, in the uniqueness of community-based nonprofit work
  • Process oriented: 3 year arc of curriculum
  • Consistent reinforcement of concepts: four capacities, strategic road map, logic model
  • Team approach: peer learning environment
  • Facilitative approach: questions and not answers; dialogue and conversation
  • Individualized /adaptive learning: continually evolving in response to needs; meet organizations “where they’re at”
  • Cyclical approach: reinforcement and deepening of work through return to concepts each year
  • Responsiveness to community context

Another way of expressing the learning is to explore the style of our work which is based on our belief in the value of


  • spaces for “creative disruption” – regularity of time apart
  • conversations to hone ideas
  • context – new lenses – through “outside-in thinking” to embed in broader community framework
  • consciousness – through routine use of self-assessment tools
  • opportunity to implement new ideas through combining technical assistance with advancement grants


  • cultural competency
  • cycles and multiple levels of learning – individual, team, board, organization, learning community
  • holistic learning through emphasis on the four capacities (leadership, adaptive, management and operations)
  • adult learner needs and styles and insistence upon adult learner approaches with all “experts” involved in the program