Striving for Meaningful Impact

I’m a big fan of Chantal Bilodeau and the blog “Artists and Climate Change.” I love that she’s focusing here on impact over numbers. Now how do we go about documenting and measuring the impacts she describes? So that others may see it. [Reblogged with permission of Chantal Bilodeau.]

Artists & Climate Change

The question of impact in the arts is a vexing one. Not only is impact difficult to define, it is almost impossible to quantify. Talking about impact can create the expectation that the transaction between art and audience is predictable and replicable. But it is not. Good art is unpredictable and unique, and its impact doesn’t translate neatly into a spreadsheet. As a young playwright, I used to think that impact was measured by the size of the audience: How many people bought tickets? Eventually, I came to realize that this view was reductive. By focusing on numbers alone, I was overlooking smaller, subtler clues that revealed a much more profound and, I suspect, lasting impact.

Four groups, organized in concentric circles from smallest to biggest, are invited to experience the impacts of a work of art: the artist(s), the audience, the field, and the larger community. In the theatre…

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