Any Given Child Program: Examining the power of strategic planning to build community partnerships for arts education

The Situation

Access to a strong arts education remains an issue for many K–12 students. Any Given Child (AGC), an initiative of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, brings together schools, arts institutions and local governments to increase equitable arts access in schools. In communities around the United States, AGC Community Action Teams have approached their work in a manner that best suited their individual needs and resources, making holistic evaluation a challenge.

The Kennedy Center reached out to the Improve Group to:

  • Evaluate how individual teams were progressing toward implementation.
  • Measure the effectiveness of the AGC process and support for its teams, individually and collectively.

The Solution

To assist in the refinement of the Kennedy Center program model, we designed a multi-state process and outcome evaluation. Our team:

  • Visited sites in Oregon Texas, California, Florida, Nevada, Oklahoma and Missouri.
  • Designed a mixed-method evaluation to assess each team’s impact on its selected community and across the initiative as a whole.
  • Determined guideposts within various phases, from early concept to active implementation to preparation for expansion.

The Results

As a result of our evaluative work, the Any Given Child initiative:

  • Received accurate snapshots of each project, its impact or progress to date and the process that brought the work to its current status.
  • Improved strategies for supporting communities.
  • Implemented an ongoing strategy to measure its success.

This work demonstrates our ability to effectively evaluate a program in its early stages. 

Visit the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Any Given Child initiative: