Community Partners in Arts Access Evaluation

Document Type

Research Report




SIAP's interim report on the Knight CPAA evaluation has three parts: an assessment of the relationship of cultural participation and serious crime in North Philadelphia; an update on levels of cultural participation in North Philadelphia and Camden; and the findings of a set of interviews with grantees and others involved in CPAA.

  • Serious crime and cultural participation. Using data on reported serious crime between 1999 and 2004, SIAP found no evidence that serious crime suppressed cultural participation in North Philadelphia. Overall, crime and cultural participation were positively correlated, the result of their mutual relationship with social diversity.
  • CPAA participation update. Using data provided by the grantees, SIAP discovered a moderate increase in individual participation between 2004 and 2005. Across five neighborhood clusters, individual participation increased by 22 percent. Because of statistical regression, however, SIAP warned it's too soon to tell if the results represent a real increase in participation.
  • Grantee view of CPAA. Grantees had a generally positive view of the initiative. North Philadelphia grantees, however, expressed concern about the cost of partnerships with organizations located outside of the area. A surprise finding was that one-to-one outreach strategies—often using artists and humanities scholars—elicited great enthusiasm among grantees.

Based on its findings, SIAP made two suggestions:

  • Rather than slant technical assistance toward those grantees focusing on organizational capacity and formal partnerships, increase support for the community outreach strategies used by a number of groups.
  • Looking ahead, the Foundation and Community Advisory Committee (CAC) should explore opportunities to link cultural participation to other strategies for neighborhood revitalization.


SIAP's evaluation of the Community Partners in Arts Access (CPAA) initiative in North Philadelphia and Camden, NJ was undertaken between 2005 and 2009 with support by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.



Date Posted: 09 May 2017