Abbe Museum Bar Harbor, ME

Evaluation of IMLS funded MuseDI 
The evaluation plan will be directed by guiding goals informed by the project Narrative:

  • To document the development of the Abbe’s understanding of how to implement decolonizing museum practices; while
  • Sharing the process to enable institutions to begin their own decolonizing practice.

To achieve these goals, the Abbe will develop the Museum Decolonization Institute (MuseDI). This will be a forum for sharing, changing, and collaborating on decolonizing museum practices. The specific aim of this working group is to better the Abbe’s relationships with Wabanaki people and to do the same for peer museums working with tribal communities. Proposed evaluation for this work will support these efforts by:

  • Equipping MuseDI participants with assessment tools to understand the efficacy of curriculum developed through MuseDI;
  • Assessing the extent to which MuseDI participants are successfully able to implement and utilize the tools developed through MuseDI in their own institutions

This study will be realized in partnership between Live Oak Museum Consulting (LOMC) and Kuyumjian Consulting LLC (KC). Live Oak Museum Consulting is led by Deana Dartt. Deana will serve as strategic lead on this project, ensuring that evaluative work is informed by best practices in indigenous research methodology and best practices in museum decolonization.  Kuyumjian Consulting is led by Taline Kuyumjian. Taline will serve as conceptual lead on this evaluation, building on her expertise in data collection, data analysis, and reporting.

The two consultants will work in partnership to look deeply at the ways in which participants in MuseDI start their respective journeys towards understanding and implementing decolonization practices. On a micro level the study seeks to provide the Abbe and MuseDI with actionable feedback about the practical tools developed to help advance decolonizing museum practices. On a macro level the study seeks to provide the Abbe and MuseDI with robust evidence and resources to help promote and advance these practices field-wide.

Recognizing the value and role MuseDI is poised to present to the larger field, it is proposed that this study seek to understand both the efficacy of use of the MuseDI for participants and practitioners and the impact of the decolonizing work on the Abbe Museum.

Native Cultures Fund, Humboldt Area Foundation, Arcata, CA

Project: Looking back, looking forward: A Granting Evaluation
A vision of Humboldt Area Native leaders in the 1990s, the Native Cultures Fund has supported over 300 artists, culture bearers and tribal researchers granting over two million dollars for preservation, revitalization and the perpetuation of the rich indigenous cultures of California. To assess effectiveness and evaluate where recalibration is needed, the Humboldt Area Foundation has recently contracted with Live Oak Consulting, a Native-led evaluation team, to create an indigenous, community-informed strategy for evaluating the work of its first 17 years.
As a project informed by indigenous methodologies (Smith, LT 1999) this evaluation will involve and be accountable to community stakeholders at each phase of data collection and analysis. In so doing, the foundation continues to build upon its legacy of community service and meaningful, reciprocal relationships. (Completion date June 30, 2019)