November is a time for gratitude, pumpkin spice lattes, yoga pants (so what if I’m a little “basic”?!), and the American Evaluation Association’s annual meeting! Just fresh off the heels of Halloween, AEA was held November 1st-3rd in the lovely City of Cleveland and EvalFest partners shined bright in a panel session entitled “Community-Created Multisite Evaluation – A Method for Speaking Truth to Power.”
Speaking of shining bright: it’s tough to be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for an 8 am conference session, especially when the lights aren’t working in the room where you will be presenting. Eek! Several rooms in the surrounding block were without lights, but luckily the other technology in our assigned room was unaffected – so theEvalFest team decided to just roll with it! We loaded our PowerPoints and then pulled some chairs together into the best-lopsided circle we could make for a good ol’ moderated group discussion…in the dark!
Karen Peterman kicked off the session with some introductory remarks about the EvalFest model and then turned the floor over to Cyndi Hall from the Charleston STEM Festival and Rachel Giatrasfrom the Philadelphia Science Festival to share how the data they’ve collected as part of EvalFest has been instrumental in speaking truth to the power of their festivals’ work. Cyndi shared with the audience how
I rounded out our scheduling programming with a discussion of how partners are creating value through their participation in EvalFest. Again, the topic of data reigned supreme in that the results overwhelmingly indicated that most EvalFest partners see the attendee survey data as a
If I had to use one word to reflect on the experience, it would most certainly be “delighted” –
de-lighted due to technical difficulties, but delighted by the richness of our collective story.