Data and Arts Education
Using survey research and secondary data analysis to support a nonprofit with an important mission.
Supporting the arts through research
The Paso Robles Youth Arts Foundation (PRYAF) is a nonprofit based in Paso Robles, California. Founded in 2001, PRYAF provides free instruction in the fine arts to children 8-19 years old. Because it is funded entirely through donations and grants, PRYAF needs my help to understand the impact it has on its students and the local community.
My work with PRYAF is research in four phases:
1) Comb through PRYAF's registration data to understand student demographics from the last two years. Where do PRYAF's students live, what do they look like, and why do they attend arts classes?
2) Create a Student Impact Survey to learn how current students are currently being affected by the arts classes they are taking. How does having access to free arts classes enrich the lives of current students?
3) Interview current students to collect qualitative data about their experiences taking arts classes and how it has affected on their school performance, family life, and overall well-being. What does an arts education mean to the children PRYAF serves?
4) Create an Alumni Impact Survey collect quantitative data about how PRYAF's former students fared post-secondary education, and to evaluate how an education in the arts affected their personal and professional lives. What is the long-term impact PRYAF has on its students?
This project will be used to support PRYAF's donation solicitation and grant writing efforts. It is currently in progress.
Working with PRYAF is not only an opportunity to tackle data in a nonprofit setting. As a child, I attended classes at PRYAF for about 10 years. During this time, I had the rare opportunity to take high-quality free classes in dance, visual art, theater, and much more. Being a student at PRYAF was one of the most formative experiences of my life, where I gained an appreciation for the role art plays in society, made lifelong friends with students from diverse backgrounds, and developed a passion for expressing creativity in my everyday life. PRYAF will always have a special place in my heart, and it is an honor to contribute to their mission of providing free arts education to the children of northern San Luis Obispo County.