This report is an evaluation of a range of outcomes at the four sites in the Creative Graffiti Abatement Project in Los Angeles County. This report evaluates the success of arts-based strategies in shifting perceptions, increasing positive activity, reducing graffiti vandalism, building a sense of community ownership and building capacity for future arts and culture activities at the sites. While this report takes a summative approach to evaluating outcomes, the evaluator was embedded in planning and public engagement activities throughout the project, combining elements of a developmental evaluation approach with strategies from ethnographic inquiry. The report offers detailed recommendations for public art commissioning agencies, arts organizations, artists and evaluators implementing similar projects.
Ultimately, the report highlights the role of embedding meaningful engagement activities in public art as an important aspect of government investment in communities. Like libraries, parks and recreation centers themselves, artwork is part of civic infrastructure, understood as physical structures and spaces, as well as social processes of management and use that animate them. Programs offered in these spaces are part of the infrastructure that builds and supports relationships between community members and also between community members and government. This evaluation demonstrates how physical and social artworks in those kinds of everyday civic spaces can contribute to community development and help to ensure that everyone has access to the benefits of arts and culture.