In 2009, the Tucson Pima Arts Council and Mark Stern and Susan Seifert of the University of Pennsylvania agreed to collaborate in an effort to document TPAC’s impact on civic engagement in Tucson and Pima County. The project grew out of the Americans for the Arts’ Animating Democracy initiative in which both TPAC and the Penn researchers participated.
The goal of the project was to develop a plan through which TPAC could develop a system for collectin and analyzing data on civic engagement. Toward this end, Roberto Bedoya, TPAC executive director, and Leia Maahs, TPAC grants manager, had a series of phone conversations with Stern and Seifert between November 2008 and April 2009 about the scope and strategy for the project. In May 2009, Stern traveled to Tucson for a three-day site visit. The Penn team then developed the strategy and implementation plan included in the final plan.
The report begins with a review of policy context in which the project was undertaken, including the findings of the Pima Cultural Plan. This is followed by a discussion of the proposed strategy and specific recommendations for documenting civic engagement. Specifically, there are five recommendations: