Evaluating the Victorian Public Women’s Art Program

The Victorian Women’s Public Art Program (VWPA) was designed to promote gender equality by addressing the under-representation of women in public places in Victoria. Funded and facilitated by the Victorian State Government through the Office for Women, and delivered by Regional Arts Victoria, the program aimed to highlight the contribution of women from all backgrounds, support female artists and practitioners and raise their profile and support the promotion of the arts and local arts institutions across the state.

Last year, NSF Consulting was commissioned by Regional Arts Victoria and the Victorian Office for Women to evaluate the VWPA Program. The outcomes provided evidence that the initiative has been important and significant to address the problem of low recognition of women in Victoria in the form of public art. Victoria’s Office for Women and program partners demonstrated a thoughtful and appropriate program design based on an identified problem.

Although only six projects were funded as part of this initiative, they were diverse in nature and location, and their qualitative impact considerable. These projects demonstrated women’s contributions to medicine, comedy, journalism, disability activism, equal pay campaigning and First Nations culture.

Our evaluation involved working closely with the project Steering Group to work through a program logic model, establishing the causal links required for the project to deliver what it intended to. We prepared an evaluation framework to guide the evaluation; identifying key areas of interest (criteria of merit) of appropriateness, efficiency and effectiveness, under which research questions were posed, linking to indicators of success, enabling us to make evaluative judgements on these three important components of the program.

Within our strategic evaluation report, we made recommendations designed to inform future iterations of this program to support this growing momentum of address gender inequities in public art and promoting gender equitably more broadly.

Remembering Stella Young

Remembering Stella Young was one of the projects delivered within the VWPA initiative. Supported by North Grampians Shire Council, the project delivered a statue of Stella Young in her hometown of Stawell to celebrate, commemorate and remember her. Stella Young was a comedian, journalist, activist and disability advocate, born in 1982. Stella died unexpectedly on 6 December, 2014, aged 32.

Thanks to the Victorian Office for Women and Regional Arts Victoria for the opportunity to have delved into this initiative to deliver this evaluation.

*Images: Remembering Stella Young. Courtesy North Grampians Shire Council.


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