The Values Study: Connecticut Commission on the Culture and Tourism
The Values Study was an organic, participatory learning experience for teams of board and staff members representing 20 Connecticut arts organizations. Each team conducted five individual depth interviews with randomly-recruited program participants, and synthesized what they learned through a stepwise process that culminated in a statewide meeting in November 2003. The process was designed to juxtapose existing programs with consumer values, and sparked a statewide discussion about mission, relevance and public value. Participants acquired interviewing skills and learned the benefits and challenges of qualitative research. Many ideas for innovative programs and projects spun out of this dialogue, several of which were funded through a follow-up grant program, made possible through a grant from the Wallace Foundation.

The Values Study Report includes a summary of themes from the research, written profiles of forty Connecticut arts citizens, and a comprehensive participant's handbook. The study's most important outcome, however, is a new level of understanding of the complexity of arts participation in Connecticut, and new frameworks for thinking about how consumers engage in and benefit from arts activities.