Outcomes: The ISE is outcome oriented and in fact, national experts in producing, measuring and documenting reliable (statistically backed) outcomes from our work, especially in the area of creating outcomes with youth and at-risk youth.  Please refer to our section on Education for a great deal of additional information.



Accountability:  Proudly listed on the Iowa Register of Non-Profit Accountability, the ISE is deeply committed to community accountability and utilizes results-based accountability practices. We demonstrate our accountability in several ways.


  1. As a small non-profit, we deliberately elect to maintain a fiscal agency relationship with some of the most well-respected arts oversight agencies in Iowa.  Currently, our fiscal agent is Metro Arts Alliance.  Maintaining this fiscal relationship frees staff from the burden of servicing a 501 ©3 organization and allow staff to focus on program, keeping ISE staffing burdens lean and mean, while at the same time, ensuring that extra layers of oversight are provided on accountability for funds.  
  2. ISE staff are experienced, federal-level grant reporters and routinely provide detailed grant reports which are also on file with Metro Arts Alliance
  3. The ISE invests in staff training.  Our staff are members of both leading leadership organizations in Iowa: The Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute and Leadership Iowa.  Our staff routinely attend all manner of training both artistically, academically and also in terms of non-profit administration and festival management. 
  4. ISE staff are members of a variety of professional organizations, all of which provide ethical regulations and guidelines in addition to substantial targeted training opportunities. 
  5. The ISE utilizes transparent processes and maintains an actively engaged Board of Directors, themselves key, recognized leaders in the wider community.  Our Boards bring multiple areas of expertise explicitly pertinent to our work. 
  6. We use professionally designed, “valid” evaluation tools to measure impact and to provide a feedback loop to help us continually refine and grow.  See below.  


Evaluation -How we evaluate our work


The ISE is an outcome-oriented non-profit that aims to provide robust impact to the community.  Accordingly, we have a robust evaluation system carefully designed to generate the information and community feedback we need to remain a cutting edge community presence.  


We are also particularly distinguished in terms of evaluation abilities, having on staff a certified evaluation expert who formerly led federal-level evaluation initiatives at Iowa State University, where she was an expert in the use of logic model evaluation theory, feedback loops, and fidelity considerations – and nationally published in the same. 


Accordingly, we have several different types of evaluation tools and procedures which are tailored to suit various audiences and purposes.


Posted to this website are four different kinds of primary evaluation tools.  


Readers will find two highly detailed, in-depth tools which can be used in in-depth circumstances created by focus groups.  These tools measure:

  1. Audience feedback to Annual summer festival (can be adapted to winter activities) (Likert scale and focus group format)
  2. Artistic evaluation tools (used with artists; focus group format with prompts)


Elsewhere on this website, placed to encourage interactive web feedback, readers will find two additional types of tools:


  1. Short form audience feedback surveys – Audience members may self-select to use these or we may implement this survey in an electronic “survey monkey” format that is sent to those registering their attendance at the festival or to members of our organization.  See Tab:   Summer Festival
  2. A variety of learning assessment AND educational programming evaluation tools which we use to gather information and feedback about our educational programs.  See Tab:  Educational programs.