Arts At Work Initiative Survey Instruments

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Animating Democracy resource

Arts At Work collected information via online questionnaires using SurveyMonkey to learn the effects of the Police Poetry Project on core participants: Police Participant Survey The Police Participant Survey was completed by the 10 police officers who wrote poems or took photographs for the Portland Police Poetry & Photography Calendar 2009. The survey was designed to assess changes in officers’ self-esteem, perspective on their work, and the state of their own or the police department’s relations with the community, based on project objectives to address low morale and the department’s relationship with the public. Online survey completion by police and poets was not 100%.  Arts & Equity decided to augment by doing one-on-one interviews with all the police officers and their partner poets.  The interviews lasted from one to two hours and used the same questions, but allowed for much more details, nuance, and anecdotes. They also allowed for a process of personal reflection that deepened the officers’ connection to and respect for the impact of the project. The interviews alleviated the challenge for many of putting into written words an experience as personal and involved as creating a poetry calendar. Poet Participant Survey The Poet Participant Survey was designed to measure the impact in three primary areas: a) awareness regarding police work and officers’ lives; b) poetry’s potential to directly engage and impact municipal government; c) the degree to which working on the calendar strengthened the poets relationships with each other. Family Member Survey The Family Member Survey was designed to gauge the effect of the calendar project on officers’ families, understanding that the at-home relationship plays a key role in officers’ morale and well-being. The survey kept to two questions to match estimated participant commitment. A parallel intention of the survey was to increase family members’ awareness of their role in their related officer’s well being, and to possibly plant the seed for a conversation within the family that strengthens relationships and understanding. Public Participant Survey The Public Participant Survey was designed to track the impact of the calendar on public awareness regarding the realities of police work and officers’ lives. It was initially distributed at a public event at which officers read their poetry reading and which included public dialogue. The survey was subsequently also available online. Respondents reported shifts in their awareness regarding the realities of police work and officers’ lives, satisfying one of the two core goals of the calendar project.

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