Evaluation for Arts-Based Research Performance: Audience Perceptions of Rising from the Ashes

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2022

Journal / Book Title

Journal of Music Therapy


The purpose of the study is to understand how audiences evaluated an arts-based research performance called Rising from the Ashes. Audience evaluation promises egalitarian and pluralistic perspectives that may assist artist-as-researchers with gaining new insight into out of performative arts-based research results. Rising from the Ashes was performed several times between 2015 and 2019. Evaluations were provided to six different audiences and consisted of rating-scale and open-ended questions based on general criteria for judging arts-based research: incisiveness, concision, generativity, social significance, evocation and illumination, and coherence. Descriptive rating scores and thematic analysis of open-ended questions aided in the artist-as-researcher’s understanding of how audiences responded to the performances. Descriptive scores showed that audiences strongly agreed that the performance was concise, incisive, and evocative and illuminating. The performance was less likely to support audiences’ understanding of the social issues addressed in the study, which implied decreased generativity and social significance. Open-ended questions enhanced and supported rating-scale responses as well as revealed specific elements of the performance that addressed its coherence. The results deepened the artists-as-researcher’s understanding of potential strengths and limitations of Rising from the Ashes based on the audience evaluations. Implications for arts-based research evaluation in music therapy, particularly related to music performance, are discussed.



Published Citation

Michael Viega, PhD, LCAT, MT-BC, Evaluation for Arts-Based Research Performance: Audience Perceptions of Rising from the Ashes, Journal of Music Therapy, Volume 59, Issue 1, Spring 2022, Pages 62–86, https://doi.org/10.1093/jmt/thab018