Nora’s work over the past eight years has largely been principles-focused developmental evaluations. A. Rafael, an artist and novelist, has focused in evaluation work on arts-based approaches and methodologies. Both have been working to understand how evaluation can be a partner in efforts towards social justice and equity. What is emerging is an evaluation approach guided by the following principles: adapt, create, learn, love, restore, root, and value. We are building on the sweat, tears, emotional, and intellectual labor of many who have come before us and who are our friends and learning partners today. You’ll encounter them (conceptually or in-person) in our resources, workshops, and other events.
Nora Murphy Johnson, PHD
With twenty years of experience supporting learning and social change, Dr. Nora Murphy Johnson has a broad set of experiences as an evaluator, researcher, and educator. Currently, Nora works internationally as an evaluator, coach, and facilitator with clients engaged in principles-focused developmental evaluation for systems change. Her primary approach to evaluation is to view programs, people, systems, and cultures as fundamentally interrelated. Her evaluations are utilization-focused, culturally-grounded, and seek to weave connections and support change at the intersection of learning, arts, and social justice. Murphy Johnson holds an MA in Research Methods, and Ph.D. in Evaluation Studies, won an international dissertation award in 2014 for her research on principles-focused developmental evaluation, and has published several chapters on developmental evaluation. Murphy Johnson is active nationally and internationally in evaluation communities and has co-founded TerraLuna Collaborative, the Developmental Evaluation Institute, and Creative Evaluation
A. Rafael Johnson
A. Rafael "Andy" Johnson works in arts-based evaluation and applied neuroaesthetics, using his background in the arts to transform what we find valuable, beautiful, and memorable into data useful for decision making. Andy brings 30+ years of experience in the arts, administration, and activism to TerraLuna. Andy began his career as a musician, then as stage manager and director.
He advised graduate students and faculty in the Department of Sociology for seven years. Later, Andy became an aid worker in postwar Liberia under a USAID contract. In Liberia, Andy served as the nationwide coordinator of a Books for Africa initiative that reduced the national student-to-textbook ratio from an average of 26:1 to 4:1, connected former child soldiers with literacy and job training programs, and created the First-Year Writing Program at Cuttington University.
Over the course of his career, Andy has developed skills in observation, textual analysis, interviewing, recruiting, positive behavior supports, and arts-based interventions, as well as writing and editing. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Drama from The University of Texas, and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from The University of Alabama.
A. Rafael Johnson's was named a Kimbilio Fellow in African American Fiction in 2014. His first novel, The Through (Jaded Ibis Press, 2017), was a finalist for the 2018 Minnesota Book Award. Andy is finishing a collection of short stories called Okahika. He regularly appears at local literary events, and teaches creative writing at The Minneapolis College of Art and Design and The Loft Literary Center.
His recent evaluation work includes:
• The Bush Foundation’s Creative Community Cohort 2: A developmental evaluation with the Bush Foundation and 40 grantee organizations in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota to understand how community organizations use the arts to solve local problems.
• The Minnesota Humanities Center’s Education Strategy in partnership with Omaha Public Schools: An evaluation of a co-created strategy to decrease the achievement gap by decreasing the relationship gap between educators and students, families, administrators, and the community.
The Staff, Creative Evaluation’s detail-oriented Hopeless Optimist, is dedicated and hardworking. Nozomi Johnson is our part-time Administrative Assistant. Without her, and people like her, our work would still be possible- but much, much harder.
Nozomi Johnson, Administrative Assistant
Nozomi schedules meetings, updates this website, wrestles with various different philosophies and what measure of force they be allowed to exert on her life, if any; avoids eating all yellow foods, finds new and exciting ways to address emails, loves washi tape, wishes tangerines didn’t go bad so quickly, considers scooping cat poo a better job than scrubbing cast iron, is finished with her part in transcribing an out of print book, and (increasingly sporadically) knits. She keeps things organized behind the scenes, answers certain emails, and prefers her face be kept off the internet when possible.
Nozomi does not know how to creatively evaluate initiatives so that people can make better decisions in working towards social justice and equity. She does know that it’s important, and that Dr. Murphy-Johnson and A. Rafael Johnson are very good at it. Nozomi has approximate knowledge of many things, and very specific knowledge about very few things- which is like most people, and so probably doesn’t require telling. However, as her specific knowledge includes such things as the history of computer code, shark-based internet issues (yes, really), and the indelible knowledge that a place doesn’t need to be where you belong, perhaps some specificity is merited. She hopes to get back into reading actual books again. She enjoys sour foods, going to D&D adventure league nights, watching snow fall from the security of a warm blanket in bed, and her two cats, Frankie and Cody.