Alliance Theatre Institute Research

The Alliance Theatre Institute participates in research-based evaluations to assess the effectiveness, sustainability, and quality of its programming. Outlined below are main takeaways that detail the impact and importance of our residency programs. 

Alliance Theatre’s Early Childhood Program Model: Georgia Wolf Trap 

In alignment with GELDS and Georgia Standards of Excellence: 

  • English Language Learners either meet or exceed in literacy, comprehension, and verbal skills 
  • Students are equipped with verbal and emotional skills to make a successful transition from kindergarten to 1st grade 
  • Students earn higher standardized test scores and course grades in 1st grade 
  • Students exhibit significant improvement in grammatic understanding 
  • Students display increased vocabulary and exhibit an evident grasp on theme, structure, and resolution 
  • English Language Learners develop language arts and mathematics skills at a higher rate 
  • Students exceed in literacy, comprehension, mathematics, writing, and verbal skills 
  • Students develop writing skills at significantly higher rates than their peers 

In alignment with classroom expectations and professional learning: 

  • Students with differing learning styles show significant academic and developmental growth 
  • Teachers report increased competency in using arts-integration tools by the 3rd year of the residency, ensuring long-term student academic success 
  • Teachers gain significant professional learning through engaging students in arts-integrated lessons 
  • Teachers and students develop tools to unpack new vocabulary and school culture 
  • Teachers continue to utilize arts-integration strategies in the classroom 
  • Students are equipped with tools to ensure long-term academic achievement 

Multi-Visit Program

In 2016, The Woodruff Arts Center initiated a partnership with Atlanta Public Schools to establish the Multi-Visit Program, which provides grade 4 and 5 students the opportunity to visit the Arts Center three times throughout the school year, once to each art partner: the Alliance Theatre, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and High Museum of Art. Participating teachers receive complementary professional learning.  Additionally, the program is tied to a groundbreaking University of Arkansas study regarding the benefits of student engagement with community art. 

Overview of Findings »

In 2019, researchers from the University of Arkansas’ National Endowment for the Arts Research Lab released two working papers showing that students who attend multiple arts field trips have higher levels of social-emotional skills, stronger school engagement, and higher standardized test scores.  

This is the first study in its field to capture causal effects, study multiple field trips across art forms, occur in a large urban city, and include both self-reported survey data and administrative data.

In summary, students who were randomly selected to attend the field trips showed: 

  • Significantly higher levels of social-perspective taking and higher levels of tolerance primarily through the survey item “I think people can have different opinions about the same thing”  
  • Positive academic gains and more interest in school overall 
  • Higher standardized test scores in math and English Language Arts than students in the control group 
  • Female students who attended the field trips became more conscientious, those who attended six field trips in two years showed even higher levels of conscientiousness, showing a compounded effect 

These working papers are available for download on SSRN:  


Small-Scale Studies 

Many of our Alliance Theatre Institute programs are research-based. Students consistently exhibit developmental and educational growth when immersed in an arts-integrated classroom. Some main takeaways from small-scale studies include: 

  • Students show consistent literacy gains. 
  • Students exhibit increased classroom and school engagement. 
  • Students form foundational arts and technological knowledge. 
  • Teachers report higher satisfaction with professional learning opportunities.  
  • Students exhibit notable academic and developmental growth 
  • Teachers continue to implement drama tools in the classroom at higher rates. 

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