Percentage of participants in City-supported events or programs who report that they increased their knowledge and understanding of culture, history, and/or art


The Parks & Recreation's Museums & Cultural Programs Division aims to provide every participant the opportunity to expand their knowledge and understanding of world cultures, history, and arts of every discipline through structured programming and special events. Recreation program participants are surveyed after every event and indicate whether or not the event or program contributed to their overall knowledge and understanding of world cultures, history, or art of any discipline. The Parks & Recreation Department utilizes this feedback to improve services and programs throughout the year.
Parks & Recreation staff contribute to the health and vitality of a diverse community by providing access to quality programs and services that foster a love of learning throughout all stages of life. Leisure and lifelong learning are contributing factors in long-term overall health and wellness for people.



The overall trend indicates a high level of increased knowledge; however, 2018 marked the highest level of new learning at a rate of 99%. 2019 showed a decline, with an outcome of 96%, and 2020 saw an uptick despite modified operations during the pandemic. This uptick illustrates the Museums & Cultural Programs Division's diligence in implementing different strategies to increase survey response rates. 2021 saw the outcome change to 97%, one percentage point shy of the goal.
As a department, our annual goal is to achieve 98% increased knowledge and understanding of culture, history, and arts with our participants each time we offer programs. Our long-term goal is to have 100% increased knowledge with each program experience we provide.
Construction activity related to the 2018 General Obligation Bond (Proposition B-Libraries, Museums and Cultural Arts Facilities) will negatively impact the number of folks surveyed. This is due to decreased availability of creative spaces and programs offered in FY24 and FY25 during construction, but this situation is temporary. The Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center temporarily closed its doors in March 2023 for two years while construction of new creative spaces takes place on that campus.  In the fall of 2023, the George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center will close its theater for renovations, and it will not open until the summer of 2024.  The Zilker Hillside Theater will also close due to the renovation of the Barton Springs Bathhouse during the calendar year of 2024.  Each of these facilities will re-open with enhanced facilities to provide access to Austin’s Creative Ecosystem.
Note: to see the underlying data for this chart, please click the button with three vertical dots and select "View Source Data."

Additional Measure Insights

Our Parks, Our Future, is the Parks and Recreation Department’s Long-Range Plan. This plan guides the development of the City’s park system over the next ten years. Our Parks, Our Future, helps us contribute to positive community health outcomes, address equity gaps in our park system, and embrace cultural vitality through the implementation of a built environment that influences how spaces are activated by intentional programming in our land, parks, and facilities.
This metric supports PARD's Our Parks, Our Future goal of activating and enhancing urban public spaces and contributes to SD23 Creative Lifelong Learning Outcome Strategy # 3—Strengthen our portfolio of culture & lifelong learning programs, events and facilities by engaging and building trust with the community to ensure equitable access & participation and to ensure that services are aligned with community expectations.

PARD contributes to the appreciation, respect, and welcoming of all people and cultures by providing structured activities at the Museums & Cultural Programs sites and other designated parkland. These activities are designed to engage participants in the exploration of world cultures and history and to foster interest in the various disciplines of art. Below is a breakdown of increased knowledge and understanding in the areas of culture, history, and art in the last five years.

FY17-FY23 Trends in increased knowledge of history, art, culture (PARD sites)

Measure Details and Definition

1) Definition: This metric measures the percentage of parks and recreation program participants who respond to a Museums & Cultural Programs Division survey reporting that the activity they just engaged in contributed to their overall knowledge and understanding of world cultures, local/world history, and/or arts of every discipline.
2) Calculation method: The percentage of participants is calculated by taking the total number of people who indicated the activity increased their knowledge of culture, history, and art divided by the total number of survey responses received by program participants.
3) Data Collection Process:  This is a survey question provided to participants of programs offered by the Museums & Cultural Programs Division of the Parks and Recreation Department. Surveys are provided to program participants online or onsite.
4) Measure Target Calculation: The target was calculated using the average rate of the last three years of fiscal year data to determine the rate in which participants increased their knowledge and understanding of culture, history, and/or art.
5) Frequency Measure is Reported: Annually (Fiscal Year)

Date page was last updated: October 2023