South Square Centre: Evaluation Strategy & Mentoring
South Square Centre is a collection of 19th century workers cottages in Thornton on the edges of Bradford and the West Yorkshire moors. One of the few surviving examples of this design of housing, it was saved from demolition in the early 1980s, and taken over by the community as an arts centre. Today it still celebrates the combination of art, community and history. The contract was to advise the CEO, fundraiser and engagement team on evaluation for their Stage 2 delivery application to the National Lottery Heritage Fund, and create a supporting evaluation strategy and framework. The strategy combines independent guidance and analysis with in house data collection and artist led creative consultation, best practice for monitoring and evaluation in qualitative and quantitative terms, and learning about the impact of their work on their building, the local area, local people, and the cultural sector.
Venture Arts: Business Planning - Evaluation Strategy
Venture Arts support learning disabled artists as equals in high profile galleries, museums and art fairs. With a long history of projects, all evaluated differently, they wanted a new ongoing, internally run evaluation strategy to track and investigate the power of their work in the long term; including their new status as an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation. After researching their business plan, previous evaluations, funding applications, and consulting with the artists they work with, a strategy was developed covering social, cultural, economic and environmental outcomes locally, regionally, nationally, and eventually internationally. Crucially, the approach needs to work for the tutors, volunteers, staff members, project partners and the artists themselves - learning disabled and otherwise. The strategy created includes everything from a logic model theory and story of change, evaluation framework with methodologies and templates; recommendations around networks and software; to identifying appropriate and meaningful qualitative approaches suitable for learning disabled artists to express what matters for them, including non-verbal methods.
Artist's Rooms - Gallery Oldham: Evaluation Framework
Gallery Oldham hosted artworks by Richard Long, as part of the Artist Rooms project created by National Galleries of Scotland & Tate. The team ran a four day residential for young people, combining time in the gallery with three days in a rural outdoor centre, where they explored their natural surroundings to make artworks in response to Richard Long's work. The co-ordinator wanted guidance developing a meaningful evaluation approach, beyond box-ticking and more appropriate for the tone of the project. The Artist Rooms standard monitoring form, and criteria of Arts Award Explore certification also needed to be included in the approach. The work involved clarifying the aims and objectives of the residential, creating a suitable framework with practical evaluation tools and approaches; and help organising, analysing and summarising the data and findings from the project
John Rylands Library: Evaluation Strategy
John Rylands Library is an architecturally unique library in Manchester. Following a series of audience research projects; the increasing need to understand impact and manage resources effectively; play its part in helping the university reach its strategic goals; and help academics or researchers report on the impact of their library related work to funders, Marketing and Visitor Engagement teams wanted to consolidate, prioritise and streamline their approach to evaluation. The project involved desk research, staff and wider stakeholder consultation, staff training, and the creation of an overarching evaluation framework including specialist qualitative methods, tools and know-how to take care of evaluation of public engagement and impact in-house with the Library's first cross-departmental working group and ongoing project team.
Critical Friend: Super Slow Way
Super Slow Way is an ambitious arts programme in East Lancashire. Part of the Creative People and Places initiative, it brings arts and local people together to change the area and the lives of those who live there. The critical friend role is a mix of coach, evaluation consultant, organisational development aid, and provocateur, to support the team in stopping, looking back and ahead with clearer purpose. It's about helping to keep aims, outcomes and possibilities clear, whilst quality assuring the reflective process.
Photo: Local Colour, Claire Wellesley-Smith
Photo: Local Colour, Claire Wellesley-Smith
Local Cultural Education Partnership: Business Plan Researcher
As a collaborator with Mandy Barnett Associates, mapping strategic and delivery plans, strategies, visioning and intelligence documents to help inform the business plan for one of Arts Council England's newly emerging Local Cultural Education Partnerships. The work involved looking for common themes and individually significant information around partnership development, vision, funding, delivery, sustainability, track record, demand, monitoring, outcomes and evidence as well as collaborating or competing partnerships and initiatives locally and across the country.
Design Museum: Digital Engagement Strategy
In preparation for relocation and to support the case for Design & Technology in the new curriculum, Design Museum wanted to understand how to use digital engagement to support secondary school learners in workshops and self directed visits at the museum. After researching cutting edge examples in museums and galleries, creating case studies of good, relevant practice, and identifying how this can be evaluated to understand the impact such support can have, recommendations were made for the start of a new digital engagement strategy for formal education.