Discover the lessons learned from Creative People and Places and spark your thinking about how to engage those in your community who are least engaged in the arts.
One of Arts Council England’s goals is for more people to experience and be inspired by the arts, irrespective of where they live or their social, educational, or financial circumstances. The CPP programme aims to support this ambition by providing investment in parts of the country where people’s involvement in the arts is significantly below the national average, with the aim of increasing the likelihood of participation.
Arts Council England invested around £37 million across 21 Places over three different funding rounds as part of Phase 1 of CPP. Only places which appeared in the bottom 20% of adult arts participation were able to apply for funding. The early recipients of Phase 1 have already completed delivery and have now begun to deliver Phase 2 (a second three-year phase of activity).
The national evaluation
In 2013, Arts Council England commissioned AND to coordinate a national programme evaluation on behalf of all 21 local CPPs. This was the first time that an external organisation had been tasked with the coordination of an evaluation for an Arts Council England programme. A national network of local place representatives was established to steer the evaluation and, in December 2013, Ecorys was contracted to undertake the meta-evaluation, which comprised of a review of local monitoring and evaluation data supplemented by a small amount of primary research.
Drawing on a wide range of sources, this final evaluation report on the first phase of CPP presents the overall outcomes to January 2017, highlighting a variety of successful approaches to producing local arts programmes and learning.
The aim of the overarching programme evaluation is to understand what worked and what did not work and to capture lessons to inform the sector, with an emphasis on generating new knowledge around engaging communities in the arts and culture and sharing this. There are three core evaluation questions, set by Arts Council England to guide the national evaluation commission:
- Are more people from places of least engagement experiencing and inspired by the arts?
- To what extent was the aspiration for excellence of art and excellence of the process of engaging communities achieved?
- Which approaches were successful and what were lessons learned?
To answer these questions, the national evaluation has taken a theory-based approach and developed a logic model which is detailed in the full report and shows how the CPP programme has been developed to address an identified need, the outputs and outcomes it is expected to generate and ultimately how it will contribute to wider economic and social impacts (or longer-term outcomes).
Research undertaken as part of the national evaluation has tested the existence of these mechanisms in the context of the CPP programme.
The evaluation design has attempted to build upon, rather than duplicate, local Place evaluation efforts, using a meta-evaluation framework to systematically and comprehensively review local Place evaluation outputs.
Download the report to read on:
Creative People and Places: End of Year 3 Evaluation Report (PDF)
Image: Heart of Glass. A Right St Helens Knees Up, performed by residents from local sheltered housing associations at a sold out Citadel Theatre in 2016. Photo: Stephen King