Evaluation: Creative Civic Change

Evaluation: Creative Civic Change

By Local Trust


Creative Civic Change was an experimental funding programme that supported 15 communities to shape, lead, and commission creative interventions to make positive change where they lived. An evaluation by one of the programme's four funders, Local Trust.

Operating from October 2018 to 2022, and despite much of the programme taking place as we faced a global pandemic, Creative Civic Change was transformative for people, places, artists and funders. It demonstrates that creativity is not just a nice to have, but a vital tool for communities to problem solve and imagine a better future.

It was underpinned by a truly community-led approach, coupled with supportive and flexible funding.

The Creative Civic Change tree is a summary of the evaluation findings from the programme. It draws on both quantitative and qualitative data, to identify the project’s biggest impacts, the conditions which made changes possible, the challenges faced, and recommendations as a result of the programme.

Key takeaways from the tree are:

  • Trusting communities not only with money, but also to make their own decisions on what is needed, as they collaborated with and commissioned artists and creative organisations
  • Enabling many local people with creative skills to see themselves as creatives, artists and leaders – collaborating, commissioning and creating for themselves – which has really changed how many communities look, feel and think.
  • Artists, in-turn, becoming more integrated in their communities, adapting and learning as part of the process.
  • Funders who have responded flexibly in the way they measure success, monitor and manage the funding, liberating projects to do what is needed locally and not be led by funding priorities.
  • The Creative Civic Change approach, with its emphasis on care, support and peer learning, has provided a safe environment to share experiences, looking honestly at what has and hasn’t worked while celebrating success.
  • ‘Growing conditions’ to make a project like this successful include having the right resources, shared principles and a support system. Trust and care are the taproots.

Download a PDF version of the Creative Civic Change tree

The challenge is now to share the evaluation and learnings from Creative Civic Change to benefit other locations, funding models and funders working in the field of community-led change.

You can explore Local Trust's evaluation pages from the Creative Civic Change project by clicking on the links below:

Resource type: Evaluation reports | Published: 2023