Who and what is evaluation for? And when is it useful?
Why do we evaluate our work and who do we do it for?
Is it to meet the expectations of funders and stakeholders or to assess a project’s success and capture the difference it makes? Are we missing a trick if we don’t use evaluation as an opportunity to enhance our practice and deepen our learning and critical reflection skills? When is evaluation useful and when should we not do it?
Join us to discuss and question evaluation in the cultural sector and explore how we might be able to do and share it better, so collectively we can articulate the difference culture makes to people and to society.
Led by Anne Torreggiani, the Centre Co-Director and CEO of The Audience Agency, we’re also joined by artist Grace Ndiritu, who works collaboratively with museums across Europe, Hilary Jennings from the The Happy Museum Project that looks at how the museum sector can respond to the challenge of creating a more sustainable future, Holly Donagh, Director of Strategic Learning, Insight and Influence at Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Harpreet Kaur, consultant and project manager at Xtrax and Chris Batsford. The session is introduced by Beatriz Garcia from the University of Liverpool.
Holly joined Paul Hamlyn Foundation as Director of Strategic Learning, Insight and Influence in June 2020. As Deputy Chief Executive at A New Direction, where she worked for nine years, Holly led the commissioning of research into cultural education as well as building partnerships with key agencies and stakeholders. Holly also worked for Arts Council England for ten years as a national director leading on resource development. Holly has a MSc in Voluntary Sector Management from Cass Business School where she developed her interest in learning organisations and the use of research within the third sector.
Hilary Jennings, Director of the Happy Museum Project works freelance across the arts and cultural sectors. In addition to her work with museums she works as an Associate of both Clore Leadership and Extend Leadership Development Programmes and worked extensively in the craft sector including Skills Director for Craft at Creative and Cultural Skills and Interim Chair of the Craft Industry Board. She was co-founder of the Case For Optimism (www.caseforoptimism.org.uk) a network which created space for practitioners in the arts and cultural community to maximise their creative response to global challenges. She is a Trustee of the international Transition Network.
Prior to joining Xtrax in 2020, Harpreet has developed a 20-year career as a researcher, consultant, facilitator, and arts manager, more recently focusing on embedding cultural practice into key areas including diversity and climate change. Her work has taken her around the globe with funding from Arts Council England, British Council and Creative Europe. Harpreet is a former Powerbrokers International Leadership Programme Fellow (Cultural Leadership Programme 2008). She has lived and worked in Europe, Asia and Australia as an arts manager on projects, events and festivals specialising in community and audience engagement. Clients include Southbank Centre, Beijing Modern Dance Company, Mindspace (Budapest), Regional Arts Victoria (Melbourne), Audiences Central, and Jagriti Yatra (Mumbai). In 2017 Harpreet was selected as a BBC Expert Woman and has appeared on numerous media channels to share her thought leadership and passion for culture and international development.
Grace Ndiritu is a British-Kenyan artist whose artworks are connected with the transformation of the contemporary world, through film, photography, paintings and social practice projects with refugees, migrants and indigenous groups.
Works like The Ark: Center for Interdisciplinary Experimentation; COVERSLUT© fashion and economic project; and shamanic performance art series Healing The Museum have been shown all around the world. Recent exhibitions include Bluecoat Gallery, Liverpool (2019), S.M.A.K. & M.S.K., Belgium (2019), Eastside Projects, Birmingham (2018), CAG Vancouver (2018), Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Barcelona (2017), Museum Modern of Art, Warsaw (2014), Musee Chasse & Nature and Centre Pompidou, Paris (2013).
Anne works with Ben in representing the Centre to funders and stakeholders. She helps develop our relationships in the cultural sector, particularly with sector networks. Anne guides the development of the centre’s engagement strategy and sector-facing resources including a mass online open course (MOOC) on research and evaluation.
Anne is the founder and Chief Executive of The Audience Agency, the UK national charity for public engagement with arts, museums and heritage, enabling reach, relevance and resilience across the sector. Anne has been influential, over three decades, improving practice and advocating for change in the cultural sector, especially in terms of encouraging an audience-centred approach and in the use of data and other evidence in the development of policy and practice.