twitter YouTube LinkedIn

New Evaluation Learning Space unlocks hidden insights

Experiencing Leeds 2023: A volunteer at Leeds 2023 takes a picture during a 'soundwalk' called As You Are, pointing their phone upwards to the ceiling in Leeds County Arcade.

The Centre for Cultural Value is launching an online resource hub to uncover the learning hidden in evaluations from the cultural sector.

The Evaluation Learning Space shares insights and knowledge to support cultural organisations and practitioners, academics and policymakers to deepen their understanding of evaluation practices and approaches.

Evaluation is essential to inform effective cultural policymaking and practice. Yet, learning from previous evaluations is not always as accessible as it could be, with findings hidden behind paywalls or buried deep in reports.

The Evaluation Learning Space aims to provide better access to this learning, through:

  • accessible online resources with key insights and learning points;
  • audio clips featuring evaluation experts, bringing the projects to life;;
  • links to relevant reports and suggestions for further reading 
  • signposting ways to get actively involved in the conversation around evaluation, for example through our online evaluation course or by joining the Cultural Evaluation Network on LinkedIn.

This new online space is supported by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and led by the Centre for Cultural Value, in partnership with CultureHive, the Arts Marketing Association’s knowledge hub.

The first resources will focus on what we can learn from the evaluations of UK Cities and Capitals of Culture. They will shed light on who was involved, what methods and frameworks were used and the challenges evaluation teams faced. 

While the focus is on large-scale events, the resources provide useful learning for anyone in the cultural sector working on evaluation projects of all shapes and sizes. 

Ben Walmsley, Director of the Centre for Cultural Value says: “We know that evaluation reports can be a really valuable source of insight for the sector, but we also know they’re not always easy to find. The main idea behind the Evaluation Learning Space is to surface and share some of this rich knowledge, so that researchers, policymakers and cultural practitioners can use it to inform their own work. 

We’ve decided to focus the first set of resources for the space on UK-based Cities and Capitals of Culture. Not only are these very complex programmes with some really interesting evaluation challenges, but the learnings from projects on this scale offer rich knowledge that can be applied to a whole range of activities and settings. We’re looking forward to sharing more evaluation resources with the sector in the coming months.” 

Visit the Centre’s new Evaluation Learning Space.

Photo credit: A LEEDS 2023 volunteer experiencing As You Are in the County Arcade (by Justin Slee)

Related news

A group of young musicians record in the studio. Three musicians, including a keyboard player, singer, and guitarist, are performing.
© Cottonbro Studio

How English Touring Opera is using research to support young people

We explore how a new songwriting programme was underpinned by our research review “We’ll walk in there and be completely ...
A young child, wearing a blue padded gilet, singing or speaking into a microphone. They have a facemask hooked around their ears and pushed down to their chin. Two other people are watching and interacting with the child. They are wearing urban style clothing and have a facemask covering their mouths and noses.

New book explores the impacts of Covid-19 on UK cultural sector and implications for the future

A new publication, Pandemic Culture: The impacts of COVID-19 on the UK cultural sector and implications for the future, presents ...
Two young people stood together writing on post it notes to stick to flip chart paper on a wall. One is wearing a bright orange shirt, the other a grey top and black beanie hat.

Research collaborations are messy and challenging – here’s why we need them more than ever

Centre Manager Liz Harrop reflects on what we can learn from the Centre’s experience of supporting collaborative research projects. Evidencing ...
Blue background with white rings and lines. Photo of Stephen Dobson in front of a window. He is wearing a grey jacket, black jumper and white shirt

Centre for Cultural Value appoints new director

Dr Stephen Dobson, Associate Professor of Creativity and Enterprise at the University of Leeds, will become Centre Director from August ...
Brightly coloured illustration. At the foot of the illustration there are four people, out of their heads come shoots that are all tangled up. They lead to mushroom type shapes with the words "exchange" "details" and "stories"

Discover new visual ways to think about co-creation

At a time when the cultural sector is increasingly invested in “co-creation” – what does the process look like in ...
A group of people talking in a circle at Rising Arts Agency's 'This Is The Work' event, surrounded by shelves of books at Bristol's Bookhaus bookshop.
Rising Arts Agency - This Is The Work (Photo by Olu Osinoiki)

This Is The Work: reflecting on new research findings about power in partnerships

How do power imbalances manifest in creative partnerships - and how do we remove the impact of these imbalances from ...

Keep in touch,

Sign up to our newsletter