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S3 Ep 2: Proportionality

Hosted by Chuck Blue Lowry, this episode of Reflecting Value: Evaluation Principles in Practice explores proportionality.

Proportionality involves doing less – and doing it better. It involves editing yourself down and knowing what you need out of an evaluation, and what you don’t. And it also involves being selective and saying no when you might not be best placed to do an evaluation.

In this episode, we also find out that proportionality is really hard to implement. It involves thinking about our own role in an evaluation, whether we are a cultural manager, practitioner, evaluator or funder.

Join us as we talk about overkill, adapting methods in face of changing circumstances and regenerative practice.

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Referenced in this episode:

Guest biographies

Photo of Dawn Cameron - black and white image of smiling person sat with her hand resting on her head.

Dawn Cameron

Dawn is a self-employed researcher, project manager and evaluator working primarily in the creative arts and cultural sectors. As one half of Armstrong Cameron, Dawn has worked on a range of projects in the arts, cultural and third sectors over many years with a particular interest in working on projects which focus on socially engaged practice, issues of equality and social justice.

Dawn has attained Masters of Arts degrees in Social and Public Policy and in Creative Writing and combines those areas of artistic and academic interest in her self-employed assignments. She is interested in working on projects which seek to deliver social and cultural change and which enable individuals to engage in creative practice.

Over the past 16 years Dawn has been engaged by clients to carry out several research and evaluation assignments, mainly in the areas of the arts, cultural policy and heritage. She has a particular interest in storytelling approaches and in interrogating the ways in which notions of co-production are operationalised in project delivery.

For more details on Armstrong Cameron, visit

Dawn will be contributing to Workshop 1.

Photo of Emma McDowell - person stood against a white background wearing a floral black and white shirt, smiling at the camera..

Emma McDowell

Emma synthesises and summarises relevant research for the Centre, and helps to make it as accessible as possible to the cultural sector. Their current work includes a review of the lifelong value of cultural engagement and the development of a digital evaluation resource platform funded by the Esmée Fairbairn.

In 2022, Emma completed their PhD ‘From transaction to enaction: reframing theatre marketing’ exploring the processes of participatory sense-making in marketing and theatre-making. They are a LAHRI Fellow, have expertise in research design, qualitative and participatory co-research and their recently published ‘Mixing Methods in Audience Research Practice’ was shortlisted for TaPRA’s 2023 ECR Prize. Emma is also social media editor for policy journal Cultural Trends, and Co-Chair of Leeds-based theatre company Red Ladder.

Holly Donagh

Holly Donagh

Holly Donagh 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.

Chuck Blue Lowry

Chuck Blue Lowry

Chuck Blue Lowry is an artist, filmmaker and facilitator. She specialises in art as social practice, with a particular focus on intergenerational exchange and storytelling. She is interested in making work that platforms the voices of those who are often under or misrepresented. She is an associate artist with Magic Me and a lecturer at Central School of Speech and Drama and Central Saint Martins.

Chuck’s work has been presented at Tate Modern, BFI, WOW Festival, LSFF, Battersea Arts Centre and Whitechapel Gallery. She has been commissioned by Clean Break, Cardboard Citizens, METAL, The Yard Theatre and The Barbican.

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