Susan Potter, Sonia Rasbery and Louise Pack are our external evaluators for the Pass It On project. They have worked on the evaluation of a range of high profile arts projects including Outside In – originally based at Chichester’s Pallant House Gallery – that is now being developed nationwide.
Susan Potter, Project Evaluator, talks about their role within the project:
Over the upcoming months, we three will be interviewing, filming, asking you to complete participant questionnaires and requesting feedback about the Pass It On project. Then we’ll analyse all of the data, ready to produce a short film and full written report. But why are we doing all of this you may be asking? So just before we begin, we thought we’d take a moment or two to explain why!
Firstly, you’re evaluating your work already. Every day you’re probably thinking ‘Did that go well?’ ‘Could I improve this?’ The reason to use specific evaluation tools and approaches is that they make this reflection process visible and more in depth. These methods help to translate the discoveries into a language people can understand, even if they knew little about the Pass It On project beforehand. Secondly, evaluation helps us to learn and improve our practice, in order to share our discoveries with others in the field. Lastly, our evaluation will result in a tangible record of everyone’s hard work and achievements, to celebrate and share with other projects.
Here are the top ten reasons we think it’s so important to evaluate arts and cultural projects like this one:
- To prove that we achieved what we set out to do
- To find out about the people we’re working with
- To include the voices of the people we work with
- To understand where things are working
- To understand where things aren’t working
- To understand how things are working
- To be aware of any unexpected outcomes
- To communicate the value of our work
- To focus our work, yet still be adaptable
- To build organisational resilience and change
Evaluation is a little like a map. It describes where you want to get to, with some stopping off points along the way. Sometimes that’s good enough but sometimes you need to know how fast you’re going, how tough the terrain is, maybe even how much water and Kendall Mint Cake you need to take along! If you already have experience of the area, it helps you to find your way. But if it’s a new and unknown journey and you really want to help others to understand it, you have to keep track of each stage and maybe even measure some things along the way. So why not join us on the learning journey and share your thoughts and feedback about the Pass It On project? We’d love to hear from you all over the next few months and we look forward to meeting with you at one of the Pass It On events!
Are you interested to find out how Chichester Festival Theatre is working in your community? Then the Pass It On project evaluators need your help!
Pass It On will soon be running a fun and practical training session led by our three project evaluators to develop skills in collection and analysis of evaluation data.
If you would be interested in this opportunity, contact [email protected]