How collaborating with artists can add value to research and evaluation...

April 6, 2016

In my former practitioner role managing youth, inclusion and community collaboration programmes at a museum, engaging audiences with collections through arts was key to unlocking personal connections and supporting deeper learning. Although my work today is an exciting whirlwind of evaluation, consultation and research, I try and liaise with those arty human beings whenever the opportunity strikes.

At the Visitor Studies Group conference this March I was able to present one such project. Royal Opera House Bridge commissioned us to undertake a piece of youth led research exploring young people’s experiences of arts and culture. The process of the research itself was really interesting, but it was not until myself and the young leaders of this project developed an event to disseminate the research that we were able to bring artists on board.

For the You Ask We Answer event we commissioned emerging young artists to interpret sections of the research report. They were able to bring such interesting and unique perspectives to the research questions and prompt lively debate in the audience. I reflected that both events and artist collaborations really add value to more traditional approaches to research and evaluation. You can read an honest case study I wrote about this process on pages 33 - 36 of Royal Opera House Bridge’s The Paths We Take Report.

Lucie Fitton is Head of Learning & Participation at The Audience Agency.