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ArtWorks: learning from legacy

Régis Cochefert – Director, Grants and Programmes

Paul Hamlyn Foundation is delighted to publish the evaluation report of the ArtWorks legacy projects.

ArtWorks was a c. £1.5m initiative that focused on the initial training and continuous professional development of artists working in participatory settings. Its aim was to enhance the quality of people’s engagement in the arts – and to create a more professional and confident sector whose work is validated and valued. Five action-research partnership projects in different areas of the UK were funded for three years – firstly mapping provision and needs from artists, commissioners and employers; and then testing various models of professional development.

At the end of the initiative, a range of assets and opportunities were identified as having the potential to benefit from further support. Seven legacy grants were subsequently approved and the DHA Communications (DHA) reports covers all of them, even though two projects are formally on-going and looking for ways to continue their work – ArtWorks Cymru; ArtWorks London; ArtWorks Scotland; ArtWorks Alliance; the third International Teaching Artist Conference (ITAC3); the ArtWorks Fellowship in England & Wales; and the Massive Online Open Course (MOOC) in the North East.

DHA’s evaluation report covers – outputs and outcomes; activities; processes and structures; and achievements – and offers key findings.

Even though the ArtWorks initiative is complete and most of the legacy work has also completed, its impact is now completely integrated in the way PHF now funds the training of artists working in participatory settings as part of the work that we support through the Arts Access & Participation and Education & Learning through the Arts Funds: alongside supporting evaluation and impact measurement, we encourage applicants to include continuous professional development in their applications to improve the experiences of the individuals and communities involved in their work.

We welcome the balanced findings of the DHA evaluation report and hope that the work of the ArtWorks Alliance will continue to highlight the importance of an issue we care very much about.

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