Evidence & Case Studies
The Independent Street Arts Network (ISAN) has been working with The Audience Agency, the national audience development agency for the arts, to collect audience information from people attending Outdoor Arts events. The overall aim of this partnership is to change outdoor arts for the better, helping the sector reach new and bigger audiences and access new resources.
The research has been undertaken in partnership with organisations, companies, producers and artists working in a range of outdoor arts events across England. The focus of this work is very much about looking at the key issues for the sector as identified by them. Some are free events and some are ‘paid for’ events and there are important differences between types of event as well as some ‘universal truths’ among all participating organisations.
Audience Finder is a national framework for collecting, analysing and sharing meaningful audience data devised and delivered by The Audience Agency. Its use for outdoor arts is a 3-year programme being delivered between 2013-15, supported by Arts Council England, Audience Focus strategic funds.
You can access Audience Finder here.
Quest Southwest enjoyed a dynamic presentation from Adrienne Pye from The Audience Agency at its Creative Exploration event in Salisbury in 2014. Click below to access Adrienne's Powerpoint presentation giving an overview of findings from Year 1 of the Outdoor Arts research with ISAN.
The Audience Agency works with building-based museums, galleries, theatres, cinemas and arts centres of all sizes, touring companies, community based organisations, festivals and events, consortia, agencies and local authorities.
Their evaluation of outdoor arts audiences is here.
The Arts and Environmental Sustainability: An International Overview
Over the last two years, Julie’s Bicycle and the International Federation of Arts Councils and Culture Agencies (IFACCA) have been working in partnership to develop resources aimed at informing international arts leaders about global developments in policies and programmes related to culture and environmental sustainability, and how these impact on national arts and cultural organisations.
You can read more and find the report by following this link to the Julie's Bicycle website.
New Paths: Brokering relationships between outdoor artists and non-arts organisations
In 2015 Quest Southwest piloted ‘New Paths’ with Dorset Wildlife Trust’s Kingcombe Centre, Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage Site and the Somerset and Dorset Railway Trust. Funded by Arts Council England, Quest Southwest wanted to explore the process of establishing new, meaningful partnerships between arts and non-arts organisations and artists/companies in order to facilitate a range of opportunities for the creation of outdoor work in the South West region.
For the outdoor arts sector, opening up new opportunities for non-traditional contexts for work to be commissioned and presented can only be a good thing. Through New Paths, Quest Southwest was keen to explore preconceptions of both artist and organisation, and find out where the barriers and opportunities might be for more outdoor work across the South West. The project was supported by Activate Performing Arts, Devizes Outdoor Celebratory Arts and Tim Hill. Although each project ran independently, three over-riding messages emerged from the programme as a whole.
Open-ended – the opportunity for open ended research and development is a rich and beneficial model of creating genuine partnerships between artists and organisations. These opportunities are rare, so the language used in the promotion of them needs careful consideration in order to ensure expectations are clear from the outset.
Time – Fruitful relationships need time to develop, both before the artist engages with the organisation to ensure it is ‘artist-ready’ and through the research and development period. More time is needed if an organisation is larger, or has a number of different stakeholders to engage.
Champion – an influential champion, advocating for the arts within the organisation, is essential for the projects’ success.
To read the case studies please visit our Current Work page.
Jerusalem, An Evaluation: The Common Players
In 2014 The Common Players, supported by Arts Council England, Exeter Northcote Theatre and Exeter City Council presented Jerusalem as an outdoor touring performance. Their aim was to experiment in theatre-making and seek to find a new model for engagement and production. The commissioned report analyses the journey, the challenges faced en route, the successes and the learning.
Anthony Richards, Common Players' Director, has given permission for the report to be shared here as a rich source of learning and inspiration.