Research & evaluation

Indigenous Arts Programming Research

showcasingcreativityWe worked with the Australia Council for the Arts to deliver a comprehensive national scan of programming of Indigenous performing arts on Australian stages. The research includes a sector survey, qualitative interviews and desk research. It forms part of the Australia Council’s suite of research into participation in Indigenous arts.

VicHealth Active Arts Strategy Evaluation

We are working with VicHealth to evaluate the Active Arts Strategy mass participation events, community activations and innovation challenges. This involves crowd counting, qualitative and quantitative methodologies to inform a process and summative evaluation of health promotion impacts of the arts.

Principles of Successful Aboriginal and Mainstream Partnerships

We worked with CoxInallRidgeway to identify a set of core principles about what makes Aboriginal and mainstream partnerships work. Dr Aden Ridgeway is now using this work as a basis for working with Aboriginal communities to create and maintain successful partnerships with government and service providers, under the NSW Department of Aboriginal Affairs OCHRE Initiative for local decision-making.  

International Arts Activity Research

Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 10.12.57 amIn 2014 and 2015 we conducted comprehensive qualitative and quantitative research to establish the level of Australian artists and organisations engaged in international activity and to understand their ambitions and projected activity over the next five years. We interviewed and surveyed hundreds of artists, organisations and international stakeholders and analysed data from the last five years to understand the level of investment by various parties and relative impacts.

The research is now being used by the Australia Council for the Arts and other arts funding agencies to inform investment strategies for international arts and cultural development.

Artist Residencies Research

The Australia Council for the Arts has published fact sheets about research into artists Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 10.18.25 amresidencies in 2014-15. We did qualitative interviews and focus group discussions whilst the Australia Council implemented a survey of artists who had participated in residencies.

Fact sheets are available about the motivations and benefits to artists, the ingredients of a successful residency, the location of residencies and the support needed by artists on a residency.

The research is most useful for residency providers, grant makers and artists deciding about whether to take up a residency opportunity.

Evaluation of the Arts Centre Melbourne Play Me, I’m Yours street pianos project

We evapmiyinfogluated the Play Me, I’m Yours street pianos project which took place over summer in Melbourne and surrounds and reached more than 400,000 people.

Our evaluation included surveys, social media reviews and interviews with community participants, donors to the project, opening night performers, the creative team and the general public.

You can download the summary and full reports via the following links:

Evaluation of the Arts Centre Melbourne ‘relaxed performance’ and First Call Fund

In 2014 we evaluated the Arts Centre Melbourne’s flagship program to provide arts experiences to children who face barriers to access. We interviewed parents, teachers and artists and analysed data from the ten years of the program’s history, to inform the Arts Centre’s ongoing work to be a leader in inclusive practices.

Forensic reports into the creative industries

In 2012-13 we completed a detailed analysis of the Australian creative industries for the Federal Department of Industry and Innovation to inform policy and investment. Summaries were also made available to thousands of creative industry businesses to support their strategic business decision-making. For copies of the summaries, please contact Yen Yang on yen at bypgroup dot com.

Evaluation of the Red Room Company’s Unlocked poetry program in prisons and its School Poetry Education program

Screen Shot 2015-09-22 at 2.53.53 pmWe evaluated the Red Room Company’s impacts via its creative literacy and poetry workshops. We have developed a suite of self-assessment tools for the organisation so it can conduct its own evaluations, including surveys and interview protocols with poets, inmates, teachers, Department of Correctional Services staff, and students.

Evaluation of the NSW Health HIV/AIDS and Related Programs ‘Connie’ Project

We worked with Rooftop Trust to evaluate the impact of the public awareness program ‘Connie.’ The program is an innovative arts program run in conjunction with youth and community centres in the Illawarra region, to engage young people with safe sex strategies and sexual health issues.

Evaluation of the WestWords program

We worked with the Blacktown City Council and the University of Western Sydney to develop a set of self-evaluation tools for the WestWords program. This is a cultural engagement program in western Sydney to connect children with the benefits of literature and finding voice and identity through storytelling.

Evaluation of the Museum of Contemporary Arts C3West program

We evaluated the MCA’s C3West projects impact on communities, businesses and arts practice. The program is designed to create innovative and engaging, participatory art models with western Sydney communities, councils and business partners. These have included the Ultimate VIsion project at Hurstville Westfield and the Michael Tuffery project at Airds on the Upper Georges River, western Sydney.

Evaluation of Opera Australia’s Indigenous community project in Alice Springs about the stolen generations, Bungalow Song, and Western Sydney and Melbourne Community Choirs

We evaluated these projects for Opera Australia in 2013. Frances Gordon, Community Partnerships Manager, wrote this:

“You have provided such an insightful and well written evaluation. I am particularly impressed by the depth of responses you received, particularly in light of the context of [the projects]. Overall what you captured reflects our experience on the ground and in conversations as well as providing us with useful insights and things to consider for future projects. Thank you.”

Evaluation of the Arts Victoria Contemporary and Live Music Development program

We conducted interviews and developed case studies about the impact of the CALMD grants program on the contemporary and live music sector in Victoria.

Case studies of arts organisations engaging digitally with audiences

These case studies are used in Australia and internationally as best practice for audience engagement and market development.

No Boundaries Project Evaluation

IMG_9101-300x195We worked with the University of Western Sydney, the Penrith City Council and disability service organisations in Western Sydney to evaluate the “No Boundaries” project in September 2012, surveying audiences, and conducting qualitative interviews and focus groups with about 20 participants and stakeholders. The project involved people with disability working with professional artists to create art, connect with community and overcome social isolation.  You can download the report and appendices here.

Case studies of arts organisation approaches to community relevance – projects and processes

These case studies look at how arts organisations try to incorporate community relevance into their processes, plans, structures and activities. We interviewed artists, arts organisations and community members. This work was commissioned by the Australia Council for the Arts.

Impact of digital technology on the major performing arts sector

AMPAG-report-picWe developed this paper for the Australian Major Performing Arts Group. The paper was quoted in the Australian government’s National Cultural Policy discussion paper.

Approaches to evaluating youth arts participation

Deakin University commissioned us to explore international approaches to evaluating youth arts participation.

Case studies of ArtStart funding recipients

We developed eight case studies for the Australia Council for the Arts, based on interviews with grant recipients, arts educators and sector stakeholders.

Evaluations of the Interconnections program, the Managing and Producing Services Initiative and the Digital Culture Fund

These evaluations for the Australia Council for the Arts included review of acquittal data and interviews with artists, company managers, artistic directors and sector peers across Australia.

Australian theatre sector research

This research into the Australian theatre sector led to the National Theatre Forum and new Australia Council funding rounds of $1m over three years.

Evaluation of the Education, Families and Youth programs, Arts Centre Melbourne

We have developed a suite of modular questionnaires for the Arts Centre Melbourne to self-evaluate its multimillion dollar education, families and youth programs.  We conducted focus groups, interviews and triangulated pilot questionnaires to ensure robustness.  The questionnaires are now used as best practice by the Victorian Department of Education and have been used to survey thousands of students.

Local councils e-consultation guide

This guide for local councils on how to use e-consultation for civic engagement is now used by local governments around Australia and internationally.  Jackie presented her findings at the Australian Social Policy Research Conference

Revision and analysis of survey results, “Music for Life” Program, Musica Viva Australia

We revised and redeveloped the “Music for Life” (now called “Viva Voices”) survey tool which was being used to assess health and wellbeing outcomes from the “Music for Life” program. The program was targeted at senior Australians to achieve health and wellbeing improvements. Our task was to re-design the survey so that Musica Viva could answer its key questions, improve participant response rates and the statistical significance of the data.  We also analysed existing survey data to uncover statistically significant results within the indices which Musica Viva’s original partner had constructed.