Performing Impact


Resource authors: Pat Thomson, Julie Sanders, Christine Hall and Jem Bloomfield
Project: Performing impact

Evaluation is an essential part of community theatre practice. Companies are called upon to provide evidence of the artistic activities they engage in, and how those activities have impact on the communities within which they take place. These imperatives, which often arise from the need to justify community arts projects to funding bodies, have tended to produce evaluations that are summative and predominantly focussed on outcomes, particularly in terms of social impact. This study was undertaken to investigate the potential to enrich and support these forms of evaluation via approaches drawn from scholarship on arts practices and the processes, as well as outcomes, they involve. Exploring the literature in the arts and humanities around aesthetics, memory, performance, heritage and place, the study sought alternative vocabularies which could contribute to an account of the impacts which community arts have.

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