Making the most of time

Photo of musicians rehearsing & laughing
03 Jan 2018

A music-making project within HMP Inverness is helping offenders develop skills for life, learning and work. Stacey Toner describes the challenges and its aims for the future.

Achieving a qualification on the inside

Photo of young man at computer
21 Dec 2017

Young offenders in Wales gained the Arts Award during a Summer Arts College – for some it was their first ever qualification. Angela Rogers tells how their success was realised.

Collaboration is key to cultural commissioning, report finds

Photo of choir singing
15 Dec 2017

Leaders in local authorities and health services have started to recognise the value of arts organisations to their agendas following a series of multi-partner collaborations. 

A challenging but manageable journey

Photo of man wearing mask
14 Dec 2017

Male prisoners at risk of suicide or self-harm may be apprehensive about signing up for a theatre project, but some finish Geese Theatre Company’s five-day course giddy with pride. Louise Heywood shares the story.

Making meaningful work – and measuring it

Photo of man breakdancing with people sitting round
14 Dec 2017

Helping prisoners devise and perform a piece of children’s theatre for their families may help reduce re-offending rates, but Selina Busby questions whether the evaluation of such projects is as effective as it should be.

Participatory arts projects empower care home residents

Age Cymru workshop image
06 Dec 2017

A two-year project across 20% of Welsh care homes found statistically significant improvements to wellbeing and staff perceptions of residents.

How can we best measure social value?

Pattern of light
05 Dec 2017

As the arts work their magic in so many mysterious ways, how can their impact be fully understood and measured? Matthew Brown wrestles with the concept of social value.

Healthcare provider to prescribe reading, dancing and singing

A photo of a choir
16 May 2017

Halton CCG’s manifesto for wellbeing commits the organisation to commissioning cultural activity, which it says can support wellbeing in ways that other methods cannot.

Lords propose charity reforms

Interior of the Lords Chamber
13 Apr 2017

Measures for improving governance, social investment and services commissioning by public bodies have been put forward in a report by the House of Lords Select Committee on Charities.

Evaluation framework to guide arts for health and wellbeing

Man looking at art
13 Jan 2017

Public Health England has issued a new publication to help commissioners gather robust evidence of the effectiveness of arts projects.

Sourcing the solid evidence

Photo of woman with an instrument in hospital
13 Oct 2016

Looking to measure the impact of their work in hospitals, Air Arts found that pre-existing evaluation methods didn’t work. Laura Waters describes their bespoke approach.

Making its mark

Photo of stencil saying One day at a time
20 Jul 2016

At Sussex Recovery College, arts-based courses are boosting students’ creativity and self-esteem. Kate Davey reports on this promising new model.

Collaborative resilience

Photo of two women dancing
14 Jul 2016

Kerry Wilson discusses the complexities and rewards of cross-sector collaborative working and networked cultural leadership in an age of resilience.

Models of practice in arts and commissioning

Photo of cellist performing for patients
30 Jun 2016

From arts on prescription to recovery colleges, there are a range of ways for arts organisations to engage with public service commissioning. Jessica Harris explains exactly how each model works.

Effective outcomes for people and communities

Photo of a girl in the Infinity box
05 May 2016

The benefits of commissioners working with the arts sector have been highlighted by pilot schemes in Kent and Gloucestershire. Jessica Harris shares the details.

BBC to commission live performance projects

Richard Dedominici
29 Apr 2016

A two-year programme will commission 15 performance projects to perform live on BBC Two on Saturday nights.

Report calls for changes to cultural commissioning

Photo of people singing in a choir
28 Apr 2016

Pilot projects in Kent and Gloucestershire have revealed procurement approaches are leaving arts and cultural organisations at a disadvantage, according to NEF. 

A joyful union?

Photo of begging poster
10 Mar 2016

The arts and health may have been officially coupled with the launch of a new evaluation framework, but will they ever be comfortable bedfellows? Frances Williams has her doubts.

Developing a narrative for people, communities and place

Photo of choir rehearsal
03 Mar 2016

How can arts organisations present their offer more effectively to public service commissioners? Five pilot consortia have been working to do just that and Jessica Harris reports on what they’ve learned. 

Prescribing the arts for better health

Photo of Creative Alternatives activity
05 Nov 2015

What are the opportunities for arts organisations interested in delivering ‘on prescription’ schemes? And do they outweigh the challenges? Jessica Harris investigates.

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