A new online resource aims to help arts practitioners develop a better understanding of the measures that improve the experience of participants.

Photo of women drumming

NCinDC via Visual Hunt / CC BY-N

A set of core principles aimed at helping arts professionals to reflect on the quality of their participatory work has been drawn up in Wales. The aim of the initiative is to create “a way to talk about quality that can be used by everyone who is making participatory arts”.

Nine quality principles have emerged, grouped under three headings: intention, activity and people.

They are designed to be “guiding lights for practitioners and commissioners alike,” which can be applied across artforms and in a range of contexts.

Artworks Cymru has published a Quality Principles Resource to help arts practitioners think about quality within their projects. It lists the core principles and suggests key indicators, as well as providing a set of templates and tools for using them.

Ongoing professional development, sufficient budget for resources and spaces that are fit for purpose are all recognised as important for sustaining quality in participatory work, as is arts practice that is participant centred and celebrates participant progress.

The development of the principles has been coordinated by Artworks Cymru, in collaboration with arts organisations and artists in Wales. The cross artform group, which included Voluntary Arts Wales, Welsh National Opera and Rubicon Dance, explored the meaning of ‘quality’ when creating work with people, how to identify quality and what measures can be taken to ensure quality.

The partnership is now calling for any organisations or individuals who use the quality principles to submit a case study sharing their experiences of how and in which contexts they can be used, and how they help to improve practice.

Liz Hill