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23rd January, 2023

ResearchWorks: Liberating the ‘frustrated evaluator’

GuildhallSchool Red

Event Details

23rd January, 2023
17:00 -

How can we co-create methods to tell more complex narratives of change? How can we talk about ‘impact’ in a broader and more radical way and in language we all understand?

This session will reflect on the challenges presented by arts evaluation in the current cultural climate as well as exploring the potential for designing innovative and co-created evaluation approaches. Chaired by Valentina Orru from Barbican and Dr Maia Mackney from Guildhall School, this session will share the content of their new evaluation chapter written as part of the Disrupt 2022 Toolkit.

This session will present a panel of evaluation practitioners and researchers, including Sarah Cassidy Head of Inclusion and Learning at Old Fire Station Oxford and Dr Sophie Hope and Henry Mulhall from Birkbeck University. Attendees will have the chance to explore new evaluation methods, including ‘The Storytelling Methodology’, ‘Cards on the Table’ and ‘Blind Dates’ through a lively Q&A style format. Please do come along with your own examples and practices to share!


Valentina Orru is a cultural producer and researcher with a background in cultural policy. She holds several years of experience devising, delivering and evaluating projects in the arts and currently is the Planning and Evaluation Officer in the Creative Collaboration department at the Barbican. Her areas of work include alternative metrics to measure cultural value, processes of co-production and creative and collaborative evaluation methods working with artists and community groups.

Dr Maia Mackney is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Guildhall School of Music & Drama. Her current role explores how evaluation can be embedded across the institution to improve their processes of reflection and learning culture. Maia has taught at Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Winchester University and Royal Holloway University of London, and her wider research interests include theatre in education, theatre and disability, participatory arts, cultural policy, evaluation and research methods, theatre and arts with veterans, theatre and P.T.S.D and durational theatre.”

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