Research findings

Read our latest reports, working papers and other research publications.

Recently Published:

ArtWorks Evaluation Literature Review, dha & the Institute for Cultural Practices, University of Manchester, May 2015

This document combines two literature reviews with their accompanying annotated bibliographies which were undertaken for the evaluation of ArtWorks.  It has  been produced by the evaluation team, Tamsin Cox, dha, and Dr. Abigail Gilmore, Institute for Cultural Practices, University of Manchester, with primary literature research and annotation undertaken by Institute for Cultural Practices alumni, Liz Fitzpatrick and Lottie Clarke.


ArtWorks: A call to action, March 2015Thumbnail ArtWorks A call to action cover

Drawing on the learning from ArtWorks, this publication calls on the sector to build on our work and create better support for artists.  It sets out actions we believe must be taken if we are to see the changes our sector needs. Some of our recommendations are aimed at particular groups within the participatory arts ‘system’. Others apply to us all.


Supporting ArtWorks: A call to action are the following: 

ArtWorks: Reflections on developing practice in participatory settings, Susanne Burns, March 2015

Thumbnail ArtWorks ReflectionsiThis report sets out the ‘why, ‘what’ and ‘how’ of the programme, reviewing what was learned about the training and development needs of artists; methods for promoting quality; and creating the conditions for change. It invites those sharing a commitment to participatory arts and understanding the benefits of strengthening support for artists to join in developing a collective voice to match strong collective practice.







ArtWorks: A view from funders, Susanne Burns with contributions from Janet Archer, Diane Hebb, Phil Cave and Regis Cochefert, March 2015

ArtWorks research has shown that funders can help raise the profile of participatory arts and promote quality by encouraging employers and funded organisations to embed paid opportunities for artists’ training and CPD within projects. Four funders share what ArtWorks success could look like in five years’ time: the work being properly valued; artists’ development supported; a quality framework focused on the participant experience; and more joined up working.


ArtWorks Evaluation Final Report: Executive Summary, dha & the Institute for Cultural Practices, University of Manchester, March 2015

ArtWorks Evaluation Final Report, dha & the Institute for Cultural Practices, University of Manchester, March 2015

The evaluation team’s reports explain how they have mapped and analysed ArtWorks as an initiative –  using an ‘intervention model’ against which to understand progress against aims; assessing its size and scale; undertaking conceptual clustering of activities; and modelling partnership approaches.  It also details their findings. Key achievements noted include: new partnerships and relationships; contribution to the critical mass of knowledge in this area; pathfinders and partners better informed about artists’ needs; tested and transferable models; the engagement of national funding agencies; and strong indications of legacy work

ArtWorks Working Paper 10: Partnership, collaboration and communities of practice, Susanne Burns, February 2015

Outlines partnership working learning through the initiative, exploring the impact of a delivery mode based on collaboration and collective working on both the programme partnership as a whole and the individual pathfinder partnerships.

You can read all ten Working Papers here.

New case studies 

ArtWorks Case Study: ArtWorks Cymru and Welsh National Opera

ArtWorks Case Study: Addressing the dynamic

ArtWorks Case Study: Joint development of CPD

ArtWorks Case Study: Creative Retreat

ArtWorks Case Study: University of Hull – Associate Artists

ArtWorks Case Study: B Arts and Staffordshire University

Artist pathways and student careers, Judith Hills, January 2015

Explores issues around careers in participatory arts; available advice and guidance; opportunities for developing this career in initial training; ongoing support for graduates; and CPD opportunities for artists who wish to embed this work into a portfolio career.

The ArtWorks ‘Golden Thread’, Sean Gregory, January 2015

Provides the conceptual and ideological context to the thinking behind a ‘Golden Thread’ of training and development for artists working in participatory and socially engaged settings.

ArtWorks Evaluation Interviews With Artists, dha, January 2015

Complementing the first phase Survey of Artists, this new evaluation report explores in depth motivations, experience and practice development from interviews with 11 artists.

ArtWorks Insights for employers, commissioners and funders in facilitating quality impacts through participatory arts, Rachel Blanche, November 2014

Evidences quality cannot be attributed solely to the artist and activity undertaken, as decisions by a wide range of stakeholders, at different project stages, influence delivery. Robust, constructive communication between partners is key to creating the conditions needed for quality work.

ArtWorks code of practice, Kathryn Deane, November 2014

The development of a common code of practice of artists working in participatory settings, also of benefit to employers, learners, trainers and supporting organisations. Explains how to sign up to the code, which supports a two-way partnership between artist and employer.


ArtWorks Working Paper 9: Understanding demand – building effective relationships between employers and artists, Eleanor Sellers, October 2014

Focusing on the perspective of different types of ’employers’ of artists, explores expectations; recruitment; quality factors; and the provision of training and CPD, including opportunities to ‘lead from the front’.


Cover from ‘What do you need?’ Learning approaches for artists working in participatory settings, Susanne Burns, September 2014

‘What do you need?’ Learning approaches    for artists working in participatory settings, Susanne Burns, September 2014

Identifies key features of effective learning provision; prompts questions about the role of funders, employers and learning providers; and encourages a collaborative approach. Six case study examples show approaches in action with aims, structure, process, content and critical learning.

ArtWorks Evaluation Survey of Artists, DHA, June 2014

Findings from over 1,000 artist respondents working in a spread of art forms, at different stages of their career and with different approaches to practice. Covers artists’ experiences in different settings and their motivations, engagement with employers and commitment to CPD.


Note: Read selected previously published work by clicking on the group you most identify with or would like to find out about  at the top of the page (Employers and Commissioners, Training Providers, Funders and Policy Makers or Artists ) or exploring the themed sections on Training and Development, Promoting Quality and Creating the Conditions for Change.

Or visit the ArtWorks Publication Library to access all publications.


ArtWorks: Developing practice in participatory settings was originally developed by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation. In 2015 the Foundation awarded funding to the ArtWorks Alliance to take this work forward.

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