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Funded by Arts Council England and running from November 2016 to the end of March 2017, Telling is the first independent project designed and delivered by Armstrong Cameron. Designed as a pilot, it will support us in developing our approach to incorporating storytelling in evaluation.

We will recruit four small arts organisations which will collaborate with us in uncovering the stories of what engagement in arts and cultural activity can do for people. Is there something specific that engagement with the arts can deliver that can’t be delivered by other interventions? What claims can we reasonably make for the arts and for participatory arts in particular?

We’ll answer these and other questions by engaging in conversation with artists, participants, volunteers and others involved with the organisations. First, though, we’ll start off by bringing the organisations together to find out what their understanding and experience is of evaluation; what their expectations of the project are; and how we can work together to uncover the stories of their work. This exercise will help us to refine our enquiries.

Once we’ve talked with the relevant people associated with each organisation we’ll make evaluative stories which tell us and wider audiences about the projects and the impacts that they have. Whilst we want these to feel like rigorous enquiries, we also want them to feel like compelling stories, rich with individuals’ lived experiences.

When the organisations have had an opportunity to digest the stories, we’ll provide each with a small budget which will enable them to engage an artist to interpret and adapt the stories using an art form which feels relevant to the organisation.

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