First Art is a collective of four cultural and community organisations working within the former coalfields of NE Derbyshire and NE Nottinghamshire. Beginning in January 2015, the programme aims to bring inspiring cultural experiences within reach of everyone in Ashfield, Bolsover, Mansfield and NE Derbyshire over the next two years.

First Art is supported by the Arts Council through its Creative People and Places fund.

CCU Evaluation of First Art

The Creative Communities Unit is responsible for the evaluation of First Art, using creative and participatory evaluation techniques based on the Get Talking approach.

For further information about our evaluation of First Art, using creative evaluation tools or to discuss how the Creative Communities Unit can support your evaluation, please contact Nic Gratton.


First Art evaluationCase study: Using creative evaluation techniques at the First Art launch

For First Art we have identified a series of quality art definitions and cross checked these findings with audiences at a range of events.

At the launch of First Art in April 2015, participants at the launch were presented with 3 crystals and asked to vote for their definitions of quality art by placing them in a series of transparent vases.

This tool has provided a useful starting point to hold discussions with audiences and communities in the First Art area about quality art.

It’s an attractive way to encourage people to take part in research. Many participants were drawn to the research tool because they were interested and curious about the activity. Being part of an artistic programme, the research tools became another part of the programme and something else interesting to look at. Some people were surprised that the tools were a means for them to feedback to the programme.

While similar data could be gathered through the use of a survey, the participatory nature of the tools make engagement in the research process more meaningful for the individuals taking part.   The kinesthetic process of picking up a crystal and deciding where to place it adds an interactive dimension to the data collection. The mere fact that the tool was ‘different’ and an unusual way of asking audience members a research question encouraged people to take part.