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Participatory Evaluation of the Inspire Public Art Project

Inspire is the public art initiative for South East Northumberland which was set up in December 2003. This evaluation was commissioned to contribute to the assessment of three of Inspire's objectives, as well as looking at related issues of impact and perception. The research report looks at case studies of three projects as well as focussing on young people's perceptions of the project. The evaluation was carried out by Barefoot Research and Evaluation and was completed in September 2005.

The three objectives which the research examines are:

Objective 2: Increase the attractiveness of the environment to: local communities; stakeholder organisations; visitors; and businesses.

Objective 3: Contribute to the modernisation of the environment and increase its distinctiveness.

Objective 4: Ensure that communities and stakeholders are properly engaged in public art and design development.

For each Objective, appropriate indicators or kinds of evidence were identified, and the thoughts and opinions of those who had participated in selected public art projects about both the process and and the art outcome and its impact were collected.

The report records positive evidence which shows that all three objectives are being achieved through the public art programme.

In addition, the research considers three important issues around public art:

  • The difficulty of involving a representative group of community members in public art projects;
  • Identifying whether there is any link between feelings of public ownership of public art and the level of stakeholder involvement;
  • Determining whether there have been any changes in people's sense of place through involvement in a public art project.

Follow this link to download the full Participatory Evaluation Report of the Inspire Public Art Project as an Adobe Acrobat document: 960Kb

Follow this link to download an article about the project in Participatory Learning and Action, Issue 55, December 2006, © International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED); Adobe Acrobat document: 312Kb

Further details: Nicholas Baumfield, Cultural Services Manager, Leisure Services department, Wansbeck District Council. Email: [email protected]


Christopher Hartworth, Barefoot Research and Evaluation.

Email: [email protected]; www.barefootresearch.org.uk.

Participatory Learning and Action: www.planotes.org.

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