Project update: Creative evaluation and storytelling for Wandsworth Arts Fringe

  • Chris Hayes

Wandsworth Arts Fringe bursts into life for 17 brilliant days each June, shaking up South West London with an eclectic programme of arts & culture that thrills, moves and inspires audiences from across the city.

Since 2010, WAF has brought together hundreds of creatives in a bold and boundary-pushing annual line-up of cutting-edge theatre and comedy, exquisite music concerts, art exhibitions, experimental performance art, outdoor art extravaganzas, and everything in between, taking place across the borough.

We are delighted to be working with the inspiring WAF team, helping to tell the story of this year’s Fringe, and providing comprehensive research and evaluation support.

Responding to the brief to provide capacity and skills sharing to artists and creatives in evaluation, as well as extra feet on the ground during the fringe, our research and evaluation work to date has included:

  • working collaboratively with the team and partners to develop an evaluation framework and theory of change for the festival
  • delivering evaluation support and training sessions to artists and creatives (our slides and resources from our skills-sharing sessions are available to view as a toolkit here)
  • co-ordinating comprehensive audience research and evaluation activity during the fringe
  • co-ordinating observational feedback and data collection
  • face-to-face audience surveying and interviewing at events
  • impact journalism and vox pops with audiences and artists
  • a Talkaoke event in collaboration with The People Speak to bring people together around the table of chat to discuss art, culture, dance and everything else, as part of the Royal Academy of Dance’s Magic of Dance community day (see pictures here and film here)
  • co-ordinating film and video storytelling in collaboration with Caroline Wilson and UndrLdn
It’s been important to us to tailor research and evaluation methods to meet the needs of individual events and artists, drawing on creative, fun and participatory methods that engage those involved.
We are grateful to Huda Awan for her support on this project. Collaborating with The People Speak and Caroline Wilson and UndrLdn on this project has also been brilliant in bringing added layers of creative engagement and community researcher and coach Ken Hettiarachi, who has helped us listen to local audiences and collect surveys.

Our research and insight is helping the WAF team develop next year’s Fringe while building capacity in evaluation. The team and WAF creatives have highly valued the support.
Find out more about Wandsworth Fringe here: