Cardiff Metropolitan University
Critical reflections on performing arts impact evaluations.pdf (339.88 kB)

Critical reflections on performing arts impact evaluations

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journal contribution
posted on 2022-02-22, 12:16 authored by Nicola Williams-Burnett, Heather Skinner
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to present a critically reflective account of the process of conducting an impact evaluation of a dance-theatre company’s staged productions and workshops. Design/methodology/approach There are two main approaches: the introspective critical reflection on the process of performing an impact evaluation; and the drawing/colouring methods used to perform it. Findings It is more difficult to provide impact evaluations of the soft rather than hard outcomes of publicly funded performance arts. The engagement of third-party evaluators may help overcome the challenge that many “accepted” approaches are outwith the skill or financial resources of smaller non-profit organisations. Research limitations/implications Although based on a single case, the authors believe that the evidence how the use of innovative methodologies may be more appropriate to performing arts impact evaluations, even those less familiar to management researchers. Practical implications This paper offers insights into various methods of impact evaluation that may be of use to smaller non-profit arts organisations who may be constrained by limited skills and financial resources. Originality/value This paper provides an original contribution to understanding innovative methodologies to perform arts impact evaluations, particularly those assessing soft outcomes, and a contribution in recognising the role of academic researchers in performing such evaluations.


Published in

Arts and the Market




  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)


Nicola Jayne Williams-Burnett, Heather Skinner, (2017) "Critical reflections on performing arts impact evaluations", Arts and the Market, Vol. 7 Issue: 1, pp.32-50,

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Cardiff Met Affiliation

  • Cardiff School of Management

Cardiff Met Authors

Nicola Williams-Burnett

Cardiff Met Research Centre/Group

  • Welsh Centre for Business and Management Research

Copyright Holder

  • © The Publisher


  • en

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