Before you can think about putting the artist’s brief together you need to make sure that you are clear about the purpose of the project and what outcomes you want to achieve as a result of the project.
· Is the participation process or the final artistic product more important for this project? – It is really important that you consider this question early in your planning as the outcome of this decision has an impact on things like the budget and what additional skills you may require from your artist. You may decide that both process e.g. supporting people to understand an issue that encourages people to make a positive behaviour change and product e.g. sexual health education DVD are equally important.
· What artforms are most appropriate for your project? – It is particularly important to consider this in relation to what you want to use the final product for and the size of your budget. For example, if you want the final product to be used as a resource to promote a specific health message to a wide audience it may be more cost effective to produce a visual arts based resource i.e. a comic, animation or short film that can be widely disseminated as opposed to a performance based resource.
· What do you want to use the final product for and who will the audience be? – If the project will result in the production of an arts and health resource you need to think carefully about how you are planning to use this and who this resource is aimed at as these decisions may influence what artforms you choose to focus on and how the artist approaches the overall project.
· How might you sustain the project? Considering the project legacy at the start of the planning process is important. If you are successful at engaging with communities, how will you develop this and involve them in other initiatives? How will you distribute the final product? How long will the finished art work last for? If it is important the art work lasts for a long time have you built in a budget to maintain it or update the information contained in the product? Do you need to invite artists back to deliver aspects of the project to new audiences?
Be aware that your Trust will have specific procurement requirements and processes depending on the value of the commission. Check these out before you go any further in the process.
In order to effectively demonstrate that the arts and health work you commission contributes to the public health and preventative agenda you are likely to need to develop a set of health and wellbeing outcomes for the project.
The key factors to consider in deciding your project outcomes are:
- How do they link to and contribute towards objectives? Showing how your project contributes to achieving your Trust's existing health and wellbeing objectives and targets is key.
-How do they help to further meet the needs of the communities you are working with? At this stage it is important to spend time looking at the wider wellbeing needs and aspirations of the people you are working with.
- Are they achievable within the scope of the project and the budget?
- How will you know if the project outcomes have been met? – You will need to develop a set of outcome indicators to help you evaluate the project outcomes.
Identifying these outcomes will form an early part of your project planning process and will help you to make key decisions about the balance between process and product and how you will use the final creative product.
At this stage it is important to consider:
· How are you planning to evaluate and document the project? – You may decide to do this in-house or bring in external support or a combination of both.
· Do you want the artist to be involved in evaluating and/or documenting the project? – If you do, you need to make sure that this is written into the brief and that resources are allocated for this in the budget.
· What are you going to do with the evaluation results? How will you feed back to participants ? How will you use the results to influence the development of future services?
More information about this aspect of your project will be covered in Section Two of these guidelines which will be available in September 2011.
Listed below are a number of useful resources that may help you to demonstrate the extent to which you have achieved your project outcomes:
praXis Arts and Health Evaluation Toolkit
Artspulse: a user friendly guide to evaluating arts and wellbeing projects Rotherham MBC http://www.criticalconnections.org.uk/PDFs/FinalToolkit-09-rotherham.pdf
A Guide to Measuring Children’s Wellbeing nef / Action for Children http://www.neweconomics.org/publications/guide-measuring-children%E2%80%99s-well-being
You may decide to work with an arts and health development agency to help you plan, and deliver the project. An agency can help you develop the project plan, engage with potential project participants, appoint an appropriate artist, manage and evaluate the project.
Click here to see a copy of the service level agreement between Dudley PCT and the Creative Health CIC.
Graphics by Born Communication working with young