Project Type: <span>Evaluation</span>

Southbank Centre: Art By Post

We at Flow Associates were commissioned by Southbank Centre to create a robust evaluation report of Phase 1 and 2 of the Art by Post project to reflect on this responsive programming and understand opportunities for developing it in the future. The project reached 4500 participants monthly with more than 600 artworks being submitted by artists across the UK.

Art by Post is a nationwide outreach scheme devised and delivered by the Southbank Centre  in response to the pandemic, enabling a continuation of community and wellbeing programmes during and beyond the extended closure of the building. It is more than just a replacement for on-site and local activity, however, as it is creating opportunities for SC to build relationships with arts and care organisations across the UK and to innovate in the design of remote and distributed creative activity for people without digital access.















The programming consists mainly of booklets designed by artists and inspired by Southbank Centre’s art collection and artistic programme. The activities are designed for adults living with one or more long- term health conditions, who through COVID-19 restrictions are at further risk of isolation. SC is especially interested in giving people living with dementia, and their supporters, access to creative resources. The project also aimed to reach those without digital technology at home.

People who sign up to take part are guided through a series of activities which aim to spark the imagination, keep minds active and help people stay connected to others. Along with the booklet participants were given a freepost envelope to return their artwork to Southbank Centre, in the hope that an exhibition could be created once the site reopened after the COVID-19 lockdowns.

Virtual Classrooms

We were commissioned to create a robust evaluation of the Virtual Classrooms project supported by the Respond and Reimagine Grant from the Art Fund. The project set out to reach schools and young people during the COVID-19 pandemic and inform learning practice and programming going into an uncertain and increasingly digital future.

The evaluation followed the delivery of a pilot programme of Virtual Classroom sessions by History of Science Museum and Bodleian Library during the COVID-19 pandemic. Through consultation with staff and schools we mapped how it reached new audiences, increased access for under-represented groups, developed the digital capabilities of the staff and institutions and its reception in schools and colleges.

A report and presentation with a series of recommendations was delivered in order to report to the funder and to guide future iterations and delivery of remote learning sessions.

National Gallery Evaluation Framework

Flow worked with the National Gallery on a comprehensive evaluation framework to support the delivery their 2021-26 learning strategy. It aims to empower everyone to integrate evaluation into their practice, to design for more effective and impactful work across the broad range of onsite, offsite and online programmes that the Gallery delivers. We created a digital toolkit which guides staff through the why, how and when of evaluation, providing template tools and activities which can be used bespokely across their audiences.

The fresh redesign of the Evaluation Framework tackled issues with the existing processes including difficulty of use, the challenge of collecting relevant insights and the move to online delivery. We carried out extensive consultation with Learning staff in order to understand their programmes, current use of evaluation and the ambitions for their programmes. From this Flow developed an evaluation toolkit with materials and guides for collecting evaluation data which related to their strategic aims, reporting requirements and professional development.

A key focus was capturing evidence of qualitative outcomes for participants using a ‘360 degrees’ process as a way of understanding collective success as a team. The evaluation framework provided support to collect and analyse participants’ skills development, learning of new knowledge and of teir experience of the programme. For the Learning Team and wider National Gallery the framework also established metrics for understanding cultural capital and how participants can be empowered through it.

Training was provided across the Learning team and with facilitators and ongoing support given in order to refine tools as they were put into action.