Creative & Credible

Arts & Health evaluation resource - creative & credible

Willis Newson and Professor Norma Daykin of the University of the West of England launched Creative & Credible, a new resource to support evaluation activity across the arts and health sector, at the Arts & Health South West Annual Conference on 17th November 2015.


Creative and Credible will enable the arts and health sector to develop skills, knowledge and resources around evaluation. The free website guides people through the minefield of arts and health evaluation, answering questions such as: ‘What is evaluation?’ and ‘How will evaluation benefit me?’

Jane Willis, Director of Willis Newson commented:
“Evaluation is vital. Only by seeking to better understand what we are achieving, what impact it is having and why, can the sector learn, develop and grow. Evidence gleaned through robust evaluation can also help advocate for the work we do, ensuring that it is sustainably commissioned and funded into the future. However, evaluating in ways that are both robust and credible to the health sector, while also being creative and appropriate the arts projects being evaluated, is a big challenge.” 

The Creative and Credible website explores and explains different methods of evaluation including quantitative, economic, qualitative and arts-based approaches, which can be used to generate robust results to demonstrate the value of the arts to healthcare.

A comprehensive resources section pulls together links and downloads to enable users to access a wide range of material related to arts and health evaluation in one place.

Professor Norma Daykin added:
“Creative and Credible seeks to bridge the gap between arts evaluation and health research, supporting practitioners and academics to better evaluate creative projects that are centred around health impacts.We were delighted to launch the Creative & Credible online resource at the Arts & Health South West Annual Conference and were thrilled at the incredibly positive response we received.”

There is an increasing awareness of the role of arts in contributing to health and wellbeing in a range of areas, but there is a corresponding lack of consensus about how to assess the value and impacts of arts on health and wellbeing.

Practitioners, drawn mainly from arts backgrounds and not from health or social sciences, often report a lack of confidence, knowledge and skills relating to evaluation. The Creative & Credible website will help to enable practitioners to broaden their knowledge and skills and to engage with evaluation and commissioning agendas.

The web-based resource was created by Willis Newson and The University of the West of England, with funding from the Economic and Social Research Council. The resources in the Creative and Credible website were developed and tested through a Stakeholder Reference Group which included leading experts and key players in the evaluation field, including evaluators, researchers, artists and arts organisations, health professionals and health and social care commissioners.

Some of the responses from twitter users to the new resource:

  • Professor Stephen Clift ‏(@StephenClift)
    @NormaDaykin @ArtsHealthSW @WillisNewson Excellent great initiative
  • Clare Tarling ‏(@claretarling)
    I missed your workshop today, so thanks for sharing your excellent resources online! @WillisNewson @PMZOfficial @ESRC @ArtsHealthSW
  • The Dax Centre ‏(@TheDaxCentre)
    @WillisNewson this is wonderful, and will certainly be of interest to our education team - thank you for sharing it with us

"Worth sharing, what a total gem of a resource - and free! Wish this had been around years ago! Invaluable."

Plymouth Music Zone