Evaluation Case Study: New Skills for New Ways of Working

We look at the team’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns in 2020.

March 2021

This case study is part of our project evaluation 2019/2020

In this case study we’re looking at the ways we responded to the pandemic as a team, how we reviewed and changed our ways of working. Unlike many arts organisations who had to close venues, the Creative People and Places national programme continued working with local communities throughout the lockdowns of 2020, but we had to approach things differently, change quickly and respond sensitively. This was a situation beyond all of our experience.  

The impact of Covid-19 and national lockdown restrictions on local communities, artists and organisations meant that new ways of working, supporting creative practitioners and communities was a priority.

This case study looks at the ways we changed our artist commission support and skills development and the difference this made from participant feedback.

Download the full New Skills for New Ways of Working case study here.

Read the full 2019/20 evaluation report here.


An excerpt from the case study:

Creative Conversations in Isolation Impact on Artists

The MarketPlace team amongst their CPP colleagues recognised a need to provide opportunities for local audiences to engage in creative and cultural opportunities during the first national lockdown. They also identified a need to be an integral part in supporting the local arts economy and freelance artists in a meaningful way for their communities whilst honouring their artistic ideas.

Marketplace developed the ‘Creative Conversation in Isolation‘ two-tiered commission. Artists were invited to submit ideas that could then be funded as an ‘Inkling’. These would be developed into a working project idea after an advice surgery session with the MarketPlace team.

This enabled artists to gain direct support and insight to make their ideas audience focused with their time being valued financially. Upon approval of their delivery plan submission, the project would be funded at the ‘Connect’ level to engage communities in the activity. 

Of the 19 projects commissioned this year, seven were commissioned directly at Connect level as their project plan was fully formed. Ten of the projects have moved from Inkling to Connect and two projects are still in the Inkling development phase.

Graphic showing participation and audience numbers. 
Arts Commissions: 19, Participants: 40, Training: 1

The commissioned artists reflected upon the impact of the commission on their current employment, stability and new ways of working. This commission, alongside a measuring digital impact training day enables the development of local capacity to grow at the same time as the audience appetite for this type of cultural content.

In this short video, Creative Agent Ali reflects on the Connect and Inkling projects commissioned by MarketPlace during lockdown.
In this short video, Creative Agent Colin reflects on the importance of creating during the pandemic in 2020.

Download the full New Skills for New Ways of Working case study here.

You can also read about our work and other Creative People and Places projects in the national programme’s case study ‘Working With Artists Through Lockdown’.