Sunday, 14 April 2019

Collecting people's experiences through games; Arts Bingo

Collecting information doesn't have to be boring. Sometimes a piece of paper is absolutely the best option, but sometimes you want to do something different.

Back in 2018, The Evaluator started working with In-Situ - an arts organisation who had just gained Arts Council England 'National Portfolio Organisation' status. Right at the beginning of their NPO journey they wanted a benchmark - to understand what impact they were currently having, or not-having, and commissioned The Evaluator to carry out a creative benchmarking exercise.

In-Situ are a socially engaged arts practice, who use the term 'embedded'. They have long term aims around bringing arts into the everyday life of people living in their local area - Brierfield immediately and Pendle as a slightly wider aim.

The Evaluator wanted to try and create a measure that could show how much people engaged with arts in their everyday life, now, and for it to be easy to replicate in the future so the team can measure if the work they are doing is changing attitudes over time.

Trying to capture a wider sense of something is usually best done by asking quite a lot of questions, although this could feel quite repetitive for those taking part.

The solution to this was 'Arts Bingo'.

Playing 'Arts Bingo' with people across Pendle, some of whom were new to working with In-Situ and some of whom had been working with In-Situ for a long time, gave a clear picture. The longer people worked with In-Situ, the more engaged in arts they became. 

It was great fun to play too - sometimes we even had members of the audience taking their turn as bingo callers. A really simple idea, well executed and with great data as an outcome. 

In-Situ were so pleased with the work carried out for them, they appointed The Evaluator to be their Evaluator-in-residence. 

The Evaluator will definitely be playing more bingo in the future.