Our learning

What it Does to You: Excellence in CPP

This report by Jamie Buttrick and Andy Parkinson of Consilium Research in partnership with Mark Robinson of Thinking Practice was commissioned as part of the national evaluation of Creative People and Places.


It explores the approaches developed across the CPP programmes, and relates them to other ‘quality frameworks’ developed in recent years. Main findings show that:


  • Within CPP the excellence or quality of both arts product and processes of engagement is dynamic and depends greatly on the local context, as well as the relevance, skill and rigour of the arts process or product.
  • CPP has developed a better understanding of the community engagement methods needed to develop quality and is developing ways of sharing decision-making through community involvement and collaboration.
  • People benefit from reflective conversations about their experiences of the work that explore the qualities of the work, what it does to them and/a place and how it was made. Many find the language of Excellence that dominates some ‘art-speak’ off-putting.
  • CPP is opening up opportunities for community members to have different conversations about artistic quality in the context of their own environment. These debates would benefit from involving as many people as possible, including artists and arts organisations as well as those engaged by CPP