Brokering evaluations of partnerships in Australian community arts: Responding to enterpreneurial tendencies | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 4, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 1757-1936
  • E-ISSN: 1757-1944



This article examines motivations and methods for external evaluators in taking on a brokerage relationship between artists, arts managers and governments (national and local) during an appraisal process of community arts events. The argument is situated in our experience evaluating the Creating Queensland programme, a multifaceted community arts programme presented as part of the one of Australia’s largest arts events the Brisbane Festival, in 2009 and 2010. We use this case to identify a number of principles and processes that may assist in establishing an effective evaluation process – defined, for us, as a process in which partners representing different elements of the community arts project can share information in a learning network, or an innovation network, that embraces the idea of continuous improvement. We explain that we, as consultants, are not necessarily the only participants in the evaluation process in a position to broker the decision making about what to research and report on. We argue that empowering each of the delivery partners to act as brokers, using the principles, protocols and processes to negotiate what should be researched, when, how and how it should be shared, is something each delivery partner can do. This can help create a common understanding that can reduce anxieties about using warts-and-all evaluation data to learn, grow and improve in the arts. It can, as a result, be beneficial both for the participating partners and the community arts sector as a whole.


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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): community arts; ecology; evaluation; impact; innovation; value
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