The Value of Creative Growth: making growth work for creative enterprise

Lead Research Organisation: Glasgow School of Art
Department Name: The Innovation School

Abstract

This early-career leadership fellowship intends to advance the support and evaluation of the creative economy through exploring and testing more holistic measures of economic growth that are more resonant with the wider interests and values of creative enterprise and the communities they engage. By modelling a more qualitative conception of growth, and supporting that growth trajectory, it is argued that creative enterprise can be more effectively levered towards creating traceable value across social, cultural, economic and practice-based agendas. This will be tested each at an individual, organisational and collective or regional level.

As such, this proposal will apply a Creative Growth Model, developed through learning and testing from previous AHRC-funded research in the creative economy, to frame growth for creative practice in four keys areas: network growth, through new and enriched communities of practice; knowledge growth, through new learning and enriched forms of practice; value growth, through new and enriched products, services and experiences; and market growth, through new and enriched audiences and ways to reach them.

This fellowship will be based at The Innovation School at The Glasgow School of Art and build on existing relationships with industry and academic partners established across a trajectory of creative economy projects. This includes delivering projects in four case contexts, including working across the H&I to develop a network of creative micro clusters supporting creative enterprise across the region; working in Dundee to develop a leadership group for the creative and entrepreneurial development of digital makers; working in Bristol and creative hub partners across a support network for creative enterprise; as well as working with academic and industry partners and programmes across the Creative Economies Hub, to lead knowledge sharing and critical debate on the role of academic institutes in the creative economy.

This aims to produce evidence of more qualitative ways to evaluate creative growth, new approaches for supporting creative growth, a series of case studies on understanding the value of creative enterprise, and legacy projects in each context where leadership groups, collaborations and clusters have developed the capacity and resource to sustain themselves going forward.

Planned Impact

This leadership fellowship has the potential to provide an extensive, demonstrable body of research and approaches applying a consistent qualitative framework for growth across real world contexts of creative economic development for start ups, sole practitioners, micro businesses and SMEs.

For the project partners, they are being given collaborative space to explore new ways of engaging, support and evaluate creative enterprise in their respective networks. They will also gain access to wider perspectives and broader networks that are being actively levered to compliment their existing support services and structures.

For the project participants, identified as creative entrepreneurs across the four case projects, they will be engaged in tailored packages of tools, techniques and activities towards framing creative growth for their business, project, practice or other collective development challenges. They will also gain time with peers in learning on these programmes, as well as gaining greater awareness and relationships with relevant networks around them. Finally, they will receive the possibility of showcasing their work and development with an international network of academic and industry stakeholders, maximising their opportunities for growth.

The programmes of support packages, tools and techniques for business growth, approaches to evaluating creative growth, as well as project case studies, will be published online and publicly accessible. Within these materials the project will be an example of: how growth can be framed in more qualitative ways, how qualitative data can be systematically collected, analysed and visualised, how strategic discussion can be facilitated using visualised qualitative data, how programmes of support activities can be designed and delivered in tailored approaches, how creative engagement can translate programmes of support for multiple audiences, and, most importantly, how the value of creative growth can be measured along relational exchanges as well as transactional exchanges. The approach to realising this is described in the Pathways to Impact document.

For non-participating creative entrepreneurs, sole traders, micro-businesses:
- In addition to the above mentioned materials to be published online and publicly accessible, creative practitioners and entrepreneurs will be able to adapt materials for their own purposes
- In each local project network, creative enterprises will gain from any adopted practices, support programmes and network growth in their local networks and services for developmental support.

For support organisations for business development:
- In addition to the above mentioned materials to be published online and publicly accessible, business support organisations will be able to engage with Creative Economies Hub activities provided through case project D on the role of academic institutions in the creative economy

For creative industries and associated bodies:
- In addition to the above mentioned materials to be published online and publicly accessible, creative industries and associated bodies will be able to adapt materials for their own purposes
- They will also be able to engage with Creative Economies Hub activities provided through case project D on the role of academic institutions in the creative economy

For regional development policymakers:
- In addition to the above mentioned materials to be published online and publicly accessible, policymakers will be able to access more granular, empirical insights on the situations and growth trajectories of small-scale creative enterprises in both rural and urban contexts, as well as their relationships to larger scale support programmes and networks
- They will also be able to engage with Creative Economies Hub activities provided through case project D on the role of academic institutions in the creative economy

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description The first project partnership, Network for Creative Enterprise, included an evaluation of how creative enterprises grew and developed within a programme of support offered by a collaboration between four existing cultural hubs in South West England and UWE Bristol. This evaluation provided insight on the difference in outcomes, difference in process and contextual factors that affected the development of the creative enterprises supported and for the cultural hubs models of support. Key differences in outcome for creative enterprises included: how they developed their core offerings (e.g. skills or products); how they invested in key assets for their enterprise (e.g. equipment, time or portfolios); how they develop formal interactions (e.g. contracts or agreements); and some would take on leading roles in their contexts of practice or to engage markets. Key differences in process for creative enterprises included: the benefits of gaining new experiences in practice; how they would learn new knowledge and skills beyond their practice for their enterprise; the challenge of capturing and understanding the value or impact they created; and how they built capacity to frame an enterprise strategy. The key contextual factors for creative enterprises included how support needed to be person-centred, rather than business-centred; the importance and ways of building confidence in an entrepreneurial narrative; the essential value of hubs providing persistent opportunities through exposure to an active network; and the challenge of balancing growth and capital, in order to retain meaningful control and freedom in their creative practice.

Regarding the enhancement of methods applied, the Creative Growth Model was successfully applied as a framework for capturing the new relationships, knowledge, outputs and audiences of creative enterprises engaged within the Network for Creative Enterprise evaluation, as well as then being used to communicate the journeys of development undertaken by each creative enterprise as part of disseminating and engaging a public audience and creative economic stakeholders in the region.

Regarding the second project partnership, Culture Heritage Arts Argyll and Isles (CHARTS), included three phases of project work that contributed to key findings from this award: a first phase of scoping and co-designed network engagement with CHARTS' steering group; a second phase of one-to-one mapping sessions with various creative practitioners and enterprises across CHARTS network of members; and a third (still live) phase of three creative micro-cluster proposals being supported and evaluated through Creative Scotland's Create:Networks fund. The findings from these three phases are shared in summary here in relation to key questions identifying the difference in outcomes, difference in process and contextual factors that affected individual and collective creative enterprise development in the region, and in relation to the collaborative application of a Creative Growth Model through design practices.

Key differences in outcome for individual enterprise development came from deep reflections provided through the mapping sessions on the rationale, value and potential impacts of their practice/offering, and how this could develop in relation to their networks. Evidence is being gathered on how this:
• strengthened the strategic development of CHARTS' members' network of relationships and engagement with local people and orgs;
• strengthened the development of shared aims and pilot projects with contextual partners/collaborators;
• supported the development of sustainable models of practice built on learning from these relationships and the impacts/value they create.
Evidence is still being gathered revealing a number of cases where supported individuals have achieved further development or funding in their work due to their enhanced rationale and models of practice from these sessions.

Key differences in process for creative enterprise development came from expanding their practice and/or business model into a more holistic 'model of practice'. For many participants this meant developing their capacity to incorporate methods of 'impact modelling', which often incorporated aspects of reflective practice, documentation and evaluation in collaboration with their contexts and communities of interest. For more commercial operations, this particularly meant enhancing their capacity of digital media use, documentation and archiving that would make their 'entrepreneurial narrative' more tangible, accessible and a stronger basis for evidence and engagement.

The key contextual factors for creative enterprise development in the region was identified through five collective themes with CHARTS and engagement with their members:
• Digital Stories, acknowledged the skills and resource gap for individual artists and creative enterprises to develop their cultural profile online, while identifying that capacity building and audience reach happens much more effectively when addressed in collective ways (i.e. shared learning and promotion). Particular potential was seen for supporting and coordinating digitally accessible archives of creative and cultural work, events and heritage.
• Slow Growth, foregrounded the personal motivations and situations in creative practitioners, as well as the time needed to develop place-based relationships in such rural contexts, which revealed intimate stories of community-based models of practice that can contribute significantly to local culture and wellbeing.
• Cultural Production, identified a strong advocacy for what arts and culture can be for Argyll and Bute, deeply connecting to place-based contexts of the environment and social heritage with most demonstrating strong aims, not just for community involvement, but for critical and professional 'arenas' exploring the future of their communities.
• Island Life, identified a 'zeal' to engagement due to the more explicit realities of island context, the implicit value for connecting to initiatives across the islands, while also acknowledging that much of their ambitions and challenges are reflected in mainland regions as well. A key opportunity was identifying island contexts as a more explicit basis for wider, mainland contexts to learn from. A new centre to promote a nuanced plurality over the prevailing monoculture.
• Audience Development, echoed findings from the Digital Stories theme, in acknowledging a skills gap in individual artists and creative enterprises in knowing and reaching their audiences, which again was being found to happen more effectively when addressed in collective ways and, where possible, bring in other creative disciplines to enhance practices of audience engagement.

Of particular importance for CHARTS has been changing the framing and engagement with their membership network through a 'micro-clusters' lens. This approach recognises that creative and cultural enterprise already functions through micro-networks of established relationships, communities of practice, place and shared interest. However, this partnership has advanced approaches and models of support through the concept of 'clustering', which promotes a more strategic development of shared aims, resources, forums and audiences towards shared, tangible and sustainable models of practice. By collaborating with a working group of experienced, 'on-the-ground' CHARTS members, the project is argued to have developed more relevant connections, dialogues and opportunities for its members, as well as developing more rigorous forms of learning and evidence.
Exploitation Route The findings on the growth and development of creative enterprises within the Network for Creative Enterprise (NfCE) programme, alongside the findings presented in the final NfCE report, provide recommendations for how cultural hubs can better support and evaluate creative enterprises in various contexts.

The work in Argyll and Isles has built on these recommendations and findings by developing a strategic framing of creative enterprise development as 'impact modelling' towards developing more network-based 'models of practice', which have the potential to change support and development strategies for creative enterprise by conceiving them through micro-clusters. The mapping approaches based on the Creative Growth Model are also being developed as a packaged output so that they may be used to support and evaluate creative enterprises separately from such a research project. In time, this would also enable the wider production of case studies using a consistent, qualitative framework of growth, based on the Creative Growth Model, to support translatable and comparable body of evidence across regional contexts and development organisations and funders.
Sectors Creative Economy,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections

URL http://radar.gsa.ac.uk/7104/
 
Description The key impact overall from the original ECLF came through using, refining and testing the model individually with creative entrepreneurs, which was evidenced as beneficial in helping to evaluate their current offering and networks to then build strategic plans for future, and collectively with network-based organisations to identify and strategically respond to challenges and needs of creative enterprises. Following the co-evaluation of the NfCE programme in Bristol and Bath, monthly one-to-one mapping sessions were designed based on the findings and performed with 10 creative enterprises. Individually, this supported their growth and development, including employing additional staff based on adapted strategic planning, new products and services being developed and delivered, funding applications in leadership skills development and successful transitions to freelance employment based on adapting their entrepreneurial models, audiences and communications. Importantly, across nearly all the participants was an improved and clearer 'entrepreneurial narrative' being expressed, captured through posters as 'asset maps', and positive impacts both for their confidence and, in some cases, their mental wellbeing in mapping sessions helping to manage stressful situations. Collectively, the evaluation of NfCE with hub producers acknowledged the role of Mapping Your Business Growth workshops (based on the Model) as becoming a key milestone for the network's training and development programme, for which the producers would carefully recommend residents attend when their creative ideas was mature enough. Producers attended these workshops as co-facilitators (due to their contextual knowledge of local networks and resources) and reported the workshops influencing how they made sense of each resident's progression. The Model was reported as providing a valuable structure for them to frame mentoring conversations, while the visual mapping provided detailed references to ground and iterate their advice. This led to them collaborating with the ECLF to map and showcase select residents' development at the 'Ways of Working' exhibition, as mentioned above. Around 100-200 people had attended the launch event, with up to 500 attending over the next two months it was on display. The key comments from the exhibition on the use of the model were how effectively it presented the non-linear development of each resident, including key successes, challenges or barriers. The three roundtable workshops delivered in the exhibition space captured further impacts from the mapping approaches and research. Particularly, the producers were identified as embodying significant knowledge on the support of creative enterprises and thus critiqued how the programme had limited scope for how this knowledge could to further enhance the hub models of practice. This has informed positioning of continued research through the second period Fellowship, enhancing the production and dissemination of case studies to consider creative cluster support organisations and policy makers as users of the case studies. Impact has been achieved with CHARTS Argyll and Isles working closely with their member representative Steering Group to strengthen capacity for the region's cultural sector. One-to-one, creative mapping workshops have been provided for CHARTS members (32 delivered in total) using online digital software Miro and Zoom. This has built trust and greater awareness of cultural assets and creative capability within the region, developed the capacity of the Steering Group and CHARTS to engage and coordinate collaborative development, and has also offered responsive and strategic resilience to individuals and organisations at a time of major disruption due to Covid-19. The partnership was successfully awarded £30,000 from Creative Scotland's Create:Networks fund to deliver creative engagement with CHARTS network members and fund three cultural collaborations (framed as micro-clusters), with shared aims to profile creative work in place-situ. The awarded placemaking projects include: Eco Creatives Cluster, establishing a creative community network around a community dye garden set up on the grounds of the The Rockfield Centre, a newly refurbished culture and heritage venue based in Oban; Take Flight, an arts programme led by SO:AR artist collective, of collaborations and workshops across several artforms to introduce a regular selection of arts experience and participation for both community and visitors on Jura, linking with communities on other islands; Dunoon Goes Pop, building on The People of Place: Shop Keepers of Dunoon project to develop drink products, associated maps, marketing material and an exhibition on Dunoon High St from local heritage narratives and archive material to create new experiences relating to the town's cultural history. These were recognised as innovative proposals of creative collaborations with local heritage, industry, cultural and community organisations in ways that aim to enable local places to survive and thrive. The proposals show ambition for partnerships and impacts to last beyond the funding period, with funded collaborations also able to access additional expert support when delivering their projects. This is informing a follow-on application by CHARTS to adapt their model of operation to create collaborative regional arts events/exhibitions; link new creative business engagement opportunities in Argyll and Isles through new curatorial roles; and build on the ECLF partnership to collate best practice for knowledge-share, inform a sustainable partnership action plan, and develop sustainable use of digital assets, such as e-commerce. Early-stage impact is being achieved with the third project partnership, NEoN, despite the difficulties of the last year, and the reduced programme of digitals arts activities. Pre-pandemic, the original plan was to for Michael to work with NEoN to develop evidence-based approaches to evaluating outreach in making digital skills, arts and creative careers accessible to everyone. Since the Covid-19 disruption, the opportunity was seen to use the collaboration to support and evaluate NEoN's adaptation and re-emergence going forward. Having collected and reviewed reflections and insights from interns, volunteers, artists and staff, a development programme for NEoN has been co-designed based on key goals for their future growth with digital arts in Dundee and beyond. Three short digital arts projects have been commissioned between March and June 2021 to test the development opportunities identified, including a manifesto for best practice in digital arts work placements, developing an exemplary pop-up digital arts commission for international festivals, and reimagining the digital arts symposium.
First Year Of Impact 2020
Sector Creative Economy,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections
Impact Types Cultural,Economic

 
Description Create:Networks
Amount £28,800 (GBP)
Organisation Creative Scotland 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 05/2020 
End 06/2021
 
Title The Creative Growth Model 
Description The Creative Growth Model applies learning from previous methodological research and design innovation approaches (e.g. DING - AH/P013325/1) engaging sole traders and creative micro-enterprises to re-frame the value of creative work in relation to their contexts. This method is based on elements of actor-network theory applied through visual mapping to frame and capture a more qualitative conception of growth based on situated examples of relational exchange, to work in addition to the transactional exchanges that dominate economic models of support and evaluation. A progressive dimension for creative enterprise is represented through mapping both live or current actors, assets and organisations around an innovation challenge at its center, and potential actors towards the outer edge. A relational dimension is represented through a circularity of interests and influences, which can be drawn as distinct relations between any actors mapped. These relations are framed through four distinct perspectives proposed to orientate diverse interests around creative enterprise - economic, cultural, social and practice. Economic interest is positioned opposite social interest to separate transactional exchanges from more relational exchanges, the transitions between which are argued to constitute a major gap in skills and support for creative enterprise. Cultural interest is positioned opposite interests in developing practice to separate the identification of shared practices, identities or more systemic exchange from individual skills, know-how or unit value creation (e.g. products). Each axis is given an inward direction in order to emphasise the transition from potential actors or action towards being live actors in the growth and development of creative enterprise activity being supported. In this way, trajectories for growth are framed and explored across relationships and exchanges identified within each quadrant: Network Growth - new and enhanced communities of practice Knowledge Growth - new and enhanced forms of practice Value Growth - new and enhanced products, services and experiences Market Growth - new and enhanced audiences and communication The Model has been developed in practice by translating it into a programme of engagement activities and methods using mapping tools, workshop activities and evaluation criteria to engage and support development for creative enterprise in both urban and non-urban creative economy contexts. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2019 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact The Model was applied as part of the evaluation of Network for Creative Enterprise, including data and analysis for the programme's final report, referenced in the Collaborations and Partnerships section, and elements within the Ways of Working: Creative Business Journeys exhibition to both capture and disseminate stories of non-linear growth for creative entrepreneurs supported through the programme, referenced in the Engagement Activities section. The impacts from this were new conversations and ways of thinking about creative work across creative entrepreneurs, cultural organisations, business mentors, support organisations and wider stakeholders that have engaged in the NfCE network. The Model has also been developed as a two-day workshop programme, 'Mapping Your Creative Growth', which breaks the Model down into a toolkit of mapping methods to explore different aspects of creative enterprise, such as audience mapping, knowledge mapping, narrative mapping and process mapping, which have been used with over 100 creative enterprises within the NfCE, some of which have actively engaged in using the methods repeatedly as part of their ongoing business and creative development. This workshop has also been delivered in other programmes supporting cultural and creative industries, such as for the 4H-CREAT project with creative entrepreneurs in Glasgow, and for The Glasgow School of Art summer school programme, SHIFT, which supports students and recent graduates in developing the creative entrepreneurial skills and ideas. 
URL http://radar.gsa.ac.uk/6920/
 
Description Evaluating a Network for Creative Enterprise 
Organisation Knowle West Media Centre
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution I collaborated in evaluating the Network for Creative Enterprise programme (NfCE), a collaboration between four existing cultural hubs and UWE Bristol, which was established in October 2017 until Sept 2019 to help freelancers, artists, creative practitioners, start-up microbusinesses, and small to medium enterprises (SMEs) in the West of England LEP area make a sustainable living from their creative ideas. I delivered a series of mapping workshops (based on the Creative Growth Model being explored in my Fellowship) with twelve residents (creative entrepreneurs) supported through the programme to capture the non-linear growth and development they had experienced, alongside interviews with each of the cultural hub producers from The Guild, Watershed, Spike Island and KWMC: The Factory. This went towards producing visual content for an exhibition of the programme at Knowle West Media Centre (KWMC) between July-August 2019, as well as authoring a section on the 'difference made' for the residents as part of the programmes final report.
Collaborator Contribution The cultural hubs as partners supported the recruitment of residents to the mapping workshops and hub producers' engagement through interviews. The Watershed, as lead hub, supported co-curation of the showcase workshop (with a curator hired specially for the event). UWE Bristol and the programme producer (based at Watershed) co-authored the final report containing most of the details about the programme in terms of what they delivered, the statistics of engagement and outcomes, and the key learnings and recommendations. As such, they led the report writing focused on the macro-level details and Hub reporting, while incorporating the more granular level experiences of residents from my research.
Impact Network for Creative Enterprise Final Report Ways of Working: Creative Business Journeys - showcase exhibition at Knowle West Media Centre from June 7th - September 2019.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Evaluating a Network for Creative Enterprise 
Organisation Spike Island Artspace Ltd
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution I collaborated in evaluating the Network for Creative Enterprise programme (NfCE), a collaboration between four existing cultural hubs and UWE Bristol, which was established in October 2017 until Sept 2019 to help freelancers, artists, creative practitioners, start-up microbusinesses, and small to medium enterprises (SMEs) in the West of England LEP area make a sustainable living from their creative ideas. I delivered a series of mapping workshops (based on the Creative Growth Model being explored in my Fellowship) with twelve residents (creative entrepreneurs) supported through the programme to capture the non-linear growth and development they had experienced, alongside interviews with each of the cultural hub producers from The Guild, Watershed, Spike Island and KWMC: The Factory. This went towards producing visual content for an exhibition of the programme at Knowle West Media Centre (KWMC) between July-August 2019, as well as authoring a section on the 'difference made' for the residents as part of the programmes final report.
Collaborator Contribution The cultural hubs as partners supported the recruitment of residents to the mapping workshops and hub producers' engagement through interviews. The Watershed, as lead hub, supported co-curation of the showcase workshop (with a curator hired specially for the event). UWE Bristol and the programme producer (based at Watershed) co-authored the final report containing most of the details about the programme in terms of what they delivered, the statistics of engagement and outcomes, and the key learnings and recommendations. As such, they led the report writing focused on the macro-level details and Hub reporting, while incorporating the more granular level experiences of residents from my research.
Impact Network for Creative Enterprise Final Report Ways of Working: Creative Business Journeys - showcase exhibition at Knowle West Media Centre from June 7th - September 2019.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Evaluating a Network for Creative Enterprise 
Organisation The Guild, Bath
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution I collaborated in evaluating the Network for Creative Enterprise programme (NfCE), a collaboration between four existing cultural hubs and UWE Bristol, which was established in October 2017 until Sept 2019 to help freelancers, artists, creative practitioners, start-up microbusinesses, and small to medium enterprises (SMEs) in the West of England LEP area make a sustainable living from their creative ideas. I delivered a series of mapping workshops (based on the Creative Growth Model being explored in my Fellowship) with twelve residents (creative entrepreneurs) supported through the programme to capture the non-linear growth and development they had experienced, alongside interviews with each of the cultural hub producers from The Guild, Watershed, Spike Island and KWMC: The Factory. This went towards producing visual content for an exhibition of the programme at Knowle West Media Centre (KWMC) between July-August 2019, as well as authoring a section on the 'difference made' for the residents as part of the programmes final report.
Collaborator Contribution The cultural hubs as partners supported the recruitment of residents to the mapping workshops and hub producers' engagement through interviews. The Watershed, as lead hub, supported co-curation of the showcase workshop (with a curator hired specially for the event). UWE Bristol and the programme producer (based at Watershed) co-authored the final report containing most of the details about the programme in terms of what they delivered, the statistics of engagement and outcomes, and the key learnings and recommendations. As such, they led the report writing focused on the macro-level details and Hub reporting, while incorporating the more granular level experiences of residents from my research.
Impact Network for Creative Enterprise Final Report Ways of Working: Creative Business Journeys - showcase exhibition at Knowle West Media Centre from June 7th - September 2019.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Evaluating a Network for Creative Enterprise 
Organisation University of the West of England
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I collaborated in evaluating the Network for Creative Enterprise programme (NfCE), a collaboration between four existing cultural hubs and UWE Bristol, which was established in October 2017 until Sept 2019 to help freelancers, artists, creative practitioners, start-up microbusinesses, and small to medium enterprises (SMEs) in the West of England LEP area make a sustainable living from their creative ideas. I delivered a series of mapping workshops (based on the Creative Growth Model being explored in my Fellowship) with twelve residents (creative entrepreneurs) supported through the programme to capture the non-linear growth and development they had experienced, alongside interviews with each of the cultural hub producers from The Guild, Watershed, Spike Island and KWMC: The Factory. This went towards producing visual content for an exhibition of the programme at Knowle West Media Centre (KWMC) between July-August 2019, as well as authoring a section on the 'difference made' for the residents as part of the programmes final report.
Collaborator Contribution The cultural hubs as partners supported the recruitment of residents to the mapping workshops and hub producers' engagement through interviews. The Watershed, as lead hub, supported co-curation of the showcase workshop (with a curator hired specially for the event). UWE Bristol and the programme producer (based at Watershed) co-authored the final report containing most of the details about the programme in terms of what they delivered, the statistics of engagement and outcomes, and the key learnings and recommendations. As such, they led the report writing focused on the macro-level details and Hub reporting, while incorporating the more granular level experiences of residents from my research.
Impact Network for Creative Enterprise Final Report Ways of Working: Creative Business Journeys - showcase exhibition at Knowle West Media Centre from June 7th - September 2019.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Evaluating a Network for Creative Enterprise 
Organisation Watershed Media Centre
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution I collaborated in evaluating the Network for Creative Enterprise programme (NfCE), a collaboration between four existing cultural hubs and UWE Bristol, which was established in October 2017 until Sept 2019 to help freelancers, artists, creative practitioners, start-up microbusinesses, and small to medium enterprises (SMEs) in the West of England LEP area make a sustainable living from their creative ideas. I delivered a series of mapping workshops (based on the Creative Growth Model being explored in my Fellowship) with twelve residents (creative entrepreneurs) supported through the programme to capture the non-linear growth and development they had experienced, alongside interviews with each of the cultural hub producers from The Guild, Watershed, Spike Island and KWMC: The Factory. This went towards producing visual content for an exhibition of the programme at Knowle West Media Centre (KWMC) between July-August 2019, as well as authoring a section on the 'difference made' for the residents as part of the programmes final report.
Collaborator Contribution The cultural hubs as partners supported the recruitment of residents to the mapping workshops and hub producers' engagement through interviews. The Watershed, as lead hub, supported co-curation of the showcase workshop (with a curator hired specially for the event). UWE Bristol and the programme producer (based at Watershed) co-authored the final report containing most of the details about the programme in terms of what they delivered, the statistics of engagement and outcomes, and the key learnings and recommendations. As such, they led the report writing focused on the macro-level details and Hub reporting, while incorporating the more granular level experiences of residents from my research.
Impact Network for Creative Enterprise Final Report Ways of Working: Creative Business Journeys - showcase exhibition at Knowle West Media Centre from June 7th - September 2019.
Start Year 2019
 
Description ReGrowing Digital Arts 
Organisation NEoN
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Since the Covid-19 disruption, the opportunity was seen to use the collaboration to support and evaluate NEoN's adaptation and re-emergence going forward. We've been doing this by gathering reflections from artists, collaborators and volunteers who contributed to some of NEoN's past projects and successes, using the research project's Creative Growth Model as a framework for evaluation. This evaluative review has focused on three key areas that NEoN believes can shape its model of practice going forward: student and graduate work placements; Pop-Up digital arts with external partners; and the annual festival's provision of public art, symposia and podcasts. Having collected and reviewed reflections and insights from interns, volunteers, artists and staff, a development programme for NEoN has been co-designed based on key goals for their future growth with digital arts in Dundee and beyond. Three short digital arts projects will be delivered between March and May 2021 to test the development opportunities identified, such as a manifesto for best practice in digital arts work placements, developing an exemplary digital arts commission for international festivals, and reimagining the digital arts symposium.
Collaborator Contribution Dr Johnson and the NEoN director have been collaborating closely to scope and co-design the evaluative review of NEoN's past projects. The data was then co-analysed to inform the co-design of project briefs with which NEoN is collaborating with artists and researchers from its network to deliver. From this work, NEoN has commissioned to develop a 'Manifesto for Digital Arts Work Placements' between March and June 2021 that can inform best practice across the digital arts creative and cultural sector . This manifesto aims to articulate best practice for internships, volunteering and research collaborations in a way that can help set up and support the best access, the best experience and best development opportunities with NEoN and any HEIs, cultural organisations and individuals across the digital arts community. NEoN has also commissioned to develop a 'Digital Arts Symposia Provocation' that can push the boundaries of what academic and arts-based conferences can be. This 'provocation' is a researched digital arts symposium proposal that aims to experiment with the format by incorporating performance, multi-media, and wider disciplines while ensuring the symposium's quality marker through up-to-date research and 'energised' knowledge exchange. Perhaps most importantly, this provocation aims to break down academic barriers by demonstrating accessibility and broadening reach, such as through live streaming elements and the use of city-based locations around Dundee (i.e. what works well? and why?).
Impact Currently, the only output involves the commissions for three short digital arts projects will be delivered between March and May 2021 to test the development opportunities identified, such as a manifesto for best practice in digital arts work placements, developing an exemplary digital arts commission for international festivals, and reimagining the digital arts symposium.
Start Year 2020
 
Description Place Makers: Themed Engagement 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Dr Johnson and the CHARTS working group collaborated to programme online engagement and events including social media questions, webinars and workshops under five themes (Digital Stories, Slow Growth, Creative Production, Island Life and Audience Development) derived from the initial scoping work. Social media question cards were prepared to frame each theme and promote the upcoming webinar and workshop. The webinars would invite CHARTS' members and wider expertise to present on their experience working in Argyll and Bute or participate in panel discussions. The workshops shared innovative projects then asked participants to share their ideas in response to the theme and then develop them with the other participants. In total, there were 28 paid contributors to the webinars, mostly CHARTS members sharing their stories and insights. The webinars attracted 65 people to register with 45 attending, while the workshops attracted 72 people to register with 45 attending, making a total of 137 registrants and 90 attendees across the programme. The workshops also supported 26 ideas for development. Videos of the five webinars are provided on the CHARTS website and Facebook page
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.chartsargyllandisles.org/news/placemakers/
 
Description Ways of Working: Creative Business Journeys - Exhibition Showcase as part of Network for Creative Enterprise programme 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact 100-150 creative practitioners, entrepreneurs and professionals from cultural organisations attended this showcase exhibition of 12 creative enterprises supported through the Network for Creative Enterprise programme. This allowed for conversations between creative entrepreneurs in the milestones and experiences of developing and modelling creative work for a wider market, conversations in how you effectively capture such experiences and the commonalities and differences between creative entrepreneurial journeys and experiences based on their support networks, disciplinary capacity, value creation and ways of reaching key audiences.

The exhibition also allowed for three workshops to take place in the space to disseminate the project findings with select audiences, namely a workshop with 12 creative enterprises seeking to learn in more depth from those showcased, a workshop for the hub producers and programme partners to process the findings into hub policies and final report outputs, and a workshop with other cultural organisations seeking to learn and implement policies and practices from the findings to support and engage creative enterprises in their own programmes.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://kwmc.org.uk/projects/waysofworking/