Download Project Report
Active Ingredients – The Aesop planning and evaluation model for Arts with a Social Purpose
The Active Ingredients project has
been developed jointly by Aesop and
BOP Consulting. It aims to deepen our
understanding of the ways in which arts
interventions in health and social contexts
actually work - and to improve the ways
these are designed and their impacts
Based on the participation of over 120 practitioners and representatives of the arts, culture, health and social care sectors, the report proposes that more can be done to understand and outline the ‘active ingredients’ in arts and cultural projects that lead to short and longer-term outcomes for those taking part.
In a policy and funding environment that is increasingly defined as ‘evidence-based’ (despite an often-narrow definition of evidence), the report acts as a guide to help those designing and delivering arts and health projects to uncover the specific mechanisms by which the interventions create changes at an individual or collective level.
For example, what are the ‘active ingredients’ in a group drumming session seeking to improve social co-operation? Is it engaging in a new form of abstract expression, or the social interaction? Is it encountering something ‘other’, or, most likely, a combination of these aspects? This short discussion paper provides an opportunity to consider the combination of these different ‘ingredients’ to support better understanding of how project design is linked to different effects or outcomes.
This ‘active ingredients’ approach helps arts and health practitioners define their work in a way that clearly articulates its value, and for commissioners and funders to discuss this work using shared concepts and language.
It is hoped this will lead to stronger partnerships and clearer communication across sectors as the complex processes at play in creative activities are better recognised by all those involved. We welcome any further thoughts and feedback as people test it out and refine how it can be used in the future.
Download the full report below.
The Active Ingredients
Our new guide for understanding arts and cultural interventions in health and social settings
Sep 17, 2018
A global research and consulting practice for culture and the creative economy
Nov 4, 2021
How are major cities around the world responding to climate change through cultural policies and programmes?
The Green World Cities of Tomorrow: Culture and Sustainability
Apr 22, 2021
5 Priorities for World Cities in the post-covid recovery period
Culture and the Climate Emergency
Dec 4, 2020
Culture can play an important role in recovery and renewal across the UK, if the right local decision-making is put in place
Culture and the Recovery: Levelling Up Culture?
Sep 23, 2020
This focused, coordinated set of measures can not only rescue the sector, but position it to lead the recovery
Central London’s celebrated cultural offer is in peril
Aug 21, 2020
Three big questions as applications close for Arts Council England’s Cultural Recovery Fund
COVID-19: Government support packages for culture and creative industries #3
Jul 30, 2020
The UK’s £1.57 billion recovery package: priorities for a New Deal
COVID-19: Government support packages for culture and creative industries #2
Jul 20, 2020
Cities are using their unique capabilities to lead recovery and renewal
COVID-19: Cities, Culture and the 3 ‘P’s: powers, partnerships, place
Jul 7, 2020
Investing in recovery, planning for transformation
COVID-19: Government support packages for culture and creative industries #1
Jun 30, 2020
Recovery and renewal will depend on how we address the three dimensions of the crisis
COVID-19 is a triple blow to culture and the creative industries
Jun 3, 2020
In the face of radical uncertainty leaders and policy-makers will have to take planning and collaboration to whole a new level
‘Plans are useless, planning is essential’
May 13, 2020
Nobody knows what will happen next, but we have a good idea of the three necessary steps out of the crisis
Relief, Recovery and Renewal: navigating our way to a new kind of future
By BOP Consulting
Douglas is an Associate at BOP Consulting, leading on major multi-stakeholder research and evaluation projects in the UK and internationally.
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