How Culture Works in Practice


In the framework of the ENCATC Evaluation Working Sessions, the online workshop "How Culture Works in Practice" was held on 19 October from 14:30-16:30 (CEST). 

Evaluation in the cultural sector is a complex challenge. It means to design suitable sets of instruments for the investigation of quality and impact in a field characterized by aesthetics, subjectivity and ambiguity and thus often can’t be standardized. However, if cultural projects are financed with public funds, there is a special responsibility to find out whether or not the intended targets have been achieved, and what, if anything, might be done better in the future. Besides this, they can also serve for planning and monitoring purposes. It is to a certain extent an obligation to evaluate, and then to make generalizable insights from the evaluation publicly accessible, so that other cultural actors and institutions can also learn and draw inspiration from the findings. Following this rationale, evaluation can also make a valuable contribution to the dialogue between actors in the cultural field and policy-makers.

This workshop gave a brief and concise introduction to the Goethe-Institut’s evaluation concept “Culture works” and subsequently dove deeper into three key strands that may be derived from the concept, namely the purposes of evaluation, suitable indicators and methodologies and a possible design of a toolbox designated for the evaluation of cultural projects. 

This workshop was designed for academics, researchers, consultants, European Networks funded by the Creative Europe programme and Project Leaders of Creative Europe, Erasmus + and Horizon 2020 projects, and professionals interested in evaluation and the cultural sector. 

The online workshop was an initiative of ENCATC, in partnership with the Goethe-Institute, and is co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union. 

How Culture Works in Practice