There are four research questions guiding this project.
What is the range of understandings and expectations in relation to impact?
This range of understandings and expectations will be considered by project participant, community, organisation, and funder. Following on, what might this mean to the stakeholders involved? Secondly, because notions of ‘impact’ vary, different forms of evidence to support these claims are needed. Hence, a second question that the research asks:
What are the diverse forms of evidence required to reveal impact in the field?
This question will considered by project participant, community, organisation, and funder. Third, while each Big hART project is different because all projects are sensitive to context, there are informing principles and practices that are common. This research will identify these through considering (i) projects that are complete, hence using history to help understand the present, (ii) a current project to imagine and inform the future, and (iii) projects that are geographically diverse. What this means is that 18 years of successful practice will be both critiqued and made available as a resource. Consequently a third research question is:
What are the informing principles and practices across Big hART’s work?
This will be considered across each of three Big hART's project sites.
Big hART projects both past and present will be scrutinised to map out the dimensions of impact and lines of evidence needed to support this diversity, so that a profile can be developed to better understand what constitutes quality. Simply put, Big hART will be considered in terms of purpose, place, process, and product. Consequently, a fourth research question is:
What benefits accrue from these creative practices?
These outcomes will then be juxtaposed with Common Knowledge (White, 2006, 2009) and a research site in Stockton, North East England thereby revealing what may be consistent in impact and what is divergent across place and time. The research conducted by CMH is funded by both statutory and charitable health and education services in the UK, and is further enhanced by a major grant award to CMH over five years from The Wellcome Trust to conduct interdisciplinary research into what makes for human flourishing.