New Zealand - International Document

Evaluation for Ōtautahi Creative Spaces Trust

Author(s):*Listed Alphabetically
Dallas–Katoa W, Goldsmith L, Hynds AS, Savage C

Year of Publication:

ihi Research. Social Change & Innovation

Publication Type:


Ōtautahi Creative Spaces was set up in Christchurch in 2015 with a goal of boosting wellbeing, social connection and resilience through art-based creativity. Its purpose was to respond to the high levels of mental illness, distress and earthquake trauma following the earthquakes by using a creative practice shaped to support vulnerable people to live full, aspirational and creative lives.

This report evaluates the impact of the Creative Spaces programme. The evaluation, funded by the New Zealand Red Cross, sought to understand the impact on participants’ lives in relation to six key outcomes. These were wellbeing, social connection, strengthened families, cultural connection, community participation and post-disaster resilience.

Data was gathered from qualitative interviews with twenty participants. Analysis revealed the profound impact the programme had on participant wellbeing and general health. The different elements of the programme enabled these people to develop new positive identities as practising artists and to be viewed as valued family and community members. Findings indicated the programme provided a collective art-based, strengths approach to facilitating mental and physical wellbeing.

The report makes recommendations for further research which include gaining further insight from tutors and friends/family members, as their perspectives could shed further insight into the enablers and inhibitors of change. Further investigation could reveal which aspects of the Creative Spaces programme were more effective in strengthening wellbeing and what else could be done to enhance this for artists with more complex needs.

Evidence Type: Qualitative Research

Main Focus: Mental Health

Research Purpose: Outcome Evaluation

Context: Community

Participant Group: Adults

Art Forms: Visual Arts

APA Citation:

Savage C., Hynds A.S., Dallas–Katoa W., Goldsmith L. (2018). Evaluation for Ōtautahi Creative Spaces Trust. Christchurch, New Zealand: ihi Research. Social Change & Innovation.