Project Art Works: Impact analysis, an inquiry into cultural engagement for people with complex needs

Author(s):*Listed Alphabetically
Ewbank N, Mills S

Year of Publication:

Nick Ewbank Associates

Publication Type:


Operating from Hastings since 1997, Project Art Works (PAW) has forged a national reputation for the exceptional quality of its creative work with people with intellectual disability, autism, neurological impairment and other complex needs. It is a pioneering organisation in terms of its highly sensitive and personalised approach to valorising individuals through art and its role in promoting positive change in attitudes to some of the most marginalised and vulnerable people in our society.

The aim of NEA’s three month Impact Analysis inquiry process was to start “close to home” – that is at PAW’s studio, and to then widen the capture of impact data through a series of structured interviews with a mutually agreed range of PAW staff, Trustees and key stakeholders. Stephanie Mills undertook observational, more impressionistic research and gathered testimonies from participants, artists, staff and carers within the studio domain in order to gauge evidence of impact more internal to the organisation, while Nick Ewbank conducted interviews with a more outwardly directed focus – or an ‘outside looking-in’ perspective of PAW’s impact as an organisation within the town, the county, the region and beyond.

The findings are set out in themes which have emerged from the gathering of qualitative data and are as follows: impact on participants, including empathy and reciprocity and a safe and welcoming environment; impact on the wider world, including gathering evidence and research and sustaining the Hastings creative ecology; and internal issues including leadership and articulating the mission. F
It is followed by conclusions and recommendations.

Evidence Type: Qualitative Research

Main Focus: Wellbeing / Quality of life

Research Purpose: Outcome Evaluation

Context: Community

Art Forms: Multi-Arts

Access Type: Free Download

APA Citation:

Ewbank, N. and Mills, S. (2015). Project Art Works: Impact analysis, an inquiry into cultural engagement for people with complex needs. Folkestone: Nick Ewbank Associates.