ABCD Cultural Recovery Programme Evaluation published

Two years ago, conversations with over 100 creative workers in the city led to the creation of the ABCD Plan for Cultural Recovery in Brighton & Hove. The Plan was far reaching – identifying five strands of work each with its own aims, with the overarching aim ‘To create a cultural sector in Brighton & Hove that is more inclusive, collaborative and sustainable than pre-Covid.’

Working Groups were recruited, funds raised, ideas and partnerships developed, artists commissioned, events held, participants engaged and audiences invited. Models were tested, and not everything succeeded, but learning happened at every step. The ABCD team have been working with Dr Roz Stewart-Hall as external evaluator, who has facilitated a process of evidence gathering and sense making across the first three strands of the programme. That data, and her analysis, have now been published in a report that covers project work up to June 2022. The Executive Summary and the full evaluation report can be downloaded from the Culture in Our City website here.

The voices of artists, participants and audiences come through strongly in the report.

“[The project] has really helped us to develop our knowledge and experience of delivering outdoor work.” Artist feedback

“This project landed in my life at a very difficult time. It helped me have another focus and helped me digest some of the grief and anxiety that I was struggling with.” Participant Feedback

“[Third Thursdays] is fantastic, to be out with people experiencing culture in a safe way post covid.” Audience survey

The ABCD programme will formally conclude at the end of December. The remainder of its time is focusing on the final two strands from the Plan, and responding to priorities identified through a Review & Reset session attended by 50 creative workers in June. The priorities are Economic & social value; Creative and cultural space; Inclusion and anti-racism; Young people; Cultural leadership and decision making.

Recovery from the pandemic is a complex process, that is still ongoing for many in the cultural sector, with the pressures of the cost of living crisis and impending cuts to public services bringing a new wave of challenges. So, the conversation will not stop in December. The new priorities are themselves far reaching, and the ABCD Governance Group is working on a plan for what will succeed it and how the learning gets taken forward. The role of the creative and cultural sector in Brighton & Hove is more important than ever, and the ABCD Cultural Recovery Programme has made a strong contribution to ensuring it can continue to support the recovery and ongoing prosperity of the city.

For more information contact ABCD Programme Manager Polly Gifford,