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Warwick Arts Centre: Playing Out

Insight – Project Evaluation

Evaluation from Playing Out, a participatory inclusive arts programme based in the West Midlands run by Warwick Arts Centre.

Playing Out was a participant-led programme of creative activity in Canley, Coventry. Warwick Arts Centre worked together with Canley residents of all ages to deliver community sessions and events and to build partnerships across community venues, schools and care homes. Working with a Community Steering Group and the wider Canley Community, an annual parade was the most ambitious event delivered as part of the project. With 50% of the steering group identifying as disabled, the voices and experiences of disabled people were part of the co-creation of the project and its activities.

With the Spirit grant concluded, activities that began as part of Playing Out continue. The steering group has continued to meet monthly and there is a strong appetite for the annual parade and newsletter to carry on. The Canley Parade and Big Lunch will return on 22 June 2024. In addition, the community commission (available to download at the link below) for Assemble Studio will act as a legacy of projects to explore and enjoy and to focus some of the steering group’s work on placemaking.

Over the course of the project:

  • 263 community sessions were delivered across visual arts, poetry, movement, music for over 7,000 people.
  • 27 local events were supported, including Pop-Up Cafes, fetes and celebrations.
  • 3 Outdoor Cinemas were hosted, being so well-received that the steering group decided to continue this as an annual event, with over 500 people attending the September 2023 screening.
  • 600 art packs were delivered to local residents, for people to get creative at home.
  • 11 partnerships were developed across community venues, schools and care homes.
  • 40,000 Canley Newsletters were compiled and distributed across 10 issues to all homes in the area.
  • 3 Canley Parades were hosted, which developed over each iteration, gaining in numbers. The final parade of the project in June 2023 was the biggest, with 130 residents joining in, waved on by 280 more from doorsteps and the pavement.

Key Outcomes

Of Canley community members participating in Playing Out:

  • 93% agreed that it helped them feel part of the community
  • 86% said that it made them feel proud of their local area
  • 85% thought it was important that it’s happening in Canley
  • 91% stated it had made them want to get more involved in their community

There is starting to get a really good vibe around Canley now as we have been able to do more events that bring the community together.

Playing Out participant

View the project