I love this post. Word choices have power. Don’t give buzzwords a place in your vocabulary without considering what they really mean and imply. Easy to say, hard to do – like most important things…

François Matarasso

A conversation with Peter Wright at the Creative Communities 3 conference made me realize that it might be useful to explain why I no longer use the word ‘impact’ in relation to people’s experience of the arts.

Peter, who teaches at Murdoch University in Western Australia, gave a rich presentation about his work with Big hArt, which he has been researching for some years. We spoke at length afterwards about the project and more generally about ideas of social arts practice and its evaluation. Not surprisingly, since conference speakers had often used it, we talked about the word ‘impact’. When Peter subsequently asked me where he could read more about this, I couldn’t point him to anywhere that I’ve set out this thinking, so here is a short explanation.

I should say first, though, that I haven’t always seen this. 15 years ago, when I worked on a research…

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About jenbitespeople

Edinburgh-based writer, dramaturg and director. Here you'll find posts about my work, mental health, arts politics and whatever else happens to catch my attention. View all posts by jenbitespeople

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