Quality Metrics for the arts looking out for the Emperor’s new clothes…

In 2017 Hull will be awash with publicly funded and commercial art, here are some ways to look at the quality of the work on offer – straight from the Arts Council.

The core quality metrics

Self, peer and public:

  • Concept: it was an interesting idea
  • Presentation: it was well produced and presented
  • Distinctiveness: it was different from things I’ve experienced before
  • Challenge: it was thought-provoking
  • Captivation: it was absorbing and held my attention
  • Enthusiasm: I would come to something like this again
  • Local impact: it is important that it’s happening here
  • Relevance: it has something to say about the world in which we live
  • Rigour: it was well thought through and put together

Self and peer only:

  • Originality: it was ground-breaking
  • Risk: the artists/curators really challenged themselves
  • Excellence: it is one of the best examples of its type that I have seen

For more info click on the link http://www.artscouncil.org.uk/quality-metrics/quality-metrics

Q. What is Quality Metrics?

A. Quality Metrics is a sector-led metrics framework that uses self, peer and public assessment to capture the quality of arts and cultural work.

Q. How does it work?

A. The Quality Metrics are a core set of statements developed by arts and culture organisations that describe the components of quality artistic and cultural work. They are publically available and free for anyone to use. To date, the metrics have been administered through a digital platform called Culture Counts which allows organisations to collect, analyse and share self, peer and public feedback on their events, exhibitions or performances in real time and using the same scale across the sector.

Q. To what extent has the work been sector led?

A. The project has been entirely sector led; with funding support from Arts Council England linked directly to our strategy and Goal 1 in particular- excellence; with the ambition to support a sector-led project that could positively impact on the wider arts and cultural sector in England.

Q. How do Quality Metrics fit alongside the Arts Council’s existing self assessment framework and peer review practices?

A. The Quality Metrics sit alongside other ways of assessing quality, for example the Self Evaluation Framework and our Artistic & Quality Assessment programme, providing artists and organisations with another tool to help them understand and talk about the quality of their work.

Q. Where has it come from?

A. The work takes its inspiration from a project initiated in 2010 by the Department of Culture and the Arts in Western Australia, which commissioned consultants John 2 Knell of Intelligence Agency and Michael Chappell of Pracsys Economics to work with arts organisations to develop a system that would help them understand the public value of arts and culture.

Opening Of The Bagpipe Maker’s Baby

L67A7097Playing for guests on arrival at the premiere of The Bagpipe Maker’s Baby at Hull Truck yesterday. I did some of the music for the film the opening credit theme tune and some diagetic sound when the pipes are played on screen – my favourite bit though were the sounds created as I imitated  a baby crying on the pipes – it set off the baby in the audience – a win!

Diverse-city Moth

Here I am pictured with Diverse-city Moth which is positioned opposite the Open Doors Project which supports refugees, asylum seekers and economic migrants. The moth is situated on the wall of Fudge just off Prince’s Avenue on Blenheim street so that all the members of the Open Doors Community can get to see their moth. You can find out more about Open Doors herehttps://thestrangerstale.com/

A little bit of information about the process of creating the moth I initially pitched the idea of creating the moth to Bashir Shiraj the project co-ordinator for the Open Doors Project who thought it was a great idea. So I approached Rick to see if the Amy Johnson Festival would like an Open Doors Moth, he was very receptive to the idea and helped to find a sponsor for the art work.

Then came the tricky business of embodying the spirit of a community in a visual way …

Asking people from Open Doors to draw and write on the figure templates at Open Doors and turning them into the graphic designs on each figure.

Artist and Open Doors volunteer Jean Rippon giving me a hand to paint Diverse-city moth


To find out more about the Open Doors Community visit https://thestrangerstale.com/

location: Fudge, Princes Avenue, HU5 3QP

About the Design:
The design concept was developed through a period of consultation with the Open Doors Community during which the idea of linked hands emerged as a key motif. The group wanted to celebrate and show respect for differences in the community members.

The idea of sunshine, clear skies and freedom influenced the design, leading to the idea of the linked hands of paper chain people. Each paper chain person has their own symbol and colour, representing what Open Doors means to them. The clear blue skies can be seen symbolising freedom in the background, and the sunrise orange in the moth’s orange head symbolises eternally renewing hope.

About the Artists:
Quentin Budworth is a Bridlington based artist, primarily working with photography and music. He is interested in storytelling, perception and imagination, and seeing his work displayed in places where interesting things can happen. Jean is a member of the Open Doors community.

About the Sponsor:
The Open Doors project is a community led organisation which aims to help asylum seekers and refugees in Hull, by integrating them into local society to live independently and confidently. Its members contribute by becoming part of the project to help others as well as accessing its service and maintaining the Open Doors community approach.

The project works to provide resources and classes, as well as advice and support for migrant workers. The project hosts coffee mornings and helps to provide clothes and food for those in need. http://opendoors-hull.org.uk/


Hullywood Icons

Quentin Budworth

Lens based Artist Quentin Budworth is looking for participants locations and venues for an exciting visual arts project happening in Hull in 2017. Hullywood Icons will recreate iconic moments from Hollywood films with the people of Hull in the City of Hull. The work will be exhibited prominently throughout the city and be featured in the media.

There are several ways to be involved with the project:

Participation in the project as a subject – I need to know which character, from which Film? Which scene you would like to appear in?

Use of venue as possible location for a shoot.

Offer of exhibition space.

Use of external walls for exhibition/projection work.


If you would like to be involved contact me quentinbudworth@btinternet.com




Recently I was asked to mentor up and coming creative business Feet First Studios. Run by Gus and Owen who have recently graduated from Hull School of Art and Design with first class honours degrees and are working on their video production company based on the High Street in Hull’s old town.

This is what they had to say about the session:

‘We approached Quentin for professional advice and mentoring with our business venture. He was more than willing to share his personal experiences and ensure that we were making the right decisions with Feet First Studios. We found the discussion extremely helpful in many aspects that related to both film and general business management. We would confidently recommend Quentin to anyone in need of a professional input with regards to film, both practically and theoretically.’

Gus/Owen – Feet First Studios

Well I guess 30 years working in the Arts and that Arts Council funded training to become an accredited coach wasn’t wasted.

A list of things that I have worked out recently #artsfunding

Marcus Romer's Blog


1. All work that is made from public subsidy in the Arts – should be made free and available for all – at some point during the life of its production or presentation

2. Explaining, to some people, that these changes are going to have to happen, can be exhausting.

3. Continuing to think, even just an arms reach into the future, actually threatens some people.

4. The ones who get it, have always got it. The ones who don’t, never did.

5. Understanding the civic role of artists in their communities has a potential for inspiring creative social change

6. There will always be people who will tell you why your ideas are wrong and will not work

7. Knowing that Creativity is actually imaginative ideas that have value

8. Taking time to develop imaginative ideas is most important…

9. …before trying to make ideas fit into a funding…

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