This Impact Report shares the evaluation findings from our 2022 – 2023 large-scale, socially-engaged production, Roller Coaster.
As a company that creates art with, for and by communities, the social and relational impacts of our work are of great interest and importance to us. For this reason, we are proud to share the positive feedback and data, evidencing the strong social value and impacts of Roller Coaster and of participatory art-making more broadly.
Highlights of the report include:
- 98% of participants experienced positive impacts to wellbeing
- Employment to 68 collaborators
- 82% of audiences would enthusiastically come again
- 97% of participants felt more connected to the community
- Economic impact exceeding $430,000
The report contains an assessment and review of the aims of the project against our Approach To Practice, expert observations from Griffith University’s Dr Adele Pavlidis and Professor Simone Fullagar, and data from interviews, conversations and surveys with artists, partners, audiences, community participants and roller skating collaborators.
Roller skaters are well familiar with impact – quite literally. We even wrote a song with them about it, called Gravel Rash!
However, beyond physical impacts of what is often a high-risk recreational or competitive sport activity, roller skaters also know about the positive impacts of skating to mental health, and the influences of having movement, community, creativity and physical expression in our lives.
As we [Everybody NOW!] continue to make art in this contemporary world, we are deeply cognisant of the ever-growing number of people experiencing mental health challenges in Australia and the shared community concerns around isolation and belonging for all communities at a time when our society is increasingly polarised.
We believe that participatory art-making and community storytelling has much to offer in addressing these issues of social cohesion, belonging and mental health and wellbeing.
As our Co-Director Ian Pidd describes in his thesis, The Public Cast: Making space for public authorship and activation in participatory artworks, “Participatory acts of shared creation, between professional artists and communities, have the potential to create positive social/cultural outcomes that move beyond the aesthetic,” and there is an increasing breath of research to evidence this, some of which we have included in this report.
Roller Coaster has been an ambitious and joyous project created over two years in close collaboration with roller skaters from across South East Queensland. The project was held within Everybody NOW’s frame of practice, which is centred around co-creation and generative relationships, allowing for safe, inclusive and welcoming sites for artistic and creative participation.
The establishment of trusting relationships between artists, skaters, partners, and audiences was critical to the project’s positive outcomes shared in this report and we’d like to thank everyone who has been a part of bringing the project to life.
We hope this report is of service and value in sharing our learnings, strengths, challenges and ongoing questions of practice and process. We look forward to extending these impacts by creating Roller Coaster in communities across Australia and beyond.
If you have any questions about this report, or you would like more information about the Roller Coaster project, including how to bring this arts production into your community, please contact our Executive Director Kate Baggerson at email@example.com