READ OUR ASTONish evaluation reports. 

This evaluation report was commissioned by Lara Ratnaraja and Helga Henry as part of the ASTONish programme. The research and evaluation aims to provide insights for local cultural policy and to inform future iterations of the programme. ASTONish focused on transforming cultural leadership by selecting creative entrepreneurs and artists both living in Aston and Newtown and those in the wider city who wish to engage with the area culturally. The programme͛s aims were based on the principles of Imagination, Creativity and Enterprise which underpin the Birmingham Cultural Strategy 2016-19. This evaluative report draws on the researchers͛ observations of the programme, from interviews with participants and discussions with the delivery team.  The ASTONish programme was funded in response to three significant issues. Firstly, and most importantly, as an outcome of the recent closure of The Drum, the arts centre for the African-Caribbean and Asian community based in Aston and first established in 1994. Secondly, as a result of the success of RE:Present16, the cultural leadership programme which piloted the approach and opportunities subsequently offered through ASTONish. Thirdly, the programme addresses well documented ongoing inequalities in terms of representation and production, across the cultural and creative industries (CCIs) in the UK.