Without Walls Impact Report

21 September 2022

Without Walls is delighted to make public the findings of a recent evaluation of our work since 2018 undertaken by CounterCulture LLP.

Without Walls was founded in 2007, and after a decade of successful development, became a National Portfolio Organisation (NPO) of Arts Council England in 2018. As we reach our fifth anniversary of NPO funding, we decided that it was important to commission a comprehensive, independent evaluation of our impact over this period.

First and foremost, Without Walls exists to create excellence in outdoor arts, supporting artists to make new, innovative works of all genres and scales. CounterCulture’s evaluation shows that as a result of our activity since 2018:

  • Over £3m was directly invested in artists
  • 56 new works have been commissioned and premiered
  • 66 artists and companies have received early-stage support for new creative ideas through Blueprint, our Research and Development programme

We have always strived to make our programmes open to everyone, so we are proud to say that the evaluation confirms that 68% of our commissions since 2018 have been by Black, Asian and ethnically diverse led-companies and artists, and Deaf, disabled and neuro-divergent led-companies and artists.

We are committed to bringing great art to audiences across England – from city to county, to coast. We are equally proud that the evaluation shows that 47% of our consortium members are in ACE Priority Places and Levelling Up For Culture Places.

The evaluation is not all about the things we have achieved. It also highlights things we have missed or could have done better. And the evaluation also identifies key challenges for our sector over the coming years.

A range of proposals for how these challenges might be addressed are included in the evaluation:

  • Bringing together sector stakeholders and leaders to review support and key priorities for outdoor arts
  • Deepening our work in ACE Priority and Levelling Up for Culture Places and highlighting the pivotal role of our partner in supporting place-based regeneration
  • Continuing to diversify our leadership and governance to ensure diverse input into the creation of programmes and strategies.

Everyone involved in our wonderful and diverse sector knows the importance of NPO funding decisions being announced in October. Like everyone else, we approach this with excitement and caution. We also now approach it knowing the important contribution we have been able to make over the last five years.

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