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What Next? Rural - Language and Data


25 Apr 2024

Update on the What Next? Rural conversation on Language and Data with speakers Kim Macari and Jeremy Spafford.

Please find here a recording of the presentations (36 mins):

Download MP3 • 52.29MB

How, in an era of rapid transformation, is the language we use shaping our understanding of complex issues? Within the UK cultural sector, the conversation around funding, politics and data is evolving.

Join us at 'What Next? Rural' where we will begin to explore the data we collect and how the words we use impact our work, our audiences, and our responsibilities.


Kim Macari an artist and activist with over 15 years of experience in the culture sector. Her artistic practice centres around improvisation, spoken word and the intersection between visual arts and music (Graphic Scores). As well as her own practice, Kim programmes the award-winning Vortex Jazz Club and works within the music team at Arts Council England.

Talking about translation and why words matter. The two way relationship between language and thought and how to think about these topics in our roles.

Jeremy Spafford, Director of the Old Fire Station. Talking about Meaningful Measurement when it comes to data collection. Why have we become obsessed with meaningful measurement?

Jeremy has spent a lot of time raising funds and, over time, become frustrated by the gap between genuine learning and how we measure impact and report on that impact.  

Jeremy discussed how he came to think more deeply about the importance of meaningful measurement and walked through a summary of their storytelling evaluation methodology.

What Next? Rural - Language and Data
Links and Further Information

Stevie Thompson

I have started holding project stories on a site called Living Archive - 

Old Fire Station Story Telling Evaluation website 

Linguistic Relativity

The main source is the cognitive scientist Lera Boroditsky. The concept is also called the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis but Boroditsky is a more modern development of the idea. Click this link for the Ted Talk.

From Kim Macari

Douglas Hofstadter's book on the Clement Marot poem is called Le Ton Beau de Marot (the source poem is called A Une Damoyselle Malade)

Jeremy Spafford slides

Jeremy Spafford Storytelling training, support and costs 23 National
Download PDF • 1.51MB

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