The Curious Minds team includes people from across the worlds of art, culture and education; each with a wealth of knowledge and experience in the development and delivery of cultural education projects and programmes.

Our extended team of Associates represent specialisms across the spectrum of cultural education and are skilled evaluators, facilitators and consultants.

Our Curiosity Powered approach is inspired and informed by the highly regarded Institute of Cultural Affairs’ Technology of Participation methodology. Our team has used these creative consultation techniques repeatedly and to great success.

To discuss how Curious Minds can help meet your needs, please contact Dr Steph Hawke, Head of Impact and Evaluation.

Evaluation Service

Our evaluation support package takes you step-by-step though a systematic development of an evaluation framework; identifying your aims, objectives, outputs, outcomes and indicators of success. We use methods such as questionnaires, focus groups, interviews, observations and case studies to help measure and illustrate the difference you have achieved with your project or programme.

We specialise in qualitative research. We analyse transcripts from interviews and focus groups in specialist software, by combing for themes (codes) and categories, and by constantly comparing one source against another. This constant comparison allows us to be confident that our findings are valid.
We wanted to work with an external evaluator who not only understood the very specific context of our work but also who we could trust ... to ensure we could build up a truthful and wide reaching picture of the impact of our work. Curious Minds gave us all of this and more, they were a pleasure to work with and delivered to a very high standard

The Lowry

The Evaluations Team
Steph Hawke PhD
An experienced evaluator, Steph makes use of surveys, interviews, focus groups and participatory techniques to ask closed and open questions. The methodology is broadly qualitative, and Steph’s analysis will look for common themes in participant responses. 

Steph holds a PhD in Cultural Heritage Studies, an MA in Heritage Education and Interpretation, Qualified Teacher Status and is an Associate Member of the Museums Association. She has undertaken Newcastle University’s HASS Faculty Research Training Programme and specialises in qualitative methodologies, the use of NVIVO data analysis software and the Dedoose mixed methods research app.
Our Evaluation Associates
Curious Minds works with a trusted team of Evaluation Associates which has included:
Evaluation Clients
Curious Minds has previously worked as an Evaluator and Critical Friend to several cultural and education sector clients, including:
  • Chester Zoo Logo
  • Lowry Theatre Logo
  • Writing on the Wall Logo
  • School Improvement Liverpool Logo
  • Liverpool's Royal Court Logo
  • Theatre Porto Logo
  • Heriot Watt University Logo
  • Back on our Map Logo
  • Crewe Lyceum Theatre Logo
"Curious Minds were fantastic at helping our project define and refine our goals, breaking them down into manageable evaluation targets. Their input improved the quality of the work that we did and their interviews and surveys generated really useful feedback and insights."

Heriot Watt University

"Working alongside Steph over the past three years has been an invaluable experience not only for my own professional development but for that of Writing on the Wall and their best practice. Her role as critical friend was crucial for me as Head of Programmes, allowing space for me to discuss ideas and solutions but importantly to help me support new members of the team to understand the benefits of critical reflection and evaluation."

Writing on the Wall

Facilitation Service

Our facilitation is informed by our core values. When you work with us you can expect facilitation that is:

  • ‘Curious Mindsy’: Appropriately playful and fun with personality, we’re approachable and build rapport
  • Creative: we make space and use techniques that stimulate interaction and creative thinking
  • Purposeful: we’re clear about the aims and objectives of the session
  • Planned: we’re always prepared and resourced with a planned yet flexible structure
  • Inclusive: we are warm, friendly, encouraging of contribution and create space for everyone to participate
  • Respectful: we know there is experience in the room and we acknowledge that expertise
  • Inviting: we are curious and invite debate and we encourage positive challenge
  • Solutions focussed: our facilitation is purposeful, we aim to create outcomes that are positive and achievable. Everyone should get something out of a Curious Minds session. We look to identify next steps.
  • Reflective: we invite feedback within and after our sessions.