What is the Campaign about?

Welsh language information

The Family Arts Campaign is a national Sector Support Organisation funded by Arts Council England and the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation to raise family engagement with arts and culture.

Since our beginnings in 2012, we have focused on three main areas of work:

  • Increasing the amount and range of artistic work available to families
  • Increasing the quality of experience for families
  • Improving marketing to reach more families

We are here to support National Portfolio Organisations, museums, libraries, community groups, individuals, and anyone else looking to better connect families with arts and culture.

You can take part by signing up to the free Family Arts Standards and Age-Friendly Standards quality-marks, by attending training and events, or accessing our online resources library. You can also promote all of your family and age-friendly events for free as part of our Fantastic for Families  campaign.


Who is running the Campaign?

We are a cross-sector and cross-artform initiative steered by a consortium of ten organisations and trade bodies. Our lead partner organisation is The Albany.

Logos of consortium partners: AMA, CVAN, ITS, One Dance UK, Society of London Theatre, UK Theatre, The Albany, Kids in Museums, ABO, The Audience Agency


The campaign is overseen by a Project Board:

Helen FeatherstoneDeputy Director, Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Hannah GagenAdvocacy Manager, Society of London Theatre / UK Theatre
Charlotte JonesChief Executive, Independent Theatre Council
Cath HumeExecutive Director, Arts Marketing Association
Robert O’DowdChief Executive, Rose Theatre Kingston
Gavin BarlowChief Executive/Artistic Director, The Albany
Matthew Swann (Interim Chair)Chief Executive, City of London Sinfonia
Mark PembertonDirector, Association of British Orchestras
Anne TorreggianiExecutive Director, The Audience Agency
Karla Barnacle-Best CEO, Discover Children’s Story Centre
Alison Bowyer and Laura BedfordExecutive Director and Head of Programmes, Kids in Museums
Rose CopseyCommunications Manager, Contemporary Visual Arts Network


Central co-ordination is led by a small team:

Anna DeverHead of Campaign
Clair DonnellyProject Manager
Rukhsana JahangirFamily Arts Network Coordinator

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New Age-Friendly Standards Launched

Meet Me at the Albany

Meet Me at the Albany cr. Ros Chesher

Developed in consultation with leading experts including Age UK, 170 arts and cultural organisations, and older arts attenders

The Family Arts Campaign has today announced the launch of its new Age-Friendly Standards, which provide clear guidance for cultural organisations welcoming older family members. There are already 65 early adopters of the Age-Friendly Standards.

The Standards are designed to complement the existing Family Arts Standards which codify good practice in welcoming families, and are currently held by over 500 UK cultural organisations. The Age-Friendly Standards provide specific guidance on welcoming older people, and displaying this new logo affirms that an organisation has considered the often more complex needs of older visitors.

The development of the Age-Friendly Standards is a response to reported trends which indicated a significant drop-off in cultural engagement in later life, due to multiple barriers which older people may encounter. The Standards support a major new ‘Celebrating Age’ fund launched this year by Arts Council England which aims to support cultural spaces to be open, positive and welcoming places for older people.

The significant opportunity for arts and culture to play a role in enhancing quality of life for older people is further reflected in Age UK’s 2017 Index of Wellbeing in Later Life[1] which reports ‘Creative and cultural participation’ to be the most prominent indicator to wellbeing in later life, scoring highest amongst a large range of contributing factors.

Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK commented on the findings: “’Being positive and open, willing to try out new things, and engaged with what’s going on around us turns out to be incredibly important in sustaining our wellbeing as we get older.”

The Age Friendly Standards address five key areas when welcoming older audiences:

  1. Building relationships
  2. Considering suitable programming
  3. Providing appropriate facilities
  4. Communicating appropriately
  5. Providing a warm welcome

The Age-Friendly Standards apply to any type of cultural experience, from museums, concert halls, libraries and art galleries, to dance companies, theatre groups, music ensembles and festivals.

The development of the Standards has been supported using public funding by Arts Council England.

Phil Cave, Director of Audience and Engagement at Arts Council England said: “The Age-Friendly Standards support Arts Council England’s ambition for great arts and culture to be available to everyone, regardless of their age or experience. These Standards provide cultural organisations with the tools to assess the welcome that they offer, and enable them to make a public commitment to welcoming older people.”

Jenny Daly, Head of the Family Arts Campaign said: “Older people are an important part of the family, with multiple generations living side by side. Arts and culture contribute significantly to a positive experience of later life, as well as providing a means to connect young and old. The Age-Friendly Standards signify an important shift for the Family Arts Campaign in supporting the cultural sector to facilitate these experiences.”


Organisations can sign up to the Age-Friendly Standards for free at familyarts.co.uk/age-friendly

Organisations can also promote their age-friendly events (taking place from 1st October onwards) on the Family Arts Campaign’s listings website:

Age-friendly events taking place between 1st– 14th October will be part of the first Age of Creativity Festival, which will be hosted on the Fantastic for Families listings website: ageofcreativity.co.uk/festival

[1] http://www.ageuk.org.uk/Documents/EN-GB/For-professionals/Research/AgeUK-Wellbeing-Index-Summary-web.pdf?dtrk=true

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