What is the Campaign about?

Welsh language information

The Family Arts Campaign is a national Sector Support Organisation funded by Arts Council England 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.

Association of British Orchestras Independent Theatre Council Society of London Theatre UK THEATRE_CORE_rgb_100

The campaign is overseen by a Project Board:

Helen Featherstone  Deputy Director, Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Cassie Chadderton Head of UK Theatre & Membership Development, UK Theatre
Charlotte Jones Chief Executive, Independent Theatre Council
Cath Hume Executive Director, Arts Marketing Association
Robert O’Dowd Chief Executive, Rose Theatre Kingston
Gavin Barlow Chief Executive/Artistic Director, The Albany
Matthew Swann Chief Executive, City of London Sinfonia
Mark Pemberton Director, Association of British Orchestras
Katy Spicer Chief Executive & Artistic Director, efdss
Anne Torreggiani Executive Director, The Audience Agency
Karla Barnacle-Best CEO, Discover Children’s Story Centre
Paula Graham-Gazzard National Coordinator, Contemporary Visual Arts Network

Central co-ordination is led by a small team:

Anna Dever Head of Campaign
Clair Donnelly Project Manager


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artsdepot: winning last year’s Best Age Friendly Welcome Award

Togetherfest - artsdepot

Winning the Best Age Friendly Welcome was such a boon for artsdepot, it validated several years of hard work building a programme of events and activities targeting older people, and ensuring our visitor services team provide the best welcome possible to a wide variety of visitors.

In 2014 artsdepot secured funding to lead a research project with Age UK & University of the Arts London exploring barriers to the arts faced by older people.  Through that project we surveyed 1000 older people and interviewed 24 – we learnt that daytime activities were preferred over night-time, and that affordability, relevant content and the social elements of attending are key to arts participation. We also learnt that some older people, particularly those with disabilities and those living in supported environments, can be extremely lonely and with minimal access to arts & creativity.

Hence we launched a Matinee Lunch Club providing subsidised tickets and hot lunches to vulnerable and isolated older people who are brought to artsdepot in groups supported by Age UK, Jewish Care, a Hindu Cultural Centre, and a range of care providers and community groups. At some events we now welcome close to 100 older people, most of whom have mobility issues, a high number have dementia. We put on the best shows, our staff volunteer to help serve lunches and chat to our guests, and surprisingly we learnt that one of the great things about the events was how much our staff enjoy getting involved. We get to directly see the impact of our work, and hear isolated older people tell us how thrilled they are to be out, and how much they enjoy the show & lunch experience.

Togetherfest 2 - artsdepot

Our older people’s work also includes an Over 60’s arts group that has recently grown and we are thinking to make it weekly rather than every other week, and our over 60’s dance group which is at capacity, we’re thinking of opening a second group. Another initiative we have been working on is a Matinee Club membership for anyone over 60 – distinct from our programme targeting vulnerable older people. Last year over 20 older people joined that membership and some of them now meet socially after our matinees where we provide free tea & biscuits. Winning the Best Age Friendly Welcome showed us that we’re on the right track and has encouraged us to continue on our journey providing an inviting and warm welcome to older people, and also offering an engaging high quality and relevant creative programme. Thank you for your support.

Apply for an Award

Entry for the Fantastic for Families awards open until 12pm Friday 7th December 2018.
Venues, companies and artists can self-nominate by completing the application formFind out more here.




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