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 Featherstone (Chair)Deputy Director, Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Cassie ChaddertonHead of UK Theatre & Membership Development, 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 SwannChief 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


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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Stories from the Celebrating Age programme

Cr. Lorna Easterbrook

Celebrating Age is a programme jointly funded by Arts Council England and the Baring Foundation. It supports cultural spaces and other organisations to be open, positive and welcoming places for older people. Through partnership working, these funded projects are taking high quality arts and culture into places where older people find it easier to engage. Find out more about the projects on the Arts Council’s website.

Last month the 32 Celebrating Age projects gathered to share learning on their work with older audiences. As part of the evaluation process, Stories were gathered from participants of each project. These Stories focus on the benefits of creative engagement for older participants and capture impact on the individual by documenting the Most Significant Change from first person accounts.

We spoke to Imogen Blood, National Evaluator for Celebrating Age, about the fund and the evaluation methodology behind the Story collecting process.

We recently gathered at the national Celebrating Age Seminar to share and discuss in small groups, 16 of the Most Significant Change (MSC) stories collected by Celebrating Age projects: we’re using the MSC approach for the qualitative side of the national evaluation. These 16 stories had already been filtered by projects through their own panel discussions’ identifying a story (or two) that really stood out from the rest and – most importantly – exploring why; so the day was a great chance to run a further level of panel discussion.  Stories included people taking part in dance, singing, writing, and a wide range of other arts activities at home, in community and public buildings, in care homes, arts venues, and supported housing. Our panels (8-10 people) considered 4 stories each, making sure CA attendees weren’t discussing their project’s story!

This chance to reflect on what colleagues are collecting created a really rich discussion across CA projects and other arts practitioners and interested parties. It highlighted connections across arts-based work with many stories resonating personally and professionally. It’s starting to build a wider community that’s increasingly interested and skilled in this form of co-created, narrative evaluation.

In identifying the stories of change that stood out most, common themes included: the power of hearing an unfiltered, individual voice; the value in keeping the story separate from the interpretation of the story; the joy and optimism inherent in people’s stories, together with validation and re-finding of their identity as a person, increased confidence across many other areas of their lives, and chances to retrieve personal relationships. This kind of personal legacy, together with other wider themes around sustainability, also underlined the specific value of the time and flexibility provided through the artistic ‘offer’ and the importance of artists’ skills at facilitating co-creation.

Read the 16 Stories

Download results from our workshop

Download the MSC methodology for Story collection

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