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.


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
Katy SpicerChief Executive & Artistic Director, efdss
Anne TorreggianiExecutive Director, The Audience Agency
Karla Barnacle-BestCEO, Discover Children’s Story Centre
Paula Graham-GazzardNational Coordinator, Contemporary Visual Arts Network
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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Young children and families set to benefit from exciting music project for Early Years educators and musicians

Logo with a tambourine

Early Years Music Project comes to Birmingham with the Birmingham Early Years Music Consortium (BEYMC).

Birmingham Forward Steps and a group of consortium partners has been awarded £149, 000 by Youth Music Charity to support music in the Early Years. Over the next two years (2019-2021) the project, called Sounds of Play, aims to improve music provision for birth to 5-year olds and their families. The project will offer a range of CPD opportunities for teachers and practitioners in Early Years settings, and musicians from a wide range of music organisations.

Sarah Robbins, CEO of The Springfield project, leading partner of the project for Birmingham Forward Steps said:

Birmingham Forward Steps is delighted to have the opportunity to bring this comprehensive early years music programme to the city. Music is a fantastic tool for supporting children to develop well and it also has the power to enrich lives. In this music-rich city it is only right that our youngest children have opportunities for music making and it is an honour that so many of the city’s musical institutions are joining us to make this a reality. Thank you to Youth Music for their support in bringing Sounds of Play to life.

The Birmingham Early Years Music Consortium (BEYMC) project aims to help provide a more co-ordinated music delivery for children, bringing together Birmingham EY settings together with a wide range of music organisations (full list in Appendix).

The BEYMC will be working with a wide range of settings including children’s centres; maintained nurseries; and private, voluntary and independent settings. The BEYMC project is supported by Youth Music and will be using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England. Matt Griffiths, CEO, Youth Music said:

Children’s lives in music-making must start as soon as possible. The evidence is overwhelming in terms of the positive difference this makes for their own personal, social and musical development and for their families too. That’s why early years is one of our priority areas at Youth Music. We are therefore delighted to award a grant to the new ‘Sounds of Play’ project in Birmingham, which will provide innovative resources and a vital support network for early years teachers and music leaders to develop their practice, work collaboratively and learn from each other. If there’s ever been a more important time for this, it’s definitely now. We’re excited to be a part of it.

The partners in the consortium, will be working with a newly appointed Project Manager, Nicola Burke, to focus on training their own practitioners in Early Years Music, impacting the work of teachers, practitioners and musicians. The whole project is being evaluated by the Centre for Research in Early Childhood (CREC).

Anyone that would like to find out more information is encouraged to make contact with the Project Manager on: nicola@musicforearlyyears.co.uk. Please follow the project on Twitter: @PlaySoundsof

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