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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The Hullabaloo: a purpose-designed theatre venue for families

Two children read story books in a cosy corner

Story Corner at the Hullabaloo cr. Mark Savage

A particular highlight of The Hullabaloo’s opening year came when it won the Best Family Venue award at the 2019 Fantastic for Families awards. We spoke to the team at Theatre Hullabaloo about opening a brand new purpose-designed theatre venue for families.

In December 2017, Theatre Hullabaloo realised our dream of opening our very own venue for children and families in the North East. The Hullabaloo was always designed to be an exciting place to play and to learn and to put into bricks and mortar Theatre Hullabaloo’s belief that creativity should be part of everybody’s childhood.

Miranda Thain, Artistic Producer at Theatre Hullabaloo explains “For us, the building of The Hullabaloo was always a political statement about the rights of children to high quality art in a space created for them, where both are as sophisticated and brilliant as children themselves.

From the very early stages of planning and building The Hullabaloo, local children were at the heart of the build process. We worked alongside a group of 8 year-old consultant architects who helped the design team understand what they wanted from The Hullabaloo. Like all the best ideas in our work, it was the children who were determined that play be at the heart of the building and so we created a space to house a rolling programme of specially commissioned art installations that are free for people to play in whenever we are open.”


The Hullabaloo cr. Andrew Berriman

The popularity of the creative play installations – which have so far taken families visiting The Hullabaloo into space, under the sea, floating above the clouds and deep into an enchanted forest – have played a large part in attracting in excess of 51,000 children and families through the doors since the venue opened two years ago. Alongside creative play, The Hullabaloo programmes some of the best theatre and dance from around the world with a particular emphasis on high quality experiences for the very youngest.

“The Hullabaloo sits in one of the 1% most deprived wards in the UK” explains Miranda, “so the free creative play offer is absolutely crucial in terms of ensuring that we welcome a really diverse mix of families to The Hullabaloo and support children to access the wide range of activities on offer. The last two years have been a huge learning curve for us as an organisation, but we’re delighted that The Hullabaloo has already been taken to the hearts of our local families and we can see the social impact of the venue in the stories we hear every day”

A particular highlight of our opening year came when the venue won Best Family Venue the following spring, at the Fantastic for Families Awards for its contribution to arts and culture for families during 2018.

“Winning the Fantastic for Families award meant that The Hullabaloo was recognised for the special place that it is, bringing families together to share experiences that entertain, provoke, challenge, delight and inspire them. We believe that creativity should be part of everybody’s childhood, an entitlement of every child, and we’re proud of the significant part The Hullabaloo plays in giving children’s arts the status it deserves.”

For more information on Theatre Hullabaloo and The Hullabaloo please visit www.theatrehullabaloo.org.uk


Applying for a Fantastic for Families Award


Organisations who pledge to meet the Family Arts Standards are eligible to self-nominate for a Fantastic for Families Award.

Awards are judged by a panel of experts and include votes from members of the public.

See the full category list and download the application form

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