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:

Matthew Swann(Interim chair) Chief Executive, City of London Sinfonia
Sebastian CaterHead of UK Theatre and Workforce 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
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
Paula OrrellDirector, Contemporary Visual Arts Network
Frederick HopkinsHead of Business Development and Membership, One Dance UK
Sarah Mears and Liz McMillanProgramme Manager, Libraries Connected / Libraries and Culture Services Manager, Slough Borough Council 


Central co-ordination team:

Anna DeverHead of Campaign
Rukhsana JahangirCampaign Manager
Sophie EvansDigital Marketing Manager
Daniela GerstmannDigital Marketing Officer

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Derby Festé: reaching new audiences through partnership

Fantastic for Families Award 2020 Case Studies

We’re pleased to bring you a series of Case Studies from this year’s Shortlisted Organisations for the Fantastic for Families Awards.

This article explains programme development process of Full Moon Friday (Derby Festé September 2019), shortlisted for the Best Family Event Award. Last year’s event had a strong engagement focus on families with disabled children and disabled family members. This year, the team have re-designed Festé as a series of events which families and individuals can engage with and access in their own time.

Woman dressed in icy costume in front of giant sculpture of the moon

Déda is in the process of re-emerging into a post Covid world as a creative, diverse and inclusive, environmentally sustainable centre for dance, outdoor performance and contemporary circus. Our building at 19 Chapel Street in Derby has been a hub for the development of creative and cultural experiences since 1998. From our place in the heart of the Cathedral Quarter we have a rich history of local, national and international connectivity. We produce Derby Festé – an annual international outdoor street arts festival in partnership with Derby City Council and a range of other cultural, educational and business partners in the locality. We are a Band 2 ACE National Portfolio organisation and a registered charity (1053633).

Our programming is developed with the core principles of the Family Arts Standards in mind as well as the Age Friendly Standards. Full Moon Friday was brought about by a cross team’s approach to programming led by Déda’s senior level artistic and engagement producers. Being nominated for this award means a great deal to us as well work hard to reach new families through our festival and 2019 saw the join up of several initiatives which resulted in new audiences attending and taking part in Festé.

Déda, through Festé has always aimed to reach as wide an audience as possible through our approach to programming predominantly high quality free events throughout the two-day festival. This approach has been supported through our membership of the Without Walls Associate Touring Network. It has enabled us to produce engagement activities and cultural experiences such as Full Moon Friday over the course of several years.

We believe that the work we do has the power to make a positive impact on people’s lives and more so than ever in our post Covid world. We at Déda have a renewed vigour to engage with communities and individuals in partnership with artists as well as new and existing audiences.

Full Moon Friday was unique in that it brought together programming processes that embraced intersectionality and reached out to a diverse audience with inclusion at the heart of the evening’s programme. It was indeed a prototype for Festé’s to come, those Festé’s which now exist in the context of a post-Covid world, where there is an even greater imperative to include and represent the communities and audiences which we serve.

The aim of the evening was to reach out to the people of the city of Derby and beyond, providing a series of cultural experiences which appealed to all and which had a strong focus to include disabled people and families with disabled children. Both the One Moon Community Event (presented by Hubbub Theatre Company) and the production of ‘Splash!’ (presented by Extraordinary Bodies and Diverse City and the Splash! Consortium) had been created with a Deaf and Disabled aesthetic at their heart. Preceding the event there were programmes of engagement in special schools and with community groups in Derby and Derbyshire, which were linked to both projects.

Alongside these two elements of the Full Moon Friday programme sat two cultural experiences which ‘book-ended’ the evening. Luke Jerram’s The Museum of the Moon installed in Derby Cathedral and The Full Moon Parade presented by Close Acts Theatre. The former acted as an inspiring backdrop for the One Moon Community Event which started inside the Cathedral, under the moon and travelled down Amen Alley to Cathedral Green, creating a human wave of connectedness all the way to the River Derwent. The final activity of the evening, The Full Moon Parade was designed to draw all of the evening’s events together with the theme of Space, Moon and Tides (the overarching theme of Festé 2019) and in between, on Cathedral Green sat the wonderful show in a yurt by Los Galindos.

Large group of families stood on grass next to small tent, one is holding a sculpture of the moon

What we’ve learnt

The evening’s programme worked well as it was tied together by a theme as well as having its own identity withing the weekend programme. It also worked well as the conditions for accessing the events in the programme were well thought out in advance. The community event was well marshalled by the Festé Team and Volunteer Stewards from the Public Services Learners from Derby College as well as volunteers from Hubbub Theatre Company. We also had a team of volunteers on hand to undertake Audience Agency surveys with members of the public to capture their responses to the evening’s programme as it unfolded.

Next Steps for the Future – Festé in a post Covid world

This year, of course, Festé cannot go ahead in the way that it has done in previous years. However, we at Déda and our partners in the city have been developing a way to curate cultural experiences which can be accessed on an individual basis, without the need to actively gather people.

Derby Well is a new campaign to support and promote cultural and arts activities in and around Derby city centre and will launch with Derby Well Re-Dressed on Friday 25th, Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th September.

The Derby Well Re-Dressed weekend will see the city centre and surrounding area transformed into a street gallery with artwork, performances and contemporary well dressings.

Artists and members of the public are being invited to submit their ideas digitally or by post and these will be curated into a trail for visitors to enjoy.

Derby Well Re-Dressed is inspired by Derbyshire’s unique and ancient Well Dressing festivals which originated as indicators of clean water during the Plague in the 17th century.

We are currently finalising commissions with local and regional artists to create the contemporary well dressings for the city centre but are keen to reach out to the local community in the meantime to accelerate the Street Gallery which will be an important part of the weekend.

Contributions could be poems, paintings, graffiti, artwork, puppets, stories, photographs or dances – basically anything that can be exhibited in shop windows, on lampposts on the pavements.

They can also be on any theme that matters to individuals and families, from lockdown and the NHS to community spirit, Black Lives Matter or to mark the loss of a loved one, as well of course the traditional well dressings.

We want help from local people including families, to transform the city and keep the Festé street festival vibe alive by celebrating Derby’s amazing creative communities. We have even created a resource pack for families especially designed to inspire them to make their own street dressings.

Our aim is to make our city colourful again, to reconnect our communities with our city and bring a new vibrancy to Derby following a very challenging and tough part of our lives.

Moving forwards, Derby Well aims to be an important driver in the social, cultural and economic re-development and growth in the city. It will bring together key partners to showcase the city’s arts, cultural calibre and vibrancy through a virtual and physical performance and events programme.

The programme will support artists back into work, encourage people back into the city centre in a safe and socially distanced way and contribute to the wellbeing of city communities by engaging with wider audiences. Although it is disappointing that Derby Festé is not able to happen in its usual way this September, Derby Well gives us the opportunity to re-invent the way that we can come together to celebrate and enjoy our city in a positive and proactive way.


Clare Limb is Head of Dance Development and Learning at Déda

Clare leads on Dance Development and Learning Strategy at Déda and has been involved in the development and delivery of Déda’s artistic programmes including Derby Festé since 2007. Clare has a keen interest in family arts and recently attended the Family Arts Campaign Sector Leadership Conference in March 2020.



Header image Close Acts Parade Cr. Silviya Chovanska

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