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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LS18 Rocks – Connecting children and grandparents through music

LS18 Rocks have been shortlisted for the Best Family Arts Activity for their project ‘Virtual Hugs (There’s No One Quite Like Grandma)’. Created by children to re-connect them with their grandparents during the pandemic, the home-grown project became a huge hit!  Paul Jeeves from LS18 Rocks tells us more…

What started as an idea to re-record a classic 40year-old song became the inspiration for a music project that saw children and grandparents working together to produce a piece of work that made headlines around the world – and raised over £1,000 for charity. 

During the pandemic the young musicians at LS18 Rocks in Leeds had been telling their tutors how much they were missing seeing their grandparents during the past year – and also how much they missed being able to perform live shows for them. They were devastated when they found out that Christmas 2020 would not be able to go ahead as planned and so the children decided they wanted to make a musical tribute. 

The teachers played them the 1980 UK Number One song There’s No One Quite Like Grandma to prompt ideas and it inspired Abby Warner,14, to pen lyrics for what became a stunning track called Virtual Hugs (There’s No One Quite Like Grandma).  

With the help of real-life school of rock musicians, the young musicians produced a moving, poignant and above all uplifting festive track that captured the moment in time perfectly. Not only did the children –aged six to 14 – write it themselves, but they also performed, recorded and produced it all on their own – racing against the clock to beat lockdown restrictions. There was no adult involvement at all. 

But what was already a superb project took on fresh impetus when the children decided to make a video using their grandparents. In many cases this required them (virtually) teaching older people how to make video recordings on digital devices. The grandparent’s efforts were then edited together by the children into a stunning video to accompany the track.  

An online fundraising page was then launched to raise money from the song to help older people combat loneliness this winter. This again saw young people working with their families – parents, siblings and grandparents – to spread the message. 

Abby said: “I took the sentiment of the original and applied it to the very strange times we have lived through. The idea was that although we hadn’t been able to be physically close to our grandparents, we found other ways to keep them close to our hearts.” 

Guitarist and co-writer Jimmy North added: “I’m so proud of how the song turned out and everything we achieved with the whole campaign. It was mind-blowing.” 

LS18 Rocks musical director Jonnie Khan said: “To see the project grow from the small germ of an idea and it really did capture the imagination of our entire community. We used the money raised to finance the formation of a “travelling teapot” café to enable older people to gain the confidence to meet-up again after restrictions were lifted and that was just so wonderful to see.” 

The project, which topped the West Yorkshire streaming charts, resulted in appearances on BBC Breakfast, Channel 4’s Steph’s Packed Lunch and BBC Look North. It also appeared across numerous national and local newspapers while reports of the song spread as far afield as Slovakia, Japan and even an appearance on Channel 9 in Australia.  

Check out the final video below!

Read more about the Fantastic for Families Awards 2021 shortlisted organisations and then come and join us on November 16th to find out who has won, at our virtual awards ceremony!

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