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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Fantastic for Families Awards 2020

Something to celebrate as our Fantastic for Families Awards recognise the UK’s best arts and culture organisations

Today Family Arts Campaign announce the shortlist of arts events, organisations and destinations that have delighted families, in our Fantastic for Families Awards 2020.

At a time when Covid-19 has imposed significant limitations on the arts and cultural sector, the Fantastic for Families Awards celebrate the wealth of excellent creative events and spaces for families across the UK. These organisations are recognised for the outstanding experiences and contribution to family-friendly arts and culture they provided for families in 2019.

Now in its seventh year, the Awards will be welcomed as a moment to congratulate arts organisations and destinations amid the uncertainty of Covid-19 and a looming recession.

The 30 shortlisted organisations, will now have their nominations reviewed by a panel of expert judges from the creative sector, who will decide which of them will be named winner in one of four categories.

The shortlisted organisations are:

Best Family Event

This award recognises the very best family events of 2019 with genuine appeal and suitability for different age groups attending or participating together.

  • AsOne Theatre Company for Library Live
  • Big Fish Little Fish & The Horniman for Outdoor Family Festival
  • Cast and darts (Doncaster Community Arts) for The Cultural Playground – The Great Get Together
  • Circus250 for StrongWomen Science
  • Déda and partners for Full Moon Friday – Derby Festé
  • Hull Libraries for The Big Malarkey Festival
  • Liat and Co and Whitechapel Gallery for Bauhaus Baby Ballroom
  • Loud in Libraries for Liz Lawrence live in Widnes Library
  • Luca Silvestrini’s Protein for The Little Prince
  • Sonia Sabri Company for Lok Virsa at the Birmingham Hippodrome
  • Southbank Centre for Imagine Children’s Festival
  • Walthamstow Garden Party for Walthamstow Garden Party 2019
  • Yorkshire Dance for Family Encounters Dance Festival

Best Family Venue

This award celebrates the best family friendly venues and those who take extra care to meet the needs of a wide range of families and provide a high quality of experience for those visiting the venue.

  • Cast, Doncaster
  • Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Swansea
  • National Maritime Museum, London
  • The Lowry, Salford
  • The Whitworth, Manchester

Audience Impact Award

This award is for creative organisations who are overcoming barriers to reach and engage new and diverse families in order to develop and deepen their engagement with families in their area.

  • Dundee Contemporary Arts
  • Manchester Museum
  • Midlands Arts Centre
  • Museum of London Docklands
  • Oily Cart

Best Age-Friendly Cultural Organisation

This award recognises the outstanding provision for older family members, including staff welcome, communication and the venue and its facilities in accommodating the needs of older people.

  • Barnsley Museums
  • Leeds Playhouse
  • Moving Memory Dance Theatre Company
  • Norwich Theatre
  • The Beaney House of Art and Knowledge


Darren Henley, Chief Executive of Arts Council England said: “Seeing the work of performers and artists, visiting cultural venues and taking part in creative activities can change the rest of your life. We know just how much of a difference creativity and culture makes in helping young people to be happier and healthier, so it’s really important that we celebrate and share the really outstanding work that’s going on around the country to help create better lives for the next generation.”

All shortlisted organisations will now have their nominations reviewed by a panel of expert judges from the creative sector, with winners being announced on 9 September 2020.

All of the shortlisted organisations have pledged to meet the Family Arts Standards for welcoming families, or the Age-Friendly Standards for working with older audiences.

Find out more about the organisations and their events at fantasticforfamilies.com.

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