Family Arts and the Big Draw join forces

The Family Arts Campaign and the Campaign for Drawing have announced a major collaboration between their flagship projects – the Family Arts Festival and The Big Draw. The two projects will work together in 2013 and 2014 to attract family audiences across the UK to enjoy the arts together during the Family Arts Festival.

The first Family Arts Festival will take place this autumn, from 18 October to 3 November.  It is the first UK-wide festival including exciting theatre, dance, music and visual arts events designed to increase family participation in the arts.  It is an initiative of The Association of British Orchestras, The Theatrical Management Association, The Society of London Theatre, the Independent Theatre Council, the Visual Arts & Galleries Association and Dance UK, and is funded by Arts Council England.

Launched in 2000, The Big Draw is coordinated by the Campaign for Drawing, and dedicated to showing that drawing is accessible, fun and invaluable – in education and everyday life.

The Big Draw invites venues of every kind to celebrate drawing and encourage active participation – regardless of age, background and ability. A proven success, every year the Big Draw engages audiences established and new through the hugely accessible act of drawing. 1400 events took place across the UK and 20 other countries in 2012.

The collaboration was announced at the first Family Arts Conference that took place in Birmingham on Monday 15th April.  More than 300 delegates from arts organisations, institutions and venues from across the UK gathered to learn about latest plans and thinking, and debate how best to work together to engage families with the arts. Chaired by Kathryn McDowell, (Chair of the Campaign Project Board and London Symphony Orchestra Managing Director), attendees to the conference were given the opportunity to hear from and interact with representatives from Arts Council England, the London 2012 Festival & Cultural Olympiad, Kids in Museums, The Big Draw, The Audience Agency, Mousetrap Theatre Projects, ACES Youth Project, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, the Society of London Theatre, The Experience Business, Birmingham Town Hall and Symphony Hall, and the Family and Parenting Institute.


David Brownlee, Director of the Family Arts Campaign, said: ‘There is a wonderful match between the aims of the Family Arts Festival and The Big Draw.  We are both passionate about helping more families enjoy the arts together, and are convinced that we will do this most effectively by working closely together over the next two years.’


Sue Grayson Ford, Campaign for Drawing Chief Executive, said: ’Thanks to our collaboration, Big Draw events designed to actively involve people of all ages will reach even more families. Exciting new partnerships are already developing from this unique opportunity to share family-friendly expertise and innovative ideas across the artforms. Watch this space!’