What is the Campaign about?

Welsh language information

The Family Arts Campaign is a national Sector Support Organisation funded by Arts Council England 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.

Association of British Orchestras Independent Theatre Council Society of London Theatre UK THEATRE_CORE_rgb_100




The campaign is overseen by a Project Board:

Helen Featherstone  Deputy Director, Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Cassie Chadderton Head of UK Theatre & Membership Development, UK Theatre
Charlotte Jones Chief Executive, Independent Theatre Council
Cath Hume Executive Director, Arts Marketing Association
Robert O’Dowd Chief Executive, Rose Theatre Kingston
Gavin Barlow Chief Executive/Artistic Director, The Albany
Matthew Swann Chief Executive, City of London Sinfonia
Mark Pemberton Director, Association of British Orchestras
Katy Spicer Chief Executive & Artistic Director, efdss
Anne Torreggiani Executive Director, The Audience Agency
Karla Barnacle-Best CEO, Discover Children’s Story Centre
Paula Graham-Gazzard National Coordinator, Contemporary Visual Arts Network
Helen Laws Head of Industry and Artist Support

Central co-ordination is led by a small team:

Anna Dever Head of Campaign
Clair Donnelly Project Manager


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Family Arts Festival 2013 & 2014

The Family Arts Festival began in 2013 and included over 4500 events by 900 organisations, entertaining around 650 000 family members across the UK. This scale and reach was matched in 2014, with another incredibly successful festival; read more in the post-Festival press release here.

Leading figures from the arts including Lord Lloyd Webber, Zoë Wanamaker and Ed Vaizey all expressed their support for the festival in its first year, and in 2014 best-selling author Michael Morpurgo joined the festival as its patron.

The Family Arts Festival has had successful partnerships with Centre Parcs, Netmums, Primary Times, Mumsnet, and The Mirror. It received press coverage across the country – a full list of press coverage of the 2013 festival can be found here.

Catherine Rose’s Office evaluated the festival within their Family Arts Campaign report, available here.

Family Arts Festival Awards

Many of the organisations who took part in the Family Arts Festival were already doing fantastic work when it came to encouraging families to engage in the arts – and we wanted to recognise this! The Family Arts Festival Awards are designed to recognise events, venues and organisations in the Festival which have provided a great family experience. They were voted for via the Family Arts Festival website, and are based on voting by the public only.

2014 award winners can be found here.

2013 award winners were:

Best Family Venue
Oldham Coliseum
Theatre Royal & Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham
Northern Ballet
Shakespeare’s Globe
Stratford Circus

Best Family Event
Oldham Coliseum – My Friend Nigel
Northern Ballet – Three Little Pigs
Theatre Royal & Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham – Theatre Royal Family Open Day
Nuffield Theatre – Stick Man
Globe Education, Shakespeare’s Globe – Muse of Fire

Best Overall Family Welcome
Oldham Coliseum
Theatre Royal & Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham
Northern Ballet
Shakespeare’s Globe
Middleton Cheney Library


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