Family Friendly Arts Campaign launched

Details of the Family Arts Festival, taking place from 18 October to 3 November 2013, will be launched at a special conference in Birmingham on 15 April.

The Family Arts Festival is part of a wider programme, The Family Friendly Arts Campaign, which aims to support organisations in providing high quality family friendly events. The initiative has been devised in consultation with over 1,000 arts professionals and 2,000 families.

The sector-led Campaign will be officially launched with a major one-day event organised by the Campaign and in association with Independent Theatre Council (ITC) at Birmingham’s prestigious Town Hall on 15 April. The first Family Friendly Arts Conference will provide more details to organisations of how to take part in the first national Family Arts Festival and how to obtain specialist advice and support for arts organisations. There will be the chance to learn about working with families from experts from beyond the arts sector. The event is specially designed for marketing, education, creative learning and outreach staff at visual and performing arts organisations, as well as arts development officers, but will also be valuable for anyone with an interest in understanding and growing family audiences and participants in the arts. Organisations can book their place for £100+VAT by visiting

The Family Arts Festival 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 and Association and Dance UK, and is funded by Arts Council England. The Festival aims to feature special events and activities that will attract families of all kinds and backgrounds and will feature a Family Arts Festival Awards programme to recognise partners’ events and achievements. There will be a Family Arts Festival website launching in the summer which will provide families with information about events happening across the UK and near you.

Festival and Events International (FEI), and the team behind the London 2012 Festival and Cultural Olympiad, have been secured to manage the partner liaison, marketing and communications for the first ever UK-wide family arts festival. The Family Arts Festival this autumn will include exciting theatre, dance, music and visual arts events designed to increase family participation in the arts. Leaders of the initiative have secured the FEI team which will be led by three senior figures from the London 2012 culture programme:

  • Nigel Hinds, former Senior Creative Producer for the London 2012 Festival, will oversee the partner organisation liaison
  • Claire Hutchinson, former Head of Marketing for the London 2012 Festival and Cultural Olympiad, will lead on the marketing for the Festival, directing marketing strategy
  • Paul Woodmansey, former Head of Communications for the London 2012 Festival, Cultural Olympiad and Olympic and Paralympic Opening & Closing Ceremonies, will direct the communications campaign.
  • Kathryn McDowell, Family Friendly Arts Board member and Managing Director of the London Orchestra, said: ‘We’re delighted to have the support from the team behind the London 2012 Festival for this Symphony important campaign. You only have to look back at the amazing footage and pictures from the summer of 2012 to see the achievements of this team, and we look forward to working with them to help generate the same results for our partner organisations.’

Charlotte Jones, ITC Chief Executive, said: ‘We’re delighted that theatre, music, dance and the visual arts will be at the heart of an initiative that will engage family audiences and we look forward to hearing more details from the team on 15 April in Birmingham.’

Nigel Hinds, on behalf of FEI, said: ‘We’re delighted to be working with Kathryn McDowell and the rest of the Project Board, and their teams to deliver this important London 2012 legacy initiative. Our passion is in engaging new audiences with quality arts and culture to bring benefits to both the public attending and the organisations running events. This initiative is part of a wider campaign to engage families with the arts and we’re delighted to be on board to help make it a success.’

Related links

The Stage article on the launch of the Family Arts Campaign.

24 April 2013