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.


The campaign is overseen by a Project Board:

Helen Featherstone (Chair)Deputy Director, Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Cassie ChaddertonHead of UK Theatre & Membership 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
Matthew SwannChief Executive, City of London Sinfonia
Mark PembertonDirector, Association of British Orchestras
Katy SpicerChief Executive & Artistic Director, efdss
Anne TorreggianiExecutive Director, The Audience Agency
Karla Barnacle-BestCEO, Discover Children’s Story Centre
Paula Graham-GazzardNational Coordinator, Contemporary Visual Arts Network
Alison Bowyer and Laura BedfordExecutive Director and Head of Programmes, Kids in Museums


Central co-ordination is led by a small team:

Anna DeverHead of Campaign
Clair DonnellyProject Manager
Rukhsana JahangirFamily Arts Network Coordinator

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Families Matter
Family Arts Campaign Manager Jenny Daly shares key learnings and best practice that the
Campaign has learned over the past four years, in the journal of arts marketing – the quarterly publication of the AMA, a membership organisation that provides professional development and training opportunities for people working in the arts, culture and heritage sector.

Fun for every family: Inclusive practices at Z-arts
Realising how many of its visitors had a family member with a disability was the catalyst for Z-arts to launch its inclusive family fun days.

Families go free: Engaging families in need in the arts
A ‘pay it forward’ pilot campaign aimed to help families most in need attend dance theatre performances, but it wasn’t all plain sailing. Rhona Matheson tells the story.

Allowed to play up
Is ‘live art’ the perfect medium for intergenerational arts projects? Liz O’Neill explains how children can help adults embrace the fun of experimental performance.

Z-arts on Babies as our future audience
Z-arts discuss their experience of welcoming families with babies, and how the arts can help babies develop emotionally and cerebrally.

To the theatre born: why babies need the arts
Anna Newell, Artistic Director of Northern Ireland’s Replay Theatre Company, tells us why babies need the arts in this Guardian theatre blog.

Tony Graham on theatre for young people & families
Artistic Director of The Unicorn and TAG shares his experience of the Theatre in Education programme and creating work for young people and families.

Making everything easy
Libby Penn, Managing Director of Spektrix on how a flexible ticketing system has boosted sales for a family show.

Parents in the arts need to stage a childcare revolution
Theatres are getting infinitely more family-friendly for audiences – but what about those looking to sustain a career in the industry?

Real modern families on stage
Z-arts artistic director Liz O’Neill on Family Matters, a research project by Z-arts into what constitutes ‘family’ in modern society.

Family matters: we can’t afford to lose a generation of theatregoers
Z-arts artistic director Liz O’Neill on the importance of keeping up with changing face of the modern family.

Come on in: top tips for welcoming family arts audiences
Family Arts Campaign manager Mari O’Neill gives her top tips for welcoming family arts audiences.

Rethinking the Family Audience
Family Arts Campaign director David Brownlee discusses making your organisation more welcoming for a diverse family audience.

Who is Family Theatre For?
Theatre maker Harper Ray tackles common misconceptions on family theatre.


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