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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Case Studies



Covid-19 Case Studies

Brighton Open Air Theatre: Adapting and learning through a pandemic

Manchester Ambassador Yemi Bolatiwa: Collaboratively creating arts packs to reach new families

Bristol Ambassador Lou Taylor: Reaching families in need with creative resource packs

Cumbria Ambassador Holli Graham: Family arts packs shared via community food banks


Fantastic for Families Awards 2020 – Case Studies

Putting Audiences at the Centre: The Little Prince, Luca Silvestrini’s Protein

Derby Festé: reaching new audiences through partnership

Liat Rosenthal: developing family content as an independent producer

StrongWomen Science: Using Circus to increase science ambition in new audiences in unusual places

An outdoor festival for families: BFLF and The Horniman

Free creative family activities with Midlands Arts Centre

Back To Articles Summer Staycation – Manchester Museum in Quarantine

Oily Cart’s “un-cancellable programme” of theatre for families

Award-winning health and wellbeing activities at The Beaney

Creating a Family-friendly venue at Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Swansea

Leeds Playhouse: supporting you to live a creative later life

Norwich Theatre on creating virtual creative workshops for older adults

Dundee Contemporary Arts: Why art is amazing for young children

Sonia Sabri Company on how they brought a diverse community together

How Walthamstow Garden Party helped families get creative during covid-19 lockdown

AsOne Theatre’s ‘Library Live!’ brings free first theatre experiences

Get It Loud In Libraries – helping families enjoy live music with increased confidence

Manchester’s Whitworth gallery: a special place for families

National Maritime Museum, Greenwich – Creating a family-friendly venue, guided by local families

Norwich Theatre’s journey towards being age-friendly across venues


Age-Friendly Case Studies

As part of the consultation process to develop the Age-Friendly Standards, the Family Arts Campaign spoke to a number of arts and cultural organisations across the UK about their age-friendly work. Please find below a selection of case studies from some of these organisations who are working with older audiences in different ways.

We’re always keen to share examples of good practice so if you have a case study that you’d like to submit, please email clair@thealbany.org.uk

Three Choirs Festival
The Lightbox Art In Mind
Chichester Festival Theatre Back to School
Leeds Museums & Art Galleries Looking Back
Leeds Museums & Art Galleries Peer Support Cultural Partnership

Young at HeArt – Ideas Test
1152 Club, Leeds Museums & Galleries
Ageing, Objects & Wellbeing – Oldham Coliseum Theatre
Reading Down Memory Lane – Telford & Wrekin Libraries
ArtsinMind, Warwick
‘Dunkirk Goose’ – St George’s Bristol
‘Finding the Words’ – Anvil Arts
‘Ordinary to ExtraOrdinary’ – Haslemere Museum
55+ engagement, Theatre Royal & Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham
Artifacts & arts activities, elders with mental health needs – Wolverhampton Arts & Heritage

To find out more about the Age-Friendly Standards click here.


Z-arts: Developing Family Audiences (2017)


Family Arts Campaign Evaluation Case Studies (2015)

As part of the evaluation process the Family Arts Campaign worked with evaluators Catherine Rose’s Office, along with participating organisations, to produce this set of case studies. The case studies cover all areas of the Campaign including how the organisations have benefited from participating in the Family Arts Festival, using the Family Arts Standards and working collaboratively as part of a local Family Arts Network.

Architecture Centre
Arts Connection
Bristol Choral Society
The Drum

Halle Education

London Symphony Orchestra

Telford Family Arts Network

The Woodville

Family Arts Standards Case Studies (2013-14)

The Family Arts Campaign and the Family & Childcare Trust have developed the Family Arts
Standards to address a need for guidance on how best to welcome families to arts organisations.
The case studies and tips sheets below form a series that supports the Family Arts Standards and accompanying guidance for arts organisations.

To find out more about the Family Arts Standards and how to implement them click here.

Theatre by the Lake Programming for Families
Restaurant and Refreshments Tips
Developing Family Friendly Productions with Touring Companies
Delivering Sessions for the Under 5’s
Introducing classical music to families
Family Dance Workshops – English National Ballet
Family Programming – Lyric Hammersmith

The Family Album (2015)

A short look at family friendly concert series The Family Album. > Read here

Developing Family Audiences (updated 2010)

In 2003/4, Audiences London co-ordinated a project on behalf of 11 West London-based organisations. The initiative involved all partners in developing family-oriented approaches to their work and organisational culture, in an extensive qualitative research and in a joint promotion. A second project in 2007/8 built on this work to develop insight and services for organisations aiming to be ‘family friendly’. > Read more

Family Friendly Lancashire (2003)

Arts About Manchester used its experience in attracting families to arts events in a new partnership with a rural tourism consortium, Lancashire’s Hill Country. The project aimed to draw a new family audience to a range of events provided by consortium members, and test whether the Family Friendly approach developed in Manchester still reaped benefits outside the city. > Read more

Theatre for Families (2003)

Arts consultants helped seven theatres in South-East England become more family-friendly. There was training for the venue’s staff, arts development officers and artists as well as promotion work including a website for families to plan their visits and a press campaign linked to an award scheme. The project also set up a venues’ and promoters’ network. > Read more

Family Friendly Oxford (2003)

Arts organisations in Oxford worked together to develop their family friendly profile. Their aim was to engage more young people in the arts through a programme of existing and new activity. Joint promotion and marketing campaigns targeted under 12s and their families who had little or no previous involvement in the arts to increase their attendance and participation. > Read more

Family Friendly Music Initiative (2003)

Building on the strong local community music infrastructure, Blackfriars Arts Centre (in Boston, Lincolnshire) tested marketing strategies to attract families to a range of music events. The project looked at experimental marketing approaches to the existing planned programme across the county and at maximising partnership working between the local authority and other organisations. > Read more

Developing Family Friendly Music Days (2002)

Eastern Orchestral Board (EOB) commissioned qualitative research with families to explore their attitudes towards orchestral music and events. Families interested in participating, but not regular concert attenders were targeted. The project aimed to address the contrast between high attendance by families in participatory music workshops compared with the small family audiences at concerts. > Read more

Weekend Parents (2002)

Parents in divorced and separated families who only see their children at weekends took part in ceramics workshops organised by the Babylon Gallery, Ely. The project aimed to involve parents and children in a creative activity that they could share in a comfortable, safe environment. The project coincided with an exhibition of ceramics at the gallery. > Read more

Creating a Splash (2002)

‘Creating a Splash’ targeted families who used local authority leisure facilities but did not make use of arts resources. The project offered possibilities for creative interaction between parents and their children involving artist residencies in literature, sound and photography. It also investigated specific outcomes relevant to extending the usage of the local authorities’ Leisure Card Schemes. > Read more

Barbican Beacon Programme (2001)

The Barbican Beacon Programme aimed to develop new ways of communicating with families in the Barbican Centre’s neighbouring inner city boroughs. Through research, the creation of a communication strategy and a toolkit of materials, the Barbican was given the chance to build long-term sustainable relationships with family attenders. > Read more

Classic Families (2001)

The main aim of ‘Classic Families’ was to encourage concert-going among people who admit to an interest in classical music but have never attended a concert. Families received free tickets to a carefully selected concert and a project pack designed to familiarise them with the orchestra and the music. > Read more

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