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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Back To Articles Summer Staycation – Manchester Museum in Quarantine

Manchester Museum is delighted to be one of 5 UK venues shortlisted for this year’s Fantastic for Families Audience Impact Award.

With a spectacular collection of over 4.5 million objects, from Stan the Tyrannosaurus Rex to the Vivarium, Live Animals gallery where you can see live reptiles and frogs as they would be in their natural habitat, there’s something for everyone in the family to explore and discover at Manchester Museum. Over four floors, the museum has displays and exhibitions, featuring collections from all over the world as well as a year round programme of free family friendly events and activities, from arts and crafts, to performances, storytelling and music, working with skilled creative artists and practitioners and partners.

‘We’ve been here ages, we’ve loved it, it’s been brilliant. People here (activity facilitators) have been so knowledgeable!’ Theo’s Grandma aged 67

We’re delighted to have been nominated for the Audience Impact Award in recognition of work towards hello future, our exciting £13.5 million project that will transform the museum, to be more inclusive, caring and relevant to the diverse communities we serve.  From 2019 the museum has been partially open, and this has been an opportunity to try new ways of working. We have continued to offer family tours, our core family programme of drop-in holiday and weekend activities, and our autism friendly ‘See, Make and Do’ programme, and we have also been testing out new ideas. These include Family Late Openings, Calm evenings, and bespoke intergenerational events for home educating families.

We’ve piloted extensive new initiatives, from hosting our first Iftar and Diwali events, to increasing the range of language tours available, and embedding multilingual interpretation in our Beauty and the Beasts exhibition. We’ve become England’s first Museum of Sanctuary, acknowledging commitment to our ongoing work with refugees and asylum seekers. And with healthcare professionals we’ve launched MusoBaby for parents at risk of post-natal depression and their newborns.

We’ve embraced being partially open and used this opportunity to take some of the amazing collections out beyond the walls of the museum. Taking outreach to a whole new level, we’ve popped up at 10 local festivals, community libraries and we stopped people in their tracks when Maharajah (our elephant skeleton) popped up in Piccadilly train station last summer, sparking awe and wonder with the passing commuters and travellers.

‘Whoever’s idea this was, it’s brilliant, just brilliant! What struck me is how many people are looking at, and stopping by to look’ Liz

During Lockdown we have created a new mobile website Manchester Museum in Quarantine where you’ll find a wealth of online resources and activities, all in one place.  From downloadable resources – for families, home educators, carers, adults, researchers and groups to virtual exhibitions and online events which, in case you miss them, are all archived and available for you to view whenever you like.

Watch our Fairytale Frogs with Kasia Majewski

We are regularly adding to the site, developing new digital content in response to suggestions and opportunities as they arise.

Current and forthcoming events to look out for include our summer Staycation programme, packed with activities and ideas for families and coming soon, we will be hosting a range of Manchester Pride activities.  Also look out for Made to Measure, our tailor made digital events for groups.  These events are designed specifically to meet the interests and needs of the participants, and are open to home educating families and 3rd sector organisations including charities and care homes, amongst others.

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