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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Free creative family activities with Midlands Arts Centre

Midlands Arts Centre has made this year’s shortlist for our Audience Impact Award. Here they tell us how you can get involved in their fun creative activities for families, wherever you’re based.

Midlands Arts Centre (MAC) is delighted to be shortlisted for the Audience Impact Award at this year’s Fantastic for Families Awards.

Having opened our doors in 1962, MAC is proud to provide creative experiences for our community and transformational experiences for audiences of all ages in the Midlands and beyond.

Through the generosity of our amazing audiences and partners and our Every Child campaign, we have been able to gift free tickets to performances for over 1700 families that otherwise may never have had the opportunity to experience live events. At MAC, we believe every child, no matter their circumstances, deserves to enjoy the magic of theatre and the arts.

Our Learning and Participation programme welcomed over 200,000 children and young people last year to unleash their creativity through making, seeing and doing activities. MAC’s usual programme holds something for everyone – whether you’re interested in crating, ceramics, painting, drawing, digital or music. From our Girls that Geek event that introduced young women to the art and tech industry, to family visual arts courses, as a centre we thrive on offering a diverse range of creative opportunities.

As part of our community outreach programme, MAC Makes Music provides children and young people with additional needs and/or limited access to music-making opportunities with inclusive activities, workshops and musical sessions.

MAC Makes Music advocates for equality in music education and across the industry, aiming to improve children and young people’s self-esteem and wellbeing, and develop their creative and communication skills. We have partnered and collaborated with amazing organisations across the country to celebrate inclusion and challenge expectations around disability, the music industry and the music education sector.

This year, MAC Makes Music became the lead partner organisation for the new Birmingham National Open Youth Orchestra (NOYO); the world’s first disabled-led national youth orchestra for young people. Applications for aspiring young musicians are now open.

During lockdown, we have found ways to digitally connect with carers at home. For those that may not have access to a computer or tablet, we are developing music-making kits for families in the local area so they can keep creating from home until we reopen and these will be available in the coming months.

Although Covid-19 has forced us to temporarily halt our live programme of learning, special events, music education and performance, MAC fully intends to continue to help families in our community experience the joy of art and creativity once we re-open in 2021, and continue to use our online platform to reach people at home during the pandemic.

Free lockdown activities and creative challenges for families

Whilst MAC remains temporarily closed to the public, we’ve put together ways for families to stay connected and keep creating from home. You can visit our blog page to find free downloadable art-making packs, creative challenges, a virtual 3D exhibition tour, plus lots more.

Keep making music at home and join in with our free musical activities for everyone, made by MAC Makes Music.

Head on a virtual trip as a family this summer, with our MAC Makes Music Around the World series! Discover how communities make music in different continents, and have fun learning how to create beats, sounds and lyrics from our professional music leaders.

If you’re looking for activities for primary school children, check out our free printable activities and sing-along videos – learn how to create your very own rainbow shaker from materials around the home, and how to use things in the house to make DIY instruments!

Our Lock-down Lyric Challenge shows the whole family tips and techniques for writing and singing your own songs, or you could get involved with our free online singing sessions.

Take a look at our free resources, activities, downloadable worksheets and fun videos for inspiration on how to make music at home as a family.

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