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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Lou Taylor – Reaching families in need with creative resource packs

Like sector colleagues across the UK, Lou and the Bristol Network have experienced challenges and opportunities that arose from the Covid-19 pandemic.

As the pandemic’s impact took effect, Lou spoke with her Network colleagues to find out more about their existing activity, gaining insights into how member organisations engaged audiences during Covid-19. These insights helped Lou to build a picture of the importance of family audiences to arts organisations.

During the pandemic, the Bristol Network have been exploring new formats for family arts engagement, such as live online workshops, socially-distanced in-person activities, and blended online/offline approaches.

One such offline approach was led by Children’s Scrapstore. Thousands of family resource packs were distributed to the least culturally-engaged families in Bristol through community organisations. These packs included printed versions of online resources to prevent exclusion due to digital poverty. Providing resource packs has not only engaged more underserved families, but has also strengthened relationships with organisations, and built the Network’s reputation and connections in Bristol and beyond 

Woman smiles whilst holding a paper crafted coloured container

Lou and her colleague Kirsty Wilson shared their learnings with the sector by taking part in an FAC webinar focussing on reaching families in need with creative packs and resources, and a blog sharing their top tips for creating and distributing packs.

The Covid-19 crisis encouraged organisations in Bristol to increase their collaboration with one another and share ideas and best practice, including within and across different sectors. Member organisations have also forged relationships with local community organisations. An increased interest in collaboration and new approaches to remote engagement have also meant that Lou has worked with organisations beyond Bristol, such as in Torbay and Gloucester.  

Throughout the pandemic, Lou and her Bristol Network colleagues have responded to the unique circumstances of their area, adapting their work to support families, and the organisations that serve them, during these challenging times.

 

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