The arts are Fantastic for Families, and we want to make sure everybody knows it!

This year, we are working alongside the Family Arts Campaign on their new initiative, Fantastic for Families. Designed to spread the word far and wide, that the UK’s arts and culture offer is broad, varied and accessible for families of all shapes and sizes.

We caught up with Jenny Daly, Head of the Family Arts Campaign, on what drives her passion for their work and why the Campaign chose to work with CRYSTLSD.

Jenny has been working on the Family Arts Campaign for the past two and a half years, but her background has always been firmly rooted in arts, culture and education. Jenny is a strong believer in the importance of access to the arts for everyone, “arts and culture have the potential to be transformative for everyone and so should be open and accessible to all. We’re very aware that there are barriers to arts access, which many encounter from an early age and the Campaign strives to overcome these from the ground-up. Ultimately, the ambition is that everyone, child or adult feels comfortable and welcome in cultural settings, from museums to galleries, theatres, libraries, festivals and everything in-between!

circus.jpg

Formed collaboratively between a consortium of ten cultural partner organisations in 2011, the Family Arts Campaign will become one of Arts Council England’s Sector Support Organisations in April 2018. “The Campaign has always been and still is a very collaborative project, with visual arts, museums, dance, theatre – the whole sector. Our  ethos is all about collaboration – we are more effective together, we can achieve more and affect change much more quickly.”

Arts and culture have the potential to be transformative for everyone and so should be open and accessible to all...
— Jenny Daly, Head of Family Arts Campaign

Jenny is keen to point out the inter-generational-inclusivity of the FAC, “we champion and encourage organisations to focus on bringing families together, rather than children or young people accessing events alone. We are seeing more and more activities that are working to meet the Family Arts Standards and Age-Friendly Standards – which are kite marks for cultural organisations aiming to be welcoming for older family members.”

“Arts and culture organisations are always trying to reach the Holy Grail of ‘young audiences,’” comments CRYSTLSD founder and project lead Laura Rothwell, “what’s unique, and therefore compelling, about the Family Arts Campaign is their cross-generational commitment. Families discovering the arts together, connecting creatively with activities that allow for an individual and collective experience is where the Family Arts Campaign can have the most impact.”.

And, for Jenny and the Family Arts Campaign, the positive impacts are wide-ranging, Through the arts, families can:

  • experience new things together  
  • express themselves together, creatively
  • engage with a shared cultural heritage and with the diversity of the wider society
  • cement existing relationships and forge new ones
  • build confidence
  • improve health and wellbeing
Grandparents4.jpg

When it came to deciding who they would choose to work with on their next chapter, the Fantastic For Families campaign, Jenny said that the Campaign felt that CRYSTLSD understood the nature of the organisation and the work they had done to date. “We previously ran an annual festival, which helped us to build up a lot of experience and to engage with families. CRYSTLSD understood our track record and the wider position of our campaign within the sector and publicly.”

What really made CRYSTLSD stand out, however, was digital; “we have been noticing shifts in the way families engage with culture and how they discover events, now more than ever families are discovering arts, culture and new events through digital and social media. For us, the digital side of this campaign was very important and we found what CRYSTLSD is doing digitally as an organisation and with their other clients exciting.”

The Family Arts Campaign and Fantastic for Families are curating a series of family-friendly Circus-themed events this Easter, so keep your eye out for events across the country.