The Sunderland Family Arts Network 

Sunderland Family Arts Network was set up in 2013. We come together as a network to champion art, culture and heritage for families in their communities.  

Sunderland is a North Eastern coastal city, with a deep-rooted industrial heritage and filled with creative buzz. 

We work together collaboratively to reach new family audiences and make our work more inclusive and accessible.

Bridges across the Wear in Sunderland, lit up in the evening


Our Network is made up a wide range of cultural and heritage organisations, charities, health and wellbeing organisations and artists. This breadth of expertise makes our network a great source of knowledge of family activity across Sunderland. All of our members are committed to developing the highest quality arts offer for families of all backgrounds.


We are a supportive network collaborating on city-wide events and projects. The network membership is broad and allows organisations to develop new partnerships and working relationships with each other. We are developing our skill-sharing and mentoring support as we have so much expertise in the network so we are exploring how we can best utilise that.

Shared training opportunities

As a network we set our priorities of where we would like to develop and learn together. At the moment we are looking at how inclusive the network is and how we can share training opportunities to be more inclusive for our families breaking down barriers to engagement.


Working together we have found amazing partnerships and unexpected projects. We are developing partnerships with social prescribing and health and wellbeing organisations. The network is represented in local LCEP, VCS and PCN networks. We aim to understand how we can reach new families and support them to engage in exciting and accessible family arts activity.


Rachel Hamer is the Family Arts Ambassador for Sunderland and is based at Sunderland Culture.

The Sunderland Network is part of the Family Arts Network Ambassador Programme. Find out more about the Ambassadors and the Programme.

Organisations in the Sunderland network:

Would your organisation like to join this Network?

Get in touch with Anna on to find out more information

Image credits:
Header – Fire Station Auditorium, Photography by David Allen