What are the Family Arts Standards?

The Standards are a good practice charter for welcoming families. They consist of a set of 12 guidelines accompanied by a family friendly badge or quality mark, enabling an organisation to highlight that it recognises the importance of its family audience. They are both a learning tool and a marketing tool: they give guidance on how best to welcome families to arts organisations and help families looking for arts activities to participate in together.

A child is speaking into a microphone at a concertini performance. An adult is standing beside the child, looking encouraging.

Who are they for?

The Family Arts Standards are for any organisation that wishes to engage families in arts activities. This includes arts organisations, producers, museums, libraries, and heritage centres. The standards are equally applicable to venues and non-venue based organisation.

The Standards benefit individuals working in different roles, with guidance on:

  • Programming and promotion
  • Consultation with families
  • Staff training
  • Facilities – for venues
  • PLUS Additional guidance for non-venue based organisations

Why create the Standards?

In 2012, the Family Arts Campaign carried out extensive research with both families and arts organisations over a range of issues. One of the key outcomes was that both families and the sector wanted a clear set of guidelines: this would ensure that families could be certain that their needs were being met, and that both venues and non-venue based organisations would know what families required.

  • 1 in 7 families said venues were unwelcoming to families
  • 68% of families say that the “family welcome” is essential or very important
  • Only 3.5% of families said there was “sufficient high quality work available”
  • 8 out of 10 families said there was a need for a nationally recognised “family friendly” logo

As a result of this research, Family Arts Campaign set up the Family Arts Standards with the Family & Childcare Trust to address a need for clear guidance on how best to welcome families to arts and cultural organisations.

How do audiences know about the Standards?

Audiences are becoming increasingly familiar with the Fantastic For Families logo through use by Family Arts Standards holding organisations across the UK. We also promote the Family Arts Standards to families through our Fantastic for Families channels.

How do I learn more about being Family Friendly?

You can improve and enhance your knowledge through our online toolkits and learning resources. You’ll find case studies, guides and research to help you in our resource library.

My organisation isn’t a venue, can I sign up?

Yes. We’ve worked hard to make the Family Arts Standards as wide-reaching as possible, and applicable to both venues and non-venue based organisations. For non-venue organisations wanting to check if they meet the Standards, please refer to the appropriate section in the Standards Guidance Document.

How do I know whether my organisation meets the Standards?

You can read the Family Arts Standards here.

If you need further guidance, you can download the ‘Guidance for Organisations’ document. It includes:

  • Tailored guidance for venue and non-venue organisations
  • Checklists to help you judge if you are meeting the Standards
  • Guidance on how you can further improve on what you offer for families
  • How to advertise that you are signed up to the Standards

If there is a particular area that you are unsure about, or if you would like support in anyway, please contact us.

What’s in it for an organisation?

Free marketing tool

The Family Arts Standards are a benchmark that will be recognisable to families when looking for things to do as a family. Using the Family Arts Standards branding can be a simple and effective way to highlight that you are an organisation that recognises the importance of your family audience. You can use the Family Arts Standards logo in your brochure and on your website to communicate this.

Standards holders can also use the Fantastic for Families logo to mark particular events. It can be used on any event which is appropriate for families to attend – so this doesn’t just have to be family-specific work, but work that might attract a family audience generally.

Learning tool

The Standards will enable you to highlight that you are an organisation that recognises the importance of your family audience, and that you wish to continue to develop and maintain a great welcome to families. Many organisations are using the Standards to benchmark their own family friendly offer and to improve upon it.

“We are looking closely at the Standards and how we will improve our family offer post our major refurbishment. It has started conversations about cross-departmental working and how as an organisation we need to prioritise family working” Royal Liverpool Philharmonic

How to Sign Up

  • First, read the Family Arts Standards in full to determine if you are ready to commit to the Standards
  • When you’re ready, ask your Chief Executive or Head of Department to email confirmation to Anna Dever, Executive Director of Family Arts Campaign on anna.dever@thealbany.org.uk
    (If you are a small organisation and don’t have a head of department, don’t worry you can still sign up! Just email us to let us know more about your company/venue)
  • In your email to Anna, please include a main contact for this activity within your organisation and your organisation’s full address and postcode
  • You will then receive an email confirming your registration along with the logo and brand guidelines

Image credits:
Header Image – Oily Cart
First Image – Concertini, Bentley Dawkes

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