Family Arts Campaign receives major new funding from Esmée Fairbairn Foundation for new Network Ambassador programme

£150,000 from Esmée Fairbairn Foundation will enable the Family Arts Campaign to create positive arts and culture experiences for families

Family Arts Campaign expands its remit today, with funding from Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.

The grant of £150,000 will have a national impact across six regions with the launch of an Ambassador Network programme. As a result, six Ambassador posts have been created across Family Arts Campaign Networks in Bristol (with Children’s Scrapstore), Cumbria (with Kirkgate Arts), North-East England (with Seven Stories/Family Explorers), Sunderland (with Sunderland Empire Theatre), Derby (with Derby Quad) and Manchester (with Z-Arts).

Each Ambassador will support both arts and non-arts organisations to work with more families and more diverse families; encouraging greater participation in arts and culture activities. A particular area of focus are those families who rarely visit their local arts and culture venues.

Anna Dever, Head of the Family Arts Campaign, said “When we talked to our nationwide member organisations, it became clear that they needed support to reach wider family audiences. We see a significant opportunity to create an increased impact in areas of low cultural engagement across England – our new Ambassador Network will do just that. We know that participating in arts and culture is not only essential for development and learning – it’s also fantastic for health and wellbeing. Families who learn, create and have fun together create stronger bonds. We hope this new initiative will mean families, from 1-year olds to 80-year olds can enjoy culture together.

The project, which will run over three years, hopes to see more families not only participating in cultural experiences but reporting the positive effects of doing so.

Ambassadors will work with the central team at the Family Arts Campaign to build upon community relationships in their Networks and further encourage family engagement. In addition, the regional Ambassadors will work together nationally to share best practice for dissemination through the Family Arts Campaign national learning programme and resources.

Following a national consultation in 2018, the Family Arts Campaign Network groups demonstrated a desire to work with more families, particularly those from a wider socio-economic spectrum, and support the learning of their peer organisations. The Ambassador programme was devised as a result of the outcomes of this consultation, particularly to support Networks with additional capacity, help build partnerships, income streams, marketing and communications support.

Networks reported that they lacked the infrastructure, strategy and crucially, capacity for working together to effectively engage and sustain wider family audiences and drive activity forward. There is a significant opportunity to create increased impact in areas of low cultural engagement across England through partnerships, reaching more families through sharing outreach costs and resources.

Ambassadors will act as a conduit to feedback learning and best practice for dissemination through the Family Arts Campaign national learning programme and resources.

The Campaign continues to support regional Networks in their work, encouraging organisations to work together, build stronger partnerships and strategies to establish new ways of working and develop and share family audiences. Broader learning from this new model will inform existing and inspire new Family Arts Networks to adopt new ways of working that will enrich and grow family engagement in arts and culture.

Find out more about the ambassadors

12 November 2019