The 2016 Get Creative Family Arts Festival has drawn to a close with Family Activities Flourishing In Participating Organisations

Nominations and voting now open for Family Arts Awards

This year’s edition of the Family Arts Festival saw its relationship with organisations produce remarkable results, showing an increase in family events from those taking part. Growing in artistic output through all four years of Family Arts Festival, theatres, concert halls, dance companies and creative groups, have been gradually enabled to include more events for families in their programming, with this year showing an average 18% increase in family events per participating organisation. This year’s Festival also featured 250 newly created events designed especially for the festival.

Award winning storyteller and performer Danyah Miller presented an enchanting version of Michael Morpurgo’s “Why The Whales Came”, while Dance Umbrella showcased the unorthodox, acrobatic work of choreographer Erik Kaiel, as well as Dream City, an exhilarating music and dance show.

Other highlights included the Chitty-Chitty Bang Bang musical, whose cast got onto the spirit with a “googly-eye” photo-call, “Bear Hunt, Chocolate Cake and Bad Things”, an immersive exhibition inspired by former Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen’s books, and a special series of “mini-poems” by Family Arts Festival poets and storytellers, showcased via social media on National Poetry Day.

Approximately 1.7 million people have attended previous Festivals, with many more joining them at the 3784 events in 2016, organized by the 734 participating organisations, such as Southbank Centre, Wigmore Hall, National Portrait Gallery, HOME, Opera North, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Battersea Arts Centre, Dance Umbrella, Black Theatre Live, Nottingham Playhouse, Victoria Art Gallery, Artes Mundi, Z-Arts, Royal & Derngate and St David’s Hall.

Organisations will be able to nominate themselves for the national Family Arts Awards until the end of November in five categories: Best Family Event, Best Family Venue and Best Family Welcome, in addition to two new categories of Best Event for Older People & Families, and Best Family Friendly Workplace. To apply go to: Family Arts Awards Application-2016.

Audience members are encouraged to give the events they attended a star rating at Family Arts Festival Rate in return for the chance to win £200 theatre tokens, an iPad Mini, sets of books by David Walliams and Michael Morpurgo. The events with the most votes will be eligible for the Audience Choice Awards for Best Family Event, Best Family Venue and Best Family Welcome.

Early Bird tickets are now available for the 2017 Family Arts Conference, on Wednesday 15 March at St George’s Bristol. Chief Executive of Arts Council England, Darren Henley will welcome delegates to learn and share best practice at this major cross-artform event exploring age, diversity and inclusion in family arts.



  1. The 2016 Family Arts Festival (1-31 October) aims to increase the amount and range of high-quality arts available across the country to families, and was established to foster a lifelong interest and passion for the arts. The Festival encompasses all of the visual and performing arts, and takes place during October including the half-term holiday.
  2. The Family Arts Campaign aims to support organisations in providing high quality activities for families and in growing and broadening the number of families taking part in the arts. It has been devised in consultation with over 1,000 professionals and 2,000 families. It is an initiative of The Albany, Association of British Orchestras, UK Theatre, Society of London Theatre, Independent Theatre Council, One Dance UK, Contemporary Visual Arts Network, The Audience Agency, Voluntary Arts and Family, Arts Marketing Association and Childcare Trust. It is supported using funding through Arts Council England and activity in Wales is supported by Arts Council Wales. Visit Family Arts Festival for more information.
  3. Get Creative is a campaign led by the BBC and What Next? in partnership with a huge range of arts, cultural and voluntary organisations across the UK. Launched in February 2015, the campaign promotes a range of opportunities to get inspired to do, share and talk about the arts.
  4. Arts Council England champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2015 and 2018, we plan to invest £1.1 billion of public money from government and an estimated £700 million from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.
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