More than 200 venues across the UK, including many London theatres, will join together to host hundreds of events this autumn as part of the first ever Family Arts Festival.
Aiming to introduce families to the wealth of stellar entertainment and culture on offer, the Family Arts Festival will take place from 18 October to 3 November and present a programme of music, theatre, dance, circus and visual arts for family audiences.
More than 30 venues in London have confirmed they will be taking part in the festival, including Shakespeare’s Globe, Sadler’s Wells, the Barbican, Hackney Empire, the Lyric Hammersmith, Polka theatre, Kingston’s Rose theatre and the Unicorn.
With 400 events already confirmed and an estimated 1,000 expected in total by the time the festival begins this autumn, families will be spoilt for choice with a wide variety of activities and performances on offer.
At Shakespeare’s Globe, families can choose to experience a new promenade performance called Muse Of Fire, while the Barbican will throw its doors open to inquisitive minds who will be given the opportunity to discover the famous venue’s secrets through cryptic clue solving and a games adventure trail.
Classical music fans can introduce young people to the art form at the Royal Festival Hall when the London Philharmonic Orchestra and CBeebies’ Chris Jarvis will present Britten’s The Young Person’s Guide To The Orchestra or attend an open rehearsal with the London Symphony Orchestra. If dance is more your family’s thing, Gobbledegook in association with MOKO Dance will stage its interactive show about a girl who bravely ventures into a mysterious wood, In A Deep Dark Wood, at Sadler’s Wells. Or, for something totally different, Ambassador Theatre Group is set to hold singing workshops at theatres across London’s West End.
Speaking about the festival, which comes as a result of extensive research untaken by the Family Arts Campaign, which has been devised in consultation with more than 1,000 arts professionals and 2,000 families, the initiative’s Director David Brownlee said: “When we asked arts organisations to put on events that would be attractive to family members of all ages, we also stressed the need to look again at how welcoming they are to families. I’m thrilled that our partners have responded with such a fantastic programme and we are now working with a range of performing and visual arts organisations from up and down the land to set new standards in putting families at the centre of our work.”
Made possible by a major Lottery grant from Arts Council England, the organisation’s Chief Executive Alan Davey commented: “The arts offer a space for people of all ages to spend time together, to have fun, to learn new things about each other as well as the world around them, and to build a stronger sense of community. This is why our investment in the Family Arts Campaign is so important in not only encouraging families to access the vast array of exciting arts events that take place up and down the country, but also to help arts organisations improve and build upon their offer to families.”
Information on all the events confirmed to take part in the festival is now available to search on the initiative’s new website www.familyartsfestival.com
"The arts offer a space for people of all ages to spend time together, to have fun, to learn new things about each other as well as the world around them."