The Family Arts Festival 2014 launches

The national 2014 FAMILY ARTS FESTIVAL brings the arts alive for families, 17 October - 2 November

Bestselling author and former Children’s Laureate Michael Morpurgo announced as Patron for 2014 Family Arts Festival

Over 2000 events from 500 organisations across the UK

Events cover theatre, art, music, dance, literature, film, circus and more - visit to search for exciting activity in your area

Following on from the huge success of the 2013 national Family Arts Festival in which over 500,000 people took part across the UK, the 2014 Family Arts Festival will run its second year from 17 October to 2 November with Michael Morpurgo announced as patron and Center Parcs as a major new partner.

2014 brings an incredible variety of quality family arts events, many of them free, from a world premiere WW1-themed concert and dads dancing in Battersea; to a Halloween Spooktacular in Cardiff and drawing with natural dyes at a Big Draw event in Walthamstow amongst many others.

Former Children’s Laureate and bestselling author of War Horse Michael Morpurgo comments:

“I am delighted to be Patron of the 2014 Family Arts Festival. The enormous range of events presented across the UK means there will be something to delight, and share with, all members of the family across the generations.

“Many of my books have become plays, opera and ballet and so I have been able to see first- hand how live, cultural experiences can transform, transport and delight; opening up the imagination to a lifelong interest in the arts.

“I encourage families to make a day - or a week - of exploring the fun, interesting and entertaining events in your area this autumn half term.”

The Family Arts Festival 2014 (17 October – 2 November) will run across the UK around the autumn half-term holiday and will include over 2,000 events from 500 organisations. A huge variety of high quality arts events will be available to families of all ages, including circus, dance, literature, music, theatre and visual arts. Event listings are now live on where families can search for events in their area and by genre, age-range and interest. New events are uploaded daily.

A major partnership for the 2014 Family Arts Festival is planned with family short break holiday provider Center Parcs, who operate five holiday villages in forest environments around the UK. More details of the partnership will be provided in the coming weeks.

An exciting variety of innovative and interactive events for all the family have already been confirmed, including a WW1-themed performance from the London Symphony Orchestra’s world-leading education and community programme, a dance display on a Metrolink tram in Manchester, a rare view into the world of our best loved fairy-tales with footage and illustrations from Snow White, Cinderella and Shrek, a performance by the international puppeteers “florschütz & döhnert” into the secret world of the white rabbit at The Barbican and many more. More details are listed in Notes for Editors.

Kathryn McDowell CBE, Family Arts Campaign Chair and Managing Director of the London Symphony Orchestra, said: “Building on last year’s success we are delighted to present an even more varied and diverse programme at the second Family Arts Festival. We hope to engage families across the UK with the wealth of high quality arts programming which truly offers something for everyone. From music and dance, to painting and theatre, the wide range of arts events on offer through the Festival is designed to welcome and inspire family groups of all ages and backgrounds.”

Alan Davey, Chief Executive, Arts Council England, said: “After last year’s fantastic response to The Family Art Festival, the Arts Council are delighted to be supporting another fabulous and engaging programme for 2014. It is initiatives such as these that help create connections between communities up and down the country in highly varied ways, inspiring families and young people, but also encouraging arts organisations to develop their offer to families.”

Nick Capaldi, Chief Executive, Arts Council of Wales said: “The Family Arts Campaign provides a welcome focus on the many exciting opportunities that the arts in Wales has to offer families and young people. Encouraging people of all ages to enjoy and take part in the arts is a fundamental part of our work. And whether you’re a member of the audience or the organisation presenting the event, bigger audiences for excellent events benefits us all. So we’re delighted to support a festival that brings together a programme of events that are not only fun for the whole family, but which introduce them to innovative, inspiring and engaging arts.”

Colin Whaley, Sales and Marketing Director of Center Parcs said: “We are delighted to support the Family Arts Festival. We share common philosophies of providing varied opportunities for families to have fun together, spend more time together and discover new experiences together, so this partnership makes a lot of sense for us. We look forward to building our partnership with the Family Arts Festival”.


David Brownlee, Family Arts Campaign Director and Executive Director of UK Theatre, said: “So far the Campaign has done a great job in helping arts organisations focus on the practical needs of families and we are delighted to see so many organisations signing up to the Family Arts Standards. I hope that the quality and diversity of the artistic offer in this year’s Festival will inspire organisations to devise more innovative and creative programming for adults and children to enjoy together throughout the year.”

The festival was launched in 2013 as part of the Family Arts Campaign, an initiative of six national arts membership bodies and supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England; in 2014 the Family Arts Campaign and Festival are being supported in Wales through additional funding from Arts Council Wales. The Family Arts Festival 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.

Last year, 928 arts organisations across the UK took part in the Festival and achieved audience figures well in excess of 500,000 across the two weeks of activities, with arts organisations reporting increased interest and on-going attendance by families.

The Family Arts Festival is partnering for a second year running with The Big Draw, which offers thousands of drawing activities connecting people of all ages with museums, outdoor spaces, artists, designers, illustrators and each other. The Big Draw is an initiative of The Campaign for Drawing. Primary Times Magazine this year has become the Festival’s media associate and will be offering information about the festival in their October issue and on their website. The Festival’s digital partner this year will be Netmums, the UK’s fastest- growing online parenting organisation, with a family of local sites that cover the UK.

Final details and the full programme of the 2014 Family Arts Festival will be available by early September on the website ( This year’s campaign is supported by a widespread national and regional media campaign, targeting press, tv and radio both nationally and regionally.


 For more information contact:
Philippa Perry Associates

Email:  Tel: 07774 264826

Email:  Tel: 07796571569.


Jo Allan PR

Email:  Tel: 020 7520 9392.


Selected press images can be downloaded here