National 2014 FAMILY ARTS FESTIVAL to Feature WWI Concert, Dads Dancing, Big Draw and More, Oct 17-Nov 2

National 2014 FAMILY ARTS FESTIVAL to Feature WWI Concert, Dads Dancing, Big Draw and More, Oct 17-Nov 2

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 during 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.

Family Arts Festival dates: 17 October to 2 November 2014.

A snapshot of events in the 2014 Family Arts Festival:

The Big Contemporary Art Family Picnic; Arnolfini, Bristol. 25 October

A giant drop-in celebration and family picnic to be held at Arnolfini, transforming the gallery into a fantastical and imaginative world designed by families. The day will include exciting workshops with local artists, competitions, Big Draw activities and the opportunity for families to bring their lunch to join in with a huge family picnic. This event is being programmed in collaboration with Architecture Centre and Bristol Children's Scrapstore.

Psst! Secrets of a White Rabbit; Barbican Centre, London. 28 October - 4 November

There's a rabbit on the loose! He can climb stairs, balance on a tightrope and even take to the skies. Fall under the spell of a little creature conjured out of tissue paper by a duo of gentle clowns, in this show created for children aged 2 and above and their families.

Family Day: Drawing with Indigo; William Morris Gallery, Walthamstow. 25 October

A demonstration of the versatility of textiles with an afternoon of hands-on drawing activities. Textile artist Lucille Junkere will be showing us how to draw with stitch and ink, inspired by her recent People series. Lucille is the William Morris Gallery's Artist in residence 2014 and will be investigating Morris's love of the colour indigo and his experiments with natural dyes.

Celebrating Gillian Wearing's new sculpture of 'A Real Birmingham Family'; IKON Gallery. 25 October

Join artists Clayground Collective to make your own mealtime setting in clay to place before the Family, in and around the Library of Birmingham and Centenary Square. Settings will be decorated with clay dug from the Saltwells "marl hole" or clay pit, historic source of clay for fine china producer Doulton. Brought from Saltwells to Birmingham as part of Ikon's Black Country Voyages this forms part of Clayground's Clay Cargo 2013-2015 renewing historic links between ceramics and the canal system in London, Birmingham and Stoke-on-Trent.

Salford & Trafford Family Arts Network's Big Family Play Date; 25 October - 1 November

Each partner will produce a pop up version of their own venue or artistic event in a contrasting venue: e.g. a Lowry exhibition or workshop in the Trafford Centre, a dance display on a Metrolink tram, a SEA LIFE Manchester activity in Manchester United Museum. Each venue will invite their existing audience to visit and try something different, incentivising them to make a second visit somewhere else.

Dad Dancing; Battersea Arts Centre, London. 29 October - 15 November

A poignant contemporary dance project exploring relationships between fathers and their children, performed by three father-daughter pairs and a community cast. The work will be made through residencies and community workshops in London and Woking, involving community participants in the development and final performance.

Seven Stories' "Moving Stories"; Newcastle. 25 - 26 October

Moving Stories - Children's Books from Page to Screen explores the creative minds behind adaptations of some of the best loved children's books and stories into well-known film and television programmes. Many rare and intriguing objects are on display for the first time, offering visitors a rare chance to see manuscripts, illustrations, storyboards, costumes and film footage from some of the best-loved films and TV shows including Snow White, Cinderella, Shrek, Peter Pan and Lost and Found. Moving Stories will be inviting visitors to step into the worlds of film and story on show and mix-up their favourite fairy tales to create new stories.

BP Family Festival 2014 at Tate Britain; London. 25 - 26 October

A free participatory event inviting families to discover, explore and create throughout the galleries of Tate Britain. Led by artists, performers and musicians, visitors to the BP Family Festival will be taken on a creative exploration of Tate Britain and British art through sound, performance, improvisation and collaboration. All ages welcome.

Flat Out; The Drum, Birmingham. 24 October

Staged in a flat in Inkerman House, a high-rise that is home to some of Birmingham's most disadvantaged families, "Flat Out" will bring dance/movement and image/video together to create a unique experience for one family at a time. The theme will be around presenting the human faces, the fun and the colours of the characters/families living in the flats in contrast to the hard, grey, blockish architecture that defines them; subverting stereotypes.

Stage Secrets; Theatre Royal Brighton. 27 - 29 October

Take a journey around Theatre Royal Brighton and come across theatrical characters, props that come alive, sounds and smells that mark a time and place... a show is happening around you but not in the usual way of sitting and watching, you're in it! An interactive theatrical experience that will inform, involve and excite families, particularly those that are new to the theatre and may feel that theatre is not for them.

LSO in Wartime: Opera in a Day; LSO St Luke's, London. 1 November

LSO Discovery, the London Symphony Orchestra's world-leading education and community programme, will run a day-long project for families with children aged 8-11, at LSO St Luke's, its music education centre on Old Street. Inspired by Sally Beamish's commemorative commission 'Equal Voices', which has its world premiere from the LSO and Gianandrea Noseda at the Barbican the following night, the project will take World War I as it theme and explore, via the medium of music, aspects such as London in war-time and what happened to the London Symphony Orchestra (founded in 1904) and its players during the First World War. The participants will move around LSO St Luke's, gathering stories, all working towards creating a mini-opera they will perform together at the end of the day.

Halloween Spooktacular; BBC National Orchestra of Wales and National Youth Orchestra of Wales at St David's Hall, Cardiff. 26 October

BBC NOW has long held a commitment to orchestral events for family audiences and has begun collaborative concerts with National Youth Orchestra of Wales as part of that programme. Halloween Spooktacular will offer tricks and treats for all the family, with some of the spookiest music ever written by composers including Saint-Saëns, Dukas, Grieg and John Williams. The event will include a variety of pre-concert activities followed by a concert packed full of eerie classics.

The concert will feature members of the National Youth Orchestra of Wales performing side by side with BBC NOW musicians and is being held place at St David's Hall, Cardiff.

Drawing in the Gallery, part of Artes Mundi 6; Ffotogallery, Penarth. 29 October

Coinciding with the Artes Mundi exhibition Ffotogallery will be hosting a family drop-in drawing extravaganza. Responding to the work on the wall, families will be able to create their own mini masterpieces which will then feature in an online gallery for the duration of the exhibition.

Crafty Capers; part of Dams to Darnley Country Park, Glasgow, Scotland. 17 October

An opportunity to become an artist for the day with the Countryside Ranger Service, creating natural masterpieces in the country park. Families can join the countryside rangers and let nature inspire them with some outdoor art using natural materials.

Imaginarium; Eastgate Theatre & Arts Centre, Peebles. 15-19 October

A five-day festival of performances, workshops, stories and surprises for children, teenagers, families and friends. This year's mix includes music, drama, comedy, circus skills, arts and crafts. There's a theme of 'Inside Out, Outside In' so look out for grass in the studio, and armchairs in the street!

Belfast Festival at Queens; 16 October - 1 November

For over 50 years the festival has been lighting up the city with music, dance, drama, poetry, literature, comedy and visual arts. The festival attracts the biggest names in the world - everyone from Laurence Olivier to Jimi Hendrix has taken part. Ireland's biggest festival of its kind attracts 60,000 people from all over the world, and puts Belfast on the world map of artistic celebration. But more importantly it's a festival for the people of Belfast, to celebrate their city and their love of the arts.

The Verbal Arts Centre, Derry/Londonderry: Killer Books Crime Festival; 30 October - 2 November

"Killer Books" is the most exciting literary festival taking place this year. The Verbal Arts Centre will be transformed into a mammoth crime scene for their Killer Books Crime Festival as part of Derry/Londonderry's Halloween celebrations this year. Whether you are a mini -sleuth, aspiring writer or crime aficionado, "Killer Books" has something to offer you. Families can explore the Verbal CSI Lab - exploring fingerprinting, experiments and even slime - take party in the family friendly Murder Mystery detective performance as well as a Victorian Crime Ghost Tour, storytelling, illustration, and a mug shot corner. It would be a crime to miss!

The Family Arts Festival is part of the three-year Family Arts Campaign. 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 was an initiative of The Association of British Orchestras, UK Theatre, The Society of London Theatre, The Independent Theatre Council, The Visual Arts and Galleries Association and Dance UK, and is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England Welsh activity is supported by Arts Council Wales.

The Campaign for Drawing aims to get everyone drawing. It promotes drawing as a powerful tool for thinking, creating and communicating. The Campaign's annual flagship, The Big Draw, proves that drawing can be a public activity as well as a private passion. Every year, The Big Draw season includes hundreds of drawing activities in schools, museums, galleries and heritage sites UK-wide, and now in 20 other countries. Launched in 2000, The Big Draw has encouraged an estimated million people back to the drawing board. The original inspiration came from the visionary Victorian artist and writer John Ruskin, whose mission was to teach people to see through drawing. The Campaign shows how drawing can support learning and connect generations and cultures. 2014 is the second year of a two-year partnership between The Big Draw and the Family Arts Festival.

The Family Arts Standards are designed to help families know what they should expect from an arts organisation that displays the Family Arts Standards logo. They cover the basic considerations for families visiting any type of arts experience, from art galleries to plays, dance performances and beyond. The Family Arts Standards asks that across their work, organisations try to appeal to a wide range of family audiences. Not every show or activity will be suitable for families, but organisations that sign up to the Family Arts Standards should provide clear information to enable people to decide what is/isn't suitable for families with children and young people. The Standards have been developed with the Family and Childcare Trust.

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