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Arts Council England funds family friendly fun in the South East

  • Date: 18 October 2013
  • Area: South East
Performers on stage for Out of the shadow

NOBULUS Out of the shadow performance. Credit: Andreas Brandl

Half-term can sometimes be a headache for families as they try to find things to do - but thanks to the Family Arts Festival, this year there are a whole host of activities to keep families entertained during the South East's school break.

The Family Arts Festival is part of a two year nationwide campaign that aims to develop the range and quality of arts events and activities available to families. It is supported by Arts Council England through our National Lottery funded Audience Focus commissioned grants scheme and involves over 500 venues and organisations across the UK. More than 1,000 music, theatre, dance, circus and visual arts events will take place throughout the seventeen day festival.

The Festival will build on the momentum of the London 2012 Festival and Cultural Olympiad with more than a quarter of the events free to attend and many of the rest priced at less than £10.

With lots of events and activities taking place across the South East, families will have the opportunity to go out together and enjoy some fantastic arts and culture activities across the capital.

From Mapping Space Imagining Place at Wysing Arts Centre and The Bewitched Big Draw! at Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery to Out of the Shadow at Brighton Dome and the Baby Boogie Workshop at Pegasus Theatre, there will be an amazing variety of events taking place throughout the South East and beyond.

The Festival is pioneered by six leading arts organisations in collaboration with The Big Draw and runs during October half-term, Friday 18 October to Sunday 3 November. It is also supported by a few household names, including Lord Lloyd Webber, Zoë Wanamaker CBE and Cerrie Burnell.

Lord Lloyd Weber said: 'The Family Arts Festival is a wonderful new initiative to encourage more families to sample the huge variety of arts activities on offer all over the UK.  Going to the theatre, concert hall or gallery is a really rewarding way to spend time together as a family.  Many things in the Festival are completely free, so this is a great opportunity for families to go out and try something new.'

Actress and TV presenter Cerrie Burnell, as seen on Cbeebies, added: 'I'm excited to be involved in such a fantastic festival, one that is unique in its family friendly focus, and ambitious in its scope and breadth. The arts can be inspiring at any age and area wonderful thing to share together. I hope that the Family Arts Festival will encourage families of all types to get together and take part in the wealth of events on offer.'

Althea Efunshile, Deputy Chief Executive, Arts Council England commented: 'We recognise and champion the enormous value of beginning to engage with the arts from a young age; children are our artists and audiences of the future. Part of that value is the fun of spending time with family, leaning new things about ourselves and each other, and building a stronger sense of community. The Family Arts Festival is something special: it epitomises many of our hopes and goals in our work at Arts Council England, and above all, will give enormous shared pleasure to both grown-ups and children and bring generations together.'

For more information about the events and activities in London during the Family Arts Festival, please visit: