Everyman hosts family and culture event

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Picture taken from the Family Arts Conference 2019 welcome desk. Pic © Stephen Killen JMU Journalism

Hundreds from all over the country turned out at the Everyman Theatre as the United Kingdom’s largest family arts and culture conference arrived in Liverpool.

The Family Arts Campaign was created to raise engagement in the sector 2012, and is lottery-funded by the Arts Council England.

In its seven-year history, organisers have focused on increasing the amount and range of artistic work available to families, as well as the quality of their experience, while improving marketing to reach to more people.

The main conference at the Everyman on Tuesday celebrated the achievements of those in the industry in a day-long programme, which was previously a two-hour ceremony.

It featured a wide range of activities, workshops and keynote speakers.

Executive Director of the Liverpool Philharmonic, Millicent Jones, spoke about the importance of introducing children and families to the venue.

She told JMU Journalism: “For many, many years we have held concerts designed for children ages 0-10 and we used that as a way to introduce children to live orchestral music, as well as their parents. That, with many of our other engagement programmes, is one of primary tools in reaching families.

“We do a lot of participation programmes with kids as well, which are smaller scale, but effectively they’re a really important audience for us.”

Throughout the conference, there were activities and talks about different aspects of how delegates could interact between generations and within families.

YouTube: Stephen Killen

Engagement Director, Rebecca Rose Williams, has been involved at the Everyman Theatre and Playhouse Liverpool for 18 years.

She emphasised how important diversifying was in Liverpool, telling JMU Journalism: “It’s massive because there are many communities who wouldn’t come to the theatre except to bring their children, especially the racially diverse societies.

“I think if you’re looking, certainly in those Romany, Chinese and Arab-Yemeni populations, being able to work with the children and families has been the root into being able to engage with the community.”

The Head of Content at BBC Children, Cheryl Taylor, took to the stage for 40 minutes talking through how the BBC is helping youngsters, both educationally and in breaking the stigma through their diversity work.

Following the conclusion of the conference, representatives had the opportunity to network with people in the arts and culture sector.

About Stephen Killen, JMU Journalism