Something to celebrate as Starcatchers recognised as Fantastic for Families

10 September 2021

We are excited to announce that Starcatchers have been shortlisted in Fantastic for Families Awards 2021, for those who have made an outstanding contribution to family-friendly arts and culture during the pandemic year

On Thursday 9th September, Family Arts Campaign announced the shortlist of arts activities, initiatives and organisations that have delighted families in their Fantastic for Families Awards 2021. The awards celebrate the wealth of outstanding creative provision for families across the UK.

Now in its eighth year, the awards will celebrate the extraordinary creativity and resilience that the cultural sector has shown during the global pandemic.

Starcatchers are one of the shortlisted organisations in Best Family Arts Activity.

“We are delighted to be one of the shortlisted organisations in Best Family Arts Activity. Our vision is that all Scotland’s youngest children can fulfil their right to participate in rich arts and cultural life which stimulates play, supports social and emotional development, builds attachments and engagement with parents and carers, and lays strong foundations for learning.

Wee Inspirations, fun creative ideas to engage little ones without a lot of kit, or pressure to achieve anything, supported families with wee ones 0-5 years through the pandemic. Children’s agency is at the heart of every Wee Inspiration and packaged in a way that shows how every day activities can be transformative.

Wee Inspirations is now threaded through all of Starcatchers’ activity to ensure accessible creative experiences for every child from birth and throughout their earliest years.”

The shortlisted organisations are:

Best Family Arts Activity

This category focuses on family arts activities delivered during the Covid-19 pandemic. This award recognises both digital and non-digital approaches, delivered remotely or in person.

  • Flamingo Chicks – Ground Breaking Virtual Classes
  • LS18 Rocks – Virtual Hugs (There’s No One Quite Like Grandma)
  • M6 Theatre Company – When We Started Singing
  • MK Gallery – Art and Us Sensory Boxes
  • Starcatchers – Wee Inspirations
  • Swaledale Festival – Swaledale Festival’s Family Fun Weekend
  • The Gramophones Theatre Company – Aidy the Awesome & Superpowering Girls and their Grannies
  • Tramshed Arts – All Together Now
  • Tutti Frutti Productions – Sweet Dreams
  • Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums – Ways to Play
  • V&A Dundee – Design Busters
  • Whitworth Art Gallery – PLAY Live
  • Wigmore Hall – Chamber Tots at Home

Best Age Friendly Outreach

This award recognises forms of outreach approaches developed specifically for older generations, such as participation in age-friendly activities or broader forms of support and outreach during the pandemic.

  • ARC Stockton
  • Leeds Playhouse
  • Moving Together Dance
  • Norwich Theatre
  • Philharmonia Orchestra
  • Royal Exchange Theatre
  • Southbank Centre
  • Corn Exchange Newbury

Audience Impact & Innovation

This award recognises the achievements of creative organisations or cultural event organisers who have demonstrated innovation and adaptability to make a difference to families in need during the pandemic.

  • Dundee Contemporary Arts
  • Barnsley Museums
  • Lakeland Arts
  • MK Gallery
  • Oily Cart
  • Chichester Festival Theatre
  • Theatre Hullabaloo
  • Live Music Now Wales

All shortlisted organisations will now have their nominations reviewed by a panel of expert judges from the creative sector, with winners being announced in a virtual ceremony on 16 November 2021.

Find out more at:


Anna Dever, Head of Family Arts Campaign said:

“After such a challenging year, the Fantastic for Families Awards are a brilliant opportunity to celebrate the creativity, innovation and resilience that the arts and cultural sector has shown during the pandemic. The organisations nominated, and all those who applied, are wonderful examples of how creativity and cultural engagement can bring joyful moments of collaboration and connectivity in difficult times.”

Tonya Nelson, Area Director, London, Arts Council England, said:

“Culture and creativity have helped uplift, entertain and unite families of all backgrounds and ages over the course of the pandemic. This is largely thanks to our country’s great cultural organisations and individual creatives who, during this challenging time, have embraced new opportunities to innovate and adapt their activities to safely reach audiences. Many with support from the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund.

We’re so pleased that this year’s Fantastic for Families Awards are able to recognise some of this brilliant work and we’d like to congratulate all organisations recognised on the shortlist.”


Family Arts Campaignis an Arts Council England Sector Support Organisation and the largest, fully cross-art form and collaborative initiative to support cultural engagement amongst families.  It is managed by The Albany (a London based performing arts centre and social enterprise) and a consortium of industry partners.

The Campaign works with leaders across all art forms, including libraries and museums, to advocate for the value and importance of engaging families in creativity and to provide practical support in improving access and experience, with the aim of:

  • Increasing the amount and range of quality artistic work available to families
  • Improving the quality of experience for families accessing cultural activities/ events
  • Improving marketing to reach more diverse families

Over 1000 cultural organisations hold the Family Arts Standards accreditation, with over 400 also committing to the Age-Friendly Standards, which provide guidance on improving access for older people and participants.