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Family Explorers North East

ARC is a member of the Family Explorers North East network. Sign up to see day out reviews from other North East families, special offers and inspiration!

The Idea

Family Explorers is a project that helps families in North East England enjoy a wider range of cultural experiences by:

  • Recommending where to go in a twice-monthly e-newsletter and Facebook group so it’s easier to make choices
  • Making it simpler to plan days out by providing all the practical information in one place
  • Encouraging Family Explorers to share reviews of their visits so participants can see honest unbiased recommendations from families like them so feel more confident about trying somewhere new

The Story

Family Explorers started out as a research project with a small number of selected families. The partners wanted to find out how families could be encouraged to try new cultural genres.

For example, could theatre-goers be persuaded to try dance? Would museum fans feel confident about seeing a live music show? Initial research found that people felt overwhelmed by the choices around places to visit and the information they trusted most was from other families recommending where to go. Family Explorers was designed to solve this by simplifying information and gathering honest family reviews that would be trusted and sharing them. Initially a pilot project with a handful of families it was then rolled out to around 200 families in 2013. The year-long research project was analysed independently by Morris Hargreaves McIntrye and Flo Culture. They found there was ‘a significant increase in visits to the partner venues by the project families mainly as a direct result of the project.’ and that the project ‘…succeeded in promoting ‘Cultural Confidence’ amongst the families’.

The People

The Family Explorers network includes 35 cultural venues run by 16 organisations in the North East. All of the venues together form the Family Arts Campaign’s North East England Family Arts Network and have signed up to the Family Arts Standards. These organisations are committed to offering families a warm welcome. They welcome feedback and are pleased to improve their family offer further by acting on suggestions. It’s run day to day by Coordinator Sallyanne Flemons and is guided by a project steering group.

The project is funded by the network members and has received support from the Family Arts Campaign. Family Explorers North East is also pleased to help young people attain their Arts Award by being an Arts Award Supporter.