Family engagement can be a key way to attract audiences to contemporary arts events, providing an accessible way to experience high quality artworks during a busy time of the audience’s life. Claire’s experience is in ways to engage a family audience with contemporary art outside of established arts institutions. In her work on the 2022 Creative Activity in empty shops project she brought Aaron Blecha’s Aliens, Zombies and Monsters to St Helens shopping centre in partnership with Wonder Arts and commissioned Cath Garvey to create an extremely popular workshop designing trading cards at the local Geek Retreat store. Bringing brilliant, curiosity inducing artists to easily accessible public spaces lets families get creative families in ways that they couldn’t at home. Between 2014-2016, as producer for Family Art Club for Heart of Glass, Claire brought artists from the North West region and across the UK to St Mary’s Market in St Helens for three years of challenging arts activity exploring the possibilities that a large empty market space had to offer.
Claire’s approach to work with families is to ensure that activities are suitable for different generations to participate in together, allowing for co-operation, sharing of skills, knowledge and ideas between children, parents, carers and grandparents. Activities in public spaces are designed to introduce participants to the work of contemporary artists and to create something together at a different scale than would be possible at home.
Family activity clients include:
Heart of Glass Family Art Club
Manchester Art Gallery, Big Draw
The Brindley Arts Centre, Big Draw
Tent of Objects, EYFS project for St Helens Children’s Centres