Campaigning – for children’s right to the arts.

Connecting – children’s arts practitioners.

Celebrating – children’s arts in the UK.


We are the voice of children’s arts in the UK.  We aim to improve the cultural wellbeing of children by focusing attention on and encouraging support for children’s arts, and by celebrating and sharing the achievements of our practitioners.


“Every child has the right to rest and leisure, to engage in play and recreational activities appropriate to the age of the child and to participate freely in cultural life and the arts.”
Article 31, UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

Click here for our Manifesto – Children’s Arts, Children’s Lives.

egg video 01

Click on the picture to hear children’s own voices in this video made for ACA by Whitespace with the support of Bath Festivals5x5x5=creativity and the egg.



Children up to twelve years of age make up 15% of the population, but Freedom of Information requests made by Action for Children’s Arts last year revealed that only 1% of public funding for the arts supports work for children.

Action for Children’s Arts believes that the arts are as important for children as they are for adults – and deserve a fair share of the funding.

Click here to find out more.


Action for Children’s Arts is the only UK charity supporting all the arts for all children.


Terry Jones, Nick Park, Joanna McGregor, Lynne Reid Banks and Shirley Hughes OBE are just a few of our Patrons. Click here to see them all.

“With the ever-increasing focus on narrow academic success, it is more vital than ever to create an arts context for education. The lessons learnt in participating in drama and the performing arts – be they interpersonal skills or the mysteries of group dynamics – are often more useful in later life than a whole bookful of learned facts.”
Terry Jones

If you support our aims, you can support ACA by:

  • becoming a member – click here to find out how much it costs and how you can benefit
  • making a donation – as much or as little as you want, using the link on this page.

Mind the Gap, Epic ArtsLighthouse Poole and London Children’s Museum are just 4 of our 68 member organisations.

To see the full list, click here.


Notices from ACA members appear here – news of new projects, shouts for help, anything they want other people to know about.

If you’re an ACA member and want to put something on the Noticeboard, send an email to

Click on the title of any notice to read it in full.

Big Brum Theatre in Education
A half-day theatre-in-education programme for KS1/2 touring from March 2014…

Sid Sloane
I am working on building a strong team and looking for creative partnerships as well as sponsors to help with the research and development…


A series of profiles, documenting the work of children’s arts practitioners across the UK and around the world – click to download.

Morag Styles - Reader in Children’s Literature, Cambridge University
Travelling Light Theatre - The School Play
Maria Hayes - artist
David Bruce - composer
Rosie Heafford - choreographer
Wriggle Dance Theatre – interactive performance
Lisa Sainsbury – Director, NCRCL
National Centre for Research in Children’s Literature – a profile


Copyright BBC

Every year, ACA celebrates children’s arts by making awards to artists who make work for children. This year the award was presented to  Bernard Cribbins OBE, in recognition of the decades of delight he has bestowed on generations of children through his wonderful TV, theatre and film work

The event was hosted by the BBC and held in the Radio Theatre, Broadcasting House on 13th November 2014.

Copyright BBC
Mr & Mrs Perks with Roberta and Peter from the 1970 classic ‘The Railway Children’

The J.M.Barrie Award is presented to an individual artist who has made a lasting contribution to children’s arts. Last year, the award was given to Lynne Reid Banks, author of more than forty books for children and a tireless champion of children’s arts for many years.


The Outstanding Contribution to Children’s Arts was presented to Northern Ballet for their short ballets for small people.  Two of these have ben adapted for broadcast by by CBeebies and over one million viewers have watched these beautiful shows.  The Ugly Duckling was nominated for and subsequently one a Childrens BAFTA.


Members’ Awards 2014 are presented every year to individuals and organisations nominated by ACA members for the difference their work makes to children’s lives through the arts. The awards were presented this year to:

Lindsay Baker
Rikki Beadle-Blair
Benedict Eccles
Annie James
Mandy Mallen
Joss Matzen
The Oily Cart Creative Team

Bernard Cribbins with the Members Awards Winners


See all the pictures of the 2014 J.M.Barrie awards HERE


Watch the J.M.Barrie Awards 2014

(please be patient as it takes a little while to load) 



As the national voice of children’s arts we take every opportunity we can to make the case for the importance of the arts in children’s lives.

Click on the pictures to hear two of our patrons, Sir Ken Robinson and Michael Morpurgo OBE, making the case on our behalf in specially recorded videos.




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