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Anna Home OBE wins the 2020 JM Barrie Lifetime Achievement Award

Anna Home OBE wins the 2020 JM Barrie Lifetime Achievement Award

Anna Home OBE wins the 2020 JM Barrie Lifetime Achievement Award

Action for Children’s Arts is delighted to announce that Anna Home OBE has been named as the recipient of the 2020 JM Barrie Lifetime Achievement Award.

Anna Home looking out of a window, wearing a yellow sweater and orange silk scarf

This is in recognition of her outstanding contribution to children’s television. In a distinguished career spanning over 30 years at the BBC and ITV, Anna developed and commissioned programmes including Jackanory, Grange Hill, and Teletubbies. Anna is now the Chair of the Children’s Media Foundation, and a Patron of Action for Children’s Arts.

‘Thank you to ACA for this award. I am honoured to join the distinguished list of previous winners. The work ACA does is crucial, particularly now, in ensuring that children have access to, and participation in the arts – both inside and out of school.’

Anna will be presented with the award at a special online ceremony on 19 November 2020. She will be joining a roster of previous winners that includes Baroness Floella Benjamin DBE, Sir Philip Pullman CBE, and Stuart and Kadie Kanneh-Mason. The Award is given annually to a children’s arts practitioner or organisation in recognition of a lifetime’s achievement in delighting children.

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Apply for a free ACA Membership today

Apply for a free ACA Membership today

Apply for a free ACA membership today

We have twenty-five free memberships to give away to emerging artists and underrepresented voices!

We are the national voice of children’s arts in the UK. A voluntary organisation working with partners across the four nations to campaign for the right of every child to have access to the arts both in and out of school, regardless of their circumstances. We connect children’s arts practitioners, teachers, and thinkers. We celebrate YOUR work at our annual JM Barrie Awards.

As an ACA Member, you will be joining a network of over 150 freelancers and organisations from the children’s arts industry. Other benefits include:

  • a monthly newsletter rounding up industry news and our charitable activities

  • the opportunity to contribute to our campaigns

  • the chance to have your work showcased on our website and social media channels

  • regular networking events with other ACA members (these are currently online)

  • invitations to ACA conferences and round-tables

  • priority access to the JM Barrie Awards

We offer bursary members to emerging artists, recent graduates and those who are underrepresented in our industry. We do not currently offer bursary memberships to full-time students (however you can join as a student for £18/year). To apply for a bursary membership, please write a single-page covering letter outlining the following:

  • your current experience in children’s arts (please include dates of training)

  • why you have a passion for children’s arts / arts in education

  • how you believe an ACA membership would benefit you

  • what you might contribute to the ACA community

We strongly encourage applications from those who are currently under-represented in our industry.

Please email to apply. Memberships will be distributed on a rolling basis.

Signed Philip Pullman book giveaway

Signed Philip Pullman book giveaway

Signed Philip Pullman book giveaway

We have one signed paperback of Philip Pullman's 'The Secret Commonwealth' to give away! 

Last week saw the publication of Philip Pullman's 'The Secret Commonwealth' in paperback. This book is the much awaited second instalment of the second His Dark Materials Trilogy. To celebrate 25 years since the first His Dark Materials book was published in 1995, we have a free signed copy of The Secret Commonwealth to give away to one person who joins ACA between 18 September and 31 October. The prize-winner will be selected at random.

To be in with a chance of winning, click here to join today! Membership starts at £18/year.

ACA welcomes five bursary members

ACA welcomes five bursary members

ACA welcomes five bursary members

Following an initial round of applications, we are delighted to welcome five new bursary members into the Action for Children's Arts community.

Elgan Rhys, writer-director-performer

Elgan Rhys is a fluent Welsh speaker, writer-director-performer living in Cardiff. In 2015, he co-founded Cwmni Pluen Company, and was Associate Artist at Frân Wen from 2017-19. He was raised in Pwllheli and studied Theatre and Drama at the University of South Wales, where he has since returned to lecture.

Elgan directed Frân Wen’s acclaimed adaptation of the multiple-prize-winning Llyfr Glas Nebo, which toured main stages at eleven Welsh venues. His debut play Woof, staged to sell-out audiences in January-February 2019 as part of Rachel O’Riordan’s final season at the Sherman Theatre, was described by The Guardian as “a triumph”. Pluen’s most recent production, Mags, which Elgan wrote, toured Wales and London in Autumn 2019 following an initial 2018 run that was described by Wales Arts Review as “a fearless play by an innovative company, using language in a way not seen anywhere else in Wales.” Recurring elements in his work are community co-creation, an interest in multilingualism, the amplification of young people’s voices and telling stories of contemporary queer life. Elgan has also been BAFTA Cymru-nominated for his TV work, and is one of Stonewall Cymru’s Role Models. He is currently developing several plays with major companies, as well as TV and book projects.

Nominated by Theatr Iolo.

Stephan Boyce, actor

Stephan is an actor and long-term employee of Bigfoot Arts Education.

"By the end [of a workshop] the ‘naughty’ child is confidently performing Shakespearean soliloquies. The shy child is a doing solo dance in an assembly. The quiet child is directing a group activity. Often the children labelled with terms like shy, naughty, unresponsive, not a team player and other harmful terms are transformed by creativity. I believe that this is due to everyone’s innate need to create and imagine. An important skill that is undervalued and suppressed as we get older."


Jaydean Dawkins, theatre practitioner

Jaydean is a theatre practitioner, mother, and the Founder and Director of Confessions of the Youth Theatre Company (now renamed JD Theatrical Creative), a company devoted to creating new devised work with BAME and underprivileged young people in the Twerton and Radstock, some of the most deprived areas of the Southwest. She specialises in making work that confronts and challenges current issues surrounding the lack of diversity in theatre through the empowerment of underrepresented people and groups.

Nominated by the egg, Theatre Royal Bath

Kyle Lima, performer

Kyle Lima is an actor, writer, singer and director, and in his own words “a frustrated yet proud dyslexic” born and raised in the Splott area of Cardiff, South Wales. He is Theatr Iolo's Platfform Artist for 2020. In 2018, he was appointed as a BBC Writersroom Welsh Voices member and has collaborated with the BBC in developing scripts for radio and TV. He has also written and performed for Sky Arts as part of the Sky arts ART50 program, filmed at the Barbican Centre, dealing with the issues of Brexit and Article 50. He has worked with the Omidaze Theatre Company in collaboration with National Theatre Wales, The Fio Theatre Company, and the Sherman Theatre.

Nominated by Theatr Iolo.

Ben Knight, baritone

Ben Knight is a singer who has worked with Bach to Baby.

"I am passionate about children’s arts for a multitude of reasons. Making music should be inclusive to all children from different walks of life. I have personally benefited by projects when I was younger that lead me to my musical success today. My family is not musical and I was the only male singer at my school. Music education and outreach projects gave me vital skills including; confidence, creative thinking, collaboration and communication. All skills I feel that making music can bring. Most importantly, children have the right to create, imagine and play and I am passionate about music being fun and exciting for all children."

Applications for bursary memberships will be accepted on a rolling basis. Click here to find out more.