Home-schooling during Covid19 week three – creative activities

Home-schooling during Covid19 week three – creative activities

Home-schooling during Covid19 week three – creative activities

This week’s homeschooling activities are all run by wonderful freelancers! Freelance performers and artists have lost nearly all their income due to Covid19 and need as much support as they can get right now. Most of these activities are free to participate in, but donations are welcomed (and needed) by the artists who have created them.

To get you started, why not try ToddlerTunez’s creative babysitting?


Art Kids are creating great online resources inspired by contemporary artists!


Try out these fun dance classes at Peekaboo moves:



Mini Music Makers – participate in daily musical entertainment for small people, whilst also supporting freelancers during these challenging times:

Sing with Claire:


We’ve been enjoying story time with Mama G, which also includes stories written by children and young people!

Covid19 – emergency funding for freelancers and small organisations

Covid19 – emergency funding for freelancers and small organisations

Covid19 - emergency funding for freelancers and small organisations

Funding available

This page will be updated as we become aware of further funding opportunities. Last updated on 11 May.


Arts Council England – grants for NPOs and CPPs who are in financial need. Open for applications from 12-19 May

Charities Aid Foundation – grants of up to £10,000 for charities whose income was under £1million in the last financial year (applications pause at 5pm on 6 April and will re-open soon)

Community Foundation Tyne and Wear and Northumberland - supporting local charities whose work and income has been affected

Directors Charitable Fund - grants of around £500 for Directors in acute need

Equity Charitable Trust open to anyone who has previously worked on an Equity contract

Facebook Small Business Grants – now open for applications

Liverpool Coronavirus Support - a range of financial programmes to support local business through Covid19

London Community Response – Wave Two Funding now available to arts and culture organisations

Pay it Forward – set up by the Creative Industries Federation to help people crowdfund

The Royal Opera House Benevolent fund – for past and current employees of the Royal Opera House and Birmingham Royal Ballet, or of any other charity or organisation which gives public performances of opera, ballet or music

The Schroder Charity Trust - support for charities impacted by Covid19

The Steve Morgan Foundation - grants for charities in Merseyside, Cheshire and North Wales helping the most vulnerable

The Yapp Charitable Trust - small charities with an annual expenditure of less than £40,000 can apply for up to £3,000 core funding

Royal Variety Charity – supporting people in financial need who work in entertainment


Artists General Benevolent Institute – fund for fine artists


Film and TV:

all applications now closed


National Lottery Heritage Fund – grants of between £3,000 - £50,000


The Book Trade Charity - support for people who work/have worked in a bookshop

Royal Literary Fund - financial support for published authors

Society of Authors – grants of up to £2,000 for writers, illustrators, literary translators, scriptwriters, poets, journalists and others


Musicians Union – grants of up to £200 for MU members

PRS – grants of up to £1000 for PRS members, open until 15 May

Youth Music - emergency grants for music organisations, deadlines every Friday until 15 May


BenSoc - support for professional photographers


Actors’ Benevolent Fund – grants for those who have contracted Covid19 and have applied for Universal Credit (or are already in receipt of benefits)

Actors’ Children’s Trust – ACT gives money to actor parents and their children, they have paid £200 to each family who has requested support for food and bills in April.

Funds for Freelancers – for actors, creatives and ushers working in theatre. If you’re in need of financial support then all you need to do is email: with a few sentences about your situation.

Make a Difference Trust – grants of up to £200, priority will be given to those who have helped raise money for the Trust in the past

Royal Theatrical Fund – for people who have worked in their profession (theatrical arts on stage, radio, films or television or any other medium by which such arts may be presented) for a minimum of seven years

Theatrical Guild – for those working in theatre who are not on the stage

Until the Curtains Rise – fundraising for grants which will be administered by Acting for Others

Northern Ireland:

Community Fund – children and young people’s projects, which connect people through creative mediums


Crisis Fund - if you are on a low income and have lost work or money due to Covid19

Emergency Arts Workers Support Fund - grants of up to £250, open for a second phase from 6 - 15 May

Third Sector Resilience Fund – grants and loans for charities, community groups, social enterprises and voluntary organisations working in Scotland.


Arts Council of Wales – Urgent Fund for Individuals (opens 14 April), Stabilisation Fund for Organisations (opens 21 April), Stabilisation Fund for Individuals (opens 29 May)

Home-schooling during Covid19 week two – creative activities

Home-schooling during Covid19 week two – creative activities

Home-schooling during Covid19 week two - creative activities

To support parents home-schooling their children during Covid-19, we will be sharing daily resources to help continue your children's creative education. If you enjoy a particular organisation's free activities, please consider making a donation directly to them so that they can continue doing their fantastic work out the other side of lockdown - small arts organisations are under huge strain right now and every penny helps. We are sharing stories of organisations in particular need over on our Twitter page.

Here is a list of our resources for week two:

Craft: Learn how to make a tambourine from... Macaroni! (If you can spare the pasta, that is). Check out Sound Connections' YouTube channel for more fun instrument-making activities.

Dance: Strictly star Oti Mabuse is running daily dance classes at 11.30am over on her Facebook page! We hear this week's theme is musicals...

Literature: ACA Critical Friend, author and illustrator James Mayhew has started #StoryTime4HomeTime, the perfect way to end your day! Follow the link to find out a little more, and make sure to subscribe to James' YouTube channel:

Music: Why not try incorporating the Voices Foundation Virtual Singing Assembly into your daily lunchtime routine?

Another week of home-schooling done! And for some, it's the start of the Easter holidays... Why not wind down with some free meditation from Calm?

Other things we've loved...

The egg, Theatre Royal Bath are sharing some fantastic family-friendly plays online, including I wish I was a mountain

Usborne has launched a Play and Learn at Home digital hub, which includes all their e-books for a reduced price of 99p each:

First News, the schools' newspaper, are making some of their editions available free online:

We will continue to provide ideas for fun stay-at-home activities throughout the holidays, so watch this space!

JM Barrie Awards: in photos

JM Barrie Awards: in photos

JM Barrie Awards: in photos

Congratulations to the winners of the 2019 JM Barrie Awards! Pictured above from Left to Right: Sir Philip Pullman CBE (winner of the JM Barrie Lifetime Achievement Award); Joseph Middleton, Kathleen Evans and Ewan Gilford (from Leeds Lieder, Members' Award winner); Amanda Craig (Members' Award winner); Josh Parsons and Yvonne Farquharson (from Breathe Magic, JM Barrie Outstanding Contribution Award winner); Matthew Sanders and Diana Schomberg (from Magic Lantern, Members' Award winner).

Thank you to the fantastic team of young people who helped make the awards happen. From Left to Right: Emmerson Sutton, our young presenter; Lilly Kurata (top right), our young pianist; and Albee and Noah Superville, our award presenters.

Members' Award Winners

Left top: Joseph Middleton, Kathleen Evans and Ewan Gilford (Leeds Lieder);

Left bottom: Diana Schomberg, James Mayhew and Matthew Sanders (Magic Lantern);

Right: Amanda Glover

Outstanding Contribution Award - Breathe Magic

Left: Breathe Arts Health Research Founder Yvonne Farquharson with ACA President David Wood OBE

Right top: Breathe Magic patron Jim Carter chats to Sir Philip Pullman

Right bottom: the full Breathe Magic Team

Home-schooling during Covid19 week one – creative activities

Home-schooling during Covid19 week one – creative activities

Home-schooling during Covid19 week one - creative activities

To support parents home-schooling their children during Covid-19, we will be sharing daily resources to help continue your children's creative education. Here is a list of our resources for week one:

Art - take the kids sketching at the Louvre's Egypt collection:

Music - introduce them to the opera! We recommend starting with one of Rossini's comedies  La Cenerentola  (Cinderella) or  Il Barbiere di Sevigliaóperas

Museums and Galleries - follow the hashtag #MuseumFromHome for lots of fun facts from museum curators, or do a virtual museum tour of the British Museum via Streetview:,-0.1260849,2a,75y,53.35h,90.1t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1shtObAXybDUe7n9XEKHUiFQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656?hl=en

Dance - Check out Dance Syndrome’s free online dance classes. Suitable for mixed abilities and mixed age groups:

Here are a few more ideas shared by our members...

Theatre - why not download the Theatr Na Nog app for free learning resources in English and Welsh?

Literature - Children's Laureate Cressida Cowell is reading a chapter of How to Train your Dragon on YouTube every day! Perfect for a wet lunchtime:

March Newsletter

March Newsletter

March Newsletter

We had a great time with members, Trustees, Patrons, Critical Friends and other industry professionals at our New Years' Drinks, hosted by SAMA Bankside!

The Arts Backpack UK - February Update

  • Pilots are on schedule to commence in Fife and Leicester from September 2020. We will be working with 7 schools in Fife, in partnership with Youth Music Theatre Scotland; and 4 schools in Leicester, in partnership with Spark Arts.
  • Planning is underway for a London pilot later in the 2020/21 academic year, in partnership with For Good, the charity associated with Wicked.
  • We have received over 200 responses to our children's survey, which was issued via First News in January. Our researchers Keda and Yasemin will be compiling this data to inform their research and evaluation processes.
  • We have received the first instalment of funding from Fife Council.

Chair's report

  • Congratulations to our patron Floella on becoming a Dame!
  • It was with great sadness that we heard of the death of our much loved patron, Terry Jones, an exceptional writer, and a unique creative spirit.
  • Vicky attended the Writer’s Guild GB Awards, and the Writer’s Guild GB Olwen Wymark Theatre Encouragement Awards 2020.
  • A group of TYA Theatre makers attended a meeting with representatives from Action for Children’s Arts, Theatre Education Forum, Theatre for Young Audiences England and Assitej UK with Anne Applebaum, Director of Children and Young People, Arts Council England. You can find full notes of this meeting below.
  • The Government are working hard to support Music Education and are calling for a music consultation. Maybe other art forms for children and young people should also strive to make their case heard by Government?

General Election 2019: Manifesto round-up

General Election 2019: Manifesto round-up

General Election 2019: Manifesto round-up

We have done a round-up of  policies on children, education and the arts. Please note that this article has been quoted verbatim from each manifesto, and parties have been ordered according to the number of seats they currently hold in the House of Commons.

The Arts:

  • A £250 million cultural capital programme to support local libraries and regional museums.
  • A Festival of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in 2022.
  • Business rates relief for music venues and cinemas.
  • Maintain support for creative sector and tax relief and free entry to the UK's national museums.

Education (for children aged 12 and under):

  • An 'Arts Premium' for Secondary Schools.
  • An extra £14 billion in funding for schools - that translates to at least £4,000 for each primary school pupil.
  • Raising teacher starting salaries to £30,000.
  • Expand 'alternative provision' schools for children who have been excluded.
  • More school places for children with complex Special Educational Needs.


  • Invest £500 million in new youth clubs and services.
  • Cement the Opportunity Areas Programme.
  • Review the care system to make sure that children and young adults are being provided with the support they need.
  • A £1 billion fund to help create more high-quality, affordable childcare.
  • Maintain the commitment to free school-meals.


The Arts:

  • £1 billion Cultural Capital Fund to transform libraries, museums and galleries across the country.
  • Make the distribution of National Lottery Funding more transparent.
  • Maintain free entry to museums.
  • Launch a Town of Culture competition.
  • Work with trade unions and employers to make creative jobs accessible to all, ensuring diversity in these industries.
  • Ensure libraries are preserved and updated for future generations.

Education (for children aged 12 and under):

  • An Arts Pupil Premium to fund arts education for every primary school child.
  • A £160 million annual boost for schools to ensure creative and arts education is embedded in secondary education.
  • Radically reform early-years education to make high quality early-years education available to every child.
  • Within 5 years, all 2-4 year olds will be entitled to 30 hours free education per week.
  • Maximum class-sizes of 30 for all primary school children.
  • Fund more non-contact time for teachers to prepare and plan.
  • Scrap KS1 and KS2 SATS and baseline assessments, refocussing assessments on supporting pupil progress.
  • Receive advise on integrating private schools into a comprehensive education system.


  • An £845 million plan for Healthy Young Minds - more than doubling the amount spent on children and adolescent mental health services.
  • Introduce a Future Generations Wellbeing Act.
  • Develop a cross-governmental National Strategy for Childhood, focusing on health, security, well-being and poverty.
  • Stop 300,000 children from being in poverty by scrapping the benefit cap and the two-child limit.


The Arts:

  • If Brexit happens, campaign for streamlined visa schemes for artists and performers.
  • Continue supporting tax incentives for Creative Industries.
  • Work towards more equality, inclusion and diversity across the Creative Sector.

Education (for children aged 12 and under):

  • £750 million Scottish Attainment Fund to close the attainment gap in schools.
  • Expand early-learning and childcare provision from 600 hours per year to 1,140 hours.


  • Expand childcare into the school holidays.
  • Campaigning against the 'Rape Clause'.
  • Introduce a new £10 a week Scottish Child Payment for low-income households by the end of next year.


The Arts:

  • Maintain free access to national museums and galleries.
  • Protect sports and arts funding via the National Lottery.
  • Examine the available funding and planning rules for live music venues and the grassroots music sector, protecting venues from further closures.
  • Support growth in the Creative Industries and create Creative Enterprise Zones.

Education (for children aged 12 and under):

  • Protect the availability of arts and creative subjects in the curriculum and act to remove barriers to pupils studying these subjects.
  • Teach the key skills required for children to flourish in the modern world: critical thinking, verbal reasoning and creativity.
  • Reverse cuts to school funding and employ an extra 20,000 teachers.
  • Scrap SATS and replace league tables with a broader set of indicators.
  • Triple the Early Years Pupil Premium to £1000.
  • Require Early-Years staff to complete a training qualification.


  • Free, high-quality childcare for every child aged 2 to 4 years, and children between 9 and 24 months where their parents or guardians are in work: 35 hours a week, 48 weeks a year.
  • Invest £1 billion a year in Children's Centres.
  • Extend free school-meals to all children in primary education, and children in secondary education whose families are on Universal Credit.


Education (for children aged 12 and under):

  • £16.5 million has already been spent on local schools.


  • 30 hours for 28 weeks of childcare provision for 3-4 year-olds.


Education (for children aged 12 and under):

  • Financial literacy and oracy to be included in the national curriculum.
  • School health workers introduced in primary and secondary schools.
  • 20-week retraining sabbatical for those in need of a mid-career skills boost.


The Arts:

  • Demand a devolution of broadcasting.
  • Maintain free entry to museums and develop a National Digital Library for Wales.
  • Create a new National Gallery for Contemporary Art.

Education (for children aged 12 and under):

  • £300 million extra for schools and colleges.
  • Ensure teachers can make the needs of children and young people central to what they do.
  • Develop a new curriculum, and allow sufficient time and resources for teachers to prepare to teach it.


  • Universal free childcare 40 hours a week and a new £35/week payment for every child in a low-income family.


The Arts:

  • Increase central government funding to councils by £10 billion a year. They can use this funding to nurture arts and culture in their areas, keeping local museums, theatres, libraries and art galleries open and thriving.
  • Reforming copyright and intellectual property rights legislation to ensure a better balance between the rights of consumers and the rights of those working in the creative economy.

Education (for children aged 12 and under):

  • Learning must be lifelong, liberating and accessible to all. Education can and should unlock creativity and enable self-expression across all ages.
  • Restore arts and music education in all state schools.
  • Increase funding by at least £4 billion per year.
  • Long-term aim to reduce class sizes to under 20.
  • Free schools from centrally imposed testing regimes, OFSTED inspections, rigid national curriculum and league tables.
  • Formal education will start at 6 years-old. Those under 6 will remain in early-years education with a focus on play-based learning.
  • Remove charitable status from private schools and charge full VAT on fees.


  • Ensure that all children receive the basic elements of a good childhood: a decent place to live, safety and security in their community, time and space to play, as well as opportunities to learn and develop inside and outside of school.
  • Prohibit the use of pesticides in the locality of homes, schools and children’s playgrounds.
  • Phase in a Universal Basic Income with supplements for families with children.


First donation to the ACA candle campaign

First donation to the ACA candle campaign

First donation to the ACA candle campaign

Our heartfelt thanks to Dr Chris and Hazel Abbott for being the first donors to our candle campaign!

We are asking for donations of £300 to buy a candle on our celebration cake. Alongside your donation you can nominate 10 people for a year's free ACA membership, or you can donate ten bursary memberships to ACA. Each bursary membership will be given to an emerging artist who the Trustees feel would be a valuable part of ACA, but who does not have the funds to become a member.

Click here to become a Candle donor.

Why donate?

We campaign for the right of every child aged 0-12 to access the arts, regardless of their background or personal circumstances. We are particularly passionate about ending inequality in arts education.

A recent report from the Social Mobility Commission found that children from the poorest families are 3 times less likely to be involved in extra-curricular arts activities.

Although we have been running this campaign since 1998, politicians are yet to listen and appreciate the value of instilling creativity in all our children. We need to continue working with teachers, practitioners and arts organisations to democratise arts education.

In the last 18 months our charitable activities have included:

The Arts Backpack UK: In Autumn 2018 we commissioned a Feasibility Study for an Arts Backpack project in the UK. Since publication, we have spoken to over 50 organisations across the four nations, and coordinated a first phase of pilots in Fife and Leicester. Each child will be entitled to at least five quality arts encounters a year.

Networking events: Around 500 people have attended ACA networking events.

The JM Barrie Awards: The 2018 JM Barrie Awards celebrated Stuart and Kadie Kanneh-Mason as role-models to all parents of creative children. In 2019, the JM Barrie Awards honoured Sir Philip Pullman CBE, for a lifetime's achievement in delighting children.

Listening to Children: We are working closely with children from Chickenshed Theatre to develop our research and evaluation structures. Our first piece of child-led research was conducted through schools' newspaper First News in autumn 2019.

We need as big a network as possible in order to push the message home to government that the arts are an important part of all our lives. In these turbulent times, the cultural sector needs to stand together and demand a better future for our children.

Your donation will give us a stronger voice, and enable us to keep making this demand for another twenty years to come.

Click here to become a Candle donor.

Introducing: Breathe Magic

Introducing: Breathe Magic

Introducing: Breathe Magic

The Breathe Magic Intensive Therapy Foundation programme is a clinically effective, fun and engaging approach to therapy. It’s designed to help young people with hemiplegia, a weakness or paralysis affecting one side of the body caused by an injury to the brain.

Grounded in world-class medical research, this award-winning approach gives young people access to 78 hours of intensive therapy AND transforms them into young magicians! Specialist occupational therapists work alongside Magic Circle magicians to teach magic tricks designed to develop hand and arm function, cognitive abilities, self-confidence and independence.

Breathe Magic will be awarded with the Action for Children's Arts Outstanding Contribution Award on 7 November. They were selected for this award by ACA Trustees, in recognition of their contribution to children's arts and well-being.

At the awards, a citation will be given by Magic Circle Centre Director Darren Martin.

Working at The Magic Circle headquarters, you would expect to see miracles and wonder on a daily basis helping you believe in magic. However, it was when hosting a ‘Breathe Arts Health Research’ event some years ago that we realised what real magic can be.

Breathe Magic is part of Breathe Arts Health Research - one of the first arts-in-health companies to be recognised by organisations such as NHS England. Breathe Arts Health Research began as part of Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity, before becoming a separate social enterprise in 2012. Since then they’ve been designing and delivering arts-in-healthcare programmes that:

  • Improve clinical outcomes for patients
  • Enrich healthcare environments for staff, patients and visitors
  • Offer unique training opportunities

The organisation represents a ground-breaking collaboration between Arts, Health and Science. As the new National Academy for Social Prescribing is launched, ACA is delighted to be honouring an organisation at the forefront of this research.

Click here to visit the Breathe Arts Health Research website and find out more about Breathe Magic.

September News

September News

September News

What have we been up to...

We have held meetings with the Spark Arts in Leicester, Fife Council, the Jennie Lee Foundation, 11 by 11, the Open College of the Arts, and Wicked.

We have attended WhatNext, the Westminster Forum, the Cultural Campaigning Group and Tom Watson's Creative Industries Federation event.

ACA member Miranda Thain wrote an article about why she is a member of ACA.

The Hullabaloo stands in one of the 1% most deprived wards in the UK, many worlds away from the corridors of Whitehall and yet, through being part of an organisation like Action for Children’s Arts, we feel that we have a voice in influencing the future cultural opportunities of our children nationwide. It may just be a small corner of this confusing world, but together we can make it better.

ACA Chair Vicky Ireland MBE met the minds behind the Norwegian Cultural Rucksack in Oslo.

She also met the new children's laureate Cressida Cowell at the Chiswick Book Festival 2019. We love Cressida's charter for children's reading, which you can take a look at here.


News from the industry...

DCMS has published its annual Taking Part Survey, including the Child Report, which can be found here.

The CLA has written a paper on 20 years of Cultural Learning Policy in England. Click here to read it.

The Children's Commissioner has published a manifesto for children, which you can read here.


This is only part of the September newsletter. Click here to get the full thing to your inbox every month.