Engaging Families through The City Passport – Case Study Report

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About This Case Study:

Journeys Festival International Leicester, produced by ArtReach, celebrates the creative talent of exceptional refugee and asylum seeker artists and shares the refugee experience through great art. The Festival aims to bring the talent of local, national and international artists to the general public - creating a positive interface with the community. As part of the Festival and year round programming, ArtReach aims to create engaging, accessible, fun and family friendly activities. These activities can often be tied to an exhibition, performance or creative arts workshop touching upon themes of the Festival.

The Festival has been a member of The City Classroom Scheme since 2017 and has undoubtedly benefitted from the excellent guidance, shared best practise, combined marketing opportunities and the vision behind the scheme led by the cultural education partnership.

In the first instance, having one website for teachers and school leaders to find activities, suitable for specific age ranges, is a great initiative to be part of and that shared promotional approach is one which we find being replicated within other sectors of arts marketing.

Being able to include the Festival activity and wrap around projects within the regular City Passports also gets us right in front of one of the key target audiences for the Festival. The passport itself, which doubles up as an Arts Awards Discover activity pack, is a fabulous piece of print. With activities for youngsters and the aim to convert your activities to an arts award whilst maintaining a very high standard of design, print and messaging for promotional purposes works on many levels. Engaging for children, it has all the right information for people looking to entertain and educate their children and is placed directly in the hands of the family decision makers via the school distribution system. The initiative has allowed us to create new partnerships across the region, helped us reach new audiences and allows us another approach to marketing our activities which we couldn't achieve of our own accord.

Take this year's LCB depot, Easy Saturday Takeover event, for example, which is a monthly creative arts session that runs throughout the year for families. Journeys Festival International Leicester took over the event in August. The City Passport scheme gave us some great promotion for that event but also introduced us to new partners and artistic practitioners to work with too. Through our evaluation of the event we've found that 44% of attenders surveyed at this year's Easy Saturday Takeover had not engaged with our Festival before that day.

Over the course of 2018/19 the passport has featured many of our family friendly events or performances, it's another string to our promotional bow and a very engaging one at that! The passport and website are one of the most useful initiatives our Festival participates in which has a combined marketing approach, it's fantastic that parents and teachers are also recognising The City Classroom as a kite mark for high quality engagement and a recognisable standard for cultural activities for their children.

Participants parents quotes from Journeys Festival International Leicester's LCB Depot Easy Saturday Takeover included "Positive environment and learning space" and "Really good to have a variety of stuff - different ages".

Gary Cicinskas, Marketing and Communications Manager, ArtReach