NEWS ARCHIVE Sunderland's Family Arts Festival

Solstice2013 lego painting2

(Robyn Townsend and Molly Pattison photographed at the Sunniside Solstice 2013)


Family Arts Festival, Half Term Programme

Five venues are taking part in the first collaborative event by Sunderland's newly formed Family Arts Network. The Halloween themed activities are designed for the whole family to enjoy, and with the majority free will provide the perfect solution to keep the little ones occupied this half-term (and yourselves!).

FANSunderland is a collaborative project involving several creative businesses and organisations across the city; who have come together to promote and increase the involvment of local families in creative activities, from craft to music to performing art. With a mission to promote arts events and increase the participation of local families in free arts activities how could we not be involved! To keep updated with future activity keep an eye on the Facebook page.


NGCA (Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art)

3rd Floor City Library and Arts Centre, Sunderland

Tuesday 29 October                          10.00am – 4.00pm

The Big Draw. Let your imagination run wild and draw something fantastic on the giant blackboard!


Thursday 31 October                        10.00am – 4.00pm

Spooky Make-overs. Dress up in your best Hallowe’en costume, make some gory props and pose for the ghoulish photographers!



Monkwearmouth Station Museum, North Bridge Street, Sunderland, SR5 1AP

Wednesday  30 October                   11am-1pm then 2pm - 4pm

Made in Sunderland Printing. Sunderland artist group ASSIGN are putting on a one-day hands-on printing event for school children.  Children will be able to make prints on paper, using a variety of printmaking techniques, and will be able to take home the prints they make. The theme of the prints will be MADE IN SUNDERLAND, which is the title of the current exhibition in the Station Museum. No booking is necessary. All materials will be provided by ASSIGN.



Biddick Lane, Fatfield, Washington, NE38 8AB

Wednesday 30 October                    10.30am and 1.30pm

LUNA. An enchanting theatre experience for 2-5 year olds about friendship, the moon and being brave in the dark. £6 per person or £20 family of 4.



20-21 Nile Street, Sunniside, Sunderland, SR1 1EY

Thursday 31 October                                    10am - 2pm

Hallowe'en crafts and Family Sewing School. Make creepy crafts with one of the resident artists, Lesley Cooperwaite. All materials are provided and you can take away your own spooky decorations to hang at home ready for the Hallowe'en festivities!

Family Sewing School. Louise Garbutt will be running a free taster of her popular ‘So Sew’ events for all ages with child-friendly sewing activities.


Saturday 2 November                        10am - 2pm

Make your own lanterns. Glass artists Roger Tye and Robyn Townsend lead these fun lantern-making activities. Paint on glass or create patterns with stickers which will then be sandblasted to create beautiful frosted tea light holders and lanterns for you to take home. Some glass jars and tumblers will be provided for decorating, but it is advised that families bring their own where possible. Everyday jars and glasses are suitable. No booking necessary. Activities Free of Charge.



13 Norfolk Street, Sunniside, Sunderland, SR1 1EA

Saturday 2nd November                    12pm-2pm and 2pm-4pm 

Lego and Superhero Painting. Come along to Deborah’s studio to paint your own clay lego and superhero figures.  £1.00 per child. BOOKING REQUIRED. Please contact