Report – Culture for Kids Goes Digital

Posted on: Wednesday 06 July 2016 6:03pm by Gabrielle Smith


This panel session invited speakers from various arts and cultural organisations to discuss how they demonstrate the ways in which they are reaching, engaging and inspiring children digitally, in order to create a more accessible and personal experience.


  • Creativity and participation is key, whether this is audience facing or happens on other platforms and social media.
  • Making art relevant to children is important as well as exploring ways to improve visual products and apps
  • Aspects of the interactive can capture, motivate and engage children

The structure of the session invited each speaker to share their own story of how they use and harness aspects of digital media content. In reflecting on how this works within their own professional practices (and shared examples), the wider questions of what this can bring to the virtual and real worlds we all live, work and most importantly, play in were brought to the forefront of the conversation.

Discussion opened up to wider audience comments and questions on how reaching children through digital content, can encourage creativity and participation on both a national and global scale

Steve Smith spoke on his work for the Royal Observatory Greenwich, and the ways in which he must balance content and creativity. He says, ‘They are scientists not ‘creatives’ so our job is to interpret what they want to be said, in a pleasing visual way.’

Svetlana Dragayeva notes how Virry is an app that provides, ‘meaningful edutainment for children which facilitates learning in a non-didactic way.’

Kathryn Box offers the three core principles of play, make and share as vital to their engagement and bridging the gap between the digital and the offline. She notes that Tate Kids is also offering an increased film library. In addition to a pilot scheme running this year which invites fourteen local children into the gallery to view exhibitions, events and displays.

As the Executive Director of Upswing, Camille Bensoussan discussed their latest production Bedtime Stories as ‘an immersive experience that families can enjoy together.’ She comments that the show was able to link together theatre and live performance with the use of digital to produce a very inclusive piece that did not follow the norms or conventions of theatre.

The notable engagement from each member of the panel highlighted the broad spectrum of how aspects of the interactive can capture, motivate and engage children.

In opening the panel to the floor, the range of creative and original content that is produced provoked a varied and thought-provoking dialogue. From the factual and museum based material to an immersive theatrical circus experience, the common decisive factor, as Sharna observes is ‘the product has to be brilliant’.


Blog camille Bensoussan CMC 2016 culture goes digital kathryn box steve smith svetlana dragayeva

Gabrielle Smith

About the author

Gabrielle Smith

Northumbria University, Ph.D Student

Gabrielle Smith is a second year Ph.D candidate at Northumbria University, Newcastle and is a Film and Television graduate from the universities of Aberdeen and Glasgow. Her current research explores the role of the British children’s television presenter. Additionally, Gaby’s passion for working with children and young adults has been… Read more