Our Networks

Z-arts is proud to be a part of a number of different networks, read all about them below:

Big Imaginations

Big Imaginations is a network of 23 arts venues and organisations dedicated to providing high quality, imaginative and affordable theatre to children and their grown-ups.

From grand auditoriums to rural village halls, and everywhere in between, it is our mission to ignite the imaginations of children and their families years through the wonder of theatre.

This is how we work: Z-arts is the lead organisation of Big Imaginations, with CEO Liz O’Neill as Chair of the network and Zoe Pickering as Big Imaginations manager. The network have quarterly meetings with representatives of all the member organisations invited and we have subgroups to discuss and make decisions on programming, commissions, artist development, and other aspects of Big Imaginations.

You can find us across the North West and Yorkshire.

By programming and commissioning work that inspires children, young people and their families, we hope to encourage everyone to explore the world in different ways. We aim to nurture inquisitiveness and play, share amazing experiences, and provide families with the opportunities to enjoy theatre and the arts together.

Interested? Have a look at the network’s website to find out about artist development, resources, and where your nearest Big Imaginations venue is.

Orange graphic with Big Imaginations logo - a click through to the Big Imaginations Ten Year Report.


MADE is a collaboration between arts, education and youth organisations across the city. We hope to embed creativity in the curriculum and beyond!

MADE comprises practitioners from across the education, cultural, youth and business sectors, working together to ensure children and young people have the widest possible access to meaningful, high quality cultural experiences.

MADE currently has 5 Task Groups.

  • Communications
  • Creative Curriculum
  • Employability
  • English as an Additional Language
  • Youth Voice

Z-arts is represented across all these task groups, meeting monthly to create meaningful cultural learning experiences for young people.

If you are a teacher, cultural organisation, or creative and would like to become part of the network, have a look at the network’s website and get in touch to find out more!

A pink graphic with the MADE logo. A click through to read case studies from MADE's 2022/23 Annual Report.



Manchester Family Arts Network

Family Arts Networks are an initiative of the Family Arts Campaign.

Manchester’s Family Arts Network is a group of venues and organisations from across Manchester that are collaborating to ensure that all Manchester families can get involved in creative events and activities.

The network has expanded to include over 20 venues and organisations who create and produce activities or receive creative activities and services as partners of the network. Activities include storytelling, dance, music, theatre, visual arts, digital and film and the network operates online and offline with families from all backgrounds.

You can follow the activity at Manchester Family Fun on Facebook and Twitter @mcrfamilyarts

Z-arts is the lead venue for the Manchester network which includes:

The Family Arts Campaign and the Family & Childcare Trust have developed a set of Family Arts Standards, addressing a need for clear guidance on how best to welcome families to arts organisations. Many organisations have already signed up; you can find a list of them here.

Email the Family Arts Ambassador maya@z-arts.org for more information!