Cultural Learning Alliance

When you live with degradation depleting your resources, the magical artistic experience becomes a source of hope; a vision beyond the despair, an indication of how bad could be transformed into better

Camila Batmangelidjh
Founder and Director, Kids Company


State of the Arts

Published 15 February 2011

The Arts Council England / RSA State of the Arts Conference took place last week in Central London, with arts organisations and policy makers attending from all over the country. The event was recorded, and you will be able to watch the highlights as well as read the Twitter stream and the blog here .

We were really pleased that so much of the debate centred on topics related to children and young people. Throughout the day brilliant examples of projects were showcased, such as the Summer Colleges for Youth Offenders Scheme flagged up by the Chief Executive of Peterborough Council. There was also panel discussion and a barrage of questions from the floor raising the current DfE Curriculum Review, the Henley Review of Music Education, the English Baccalaureate, young people’s routes into creative industries and their participation in the arts outside school, cuts to HE, and evidence frameworks for measuring the impact of cultural learning as some of the most important issues facing the arts sector today.

Ed Vaizey, Minister for Culture, Communications and the Creative Industries, gave a speech at the event and flagged up the government’s commitment to undertaking a review into cultural education, to be led by Darren Henley and building on the findings of the Music Education Review. The CLA will be working closely with this review and looks forward to feeding in the thoughts and experiences of our signatories.

The conference was closed by Dame Liz Forgan.  She said that the event had made her even more aware of the critical role of education to the wider cultural ecology. She spoke of inviting an education sector partner to co-host the next State of the Arts, and said that more discussion is needed to engage with and resolve some of the challenges in this area.  We were delighted to hear this recognition of the value of work with, for and by children and young people.

The CLA will be continuing to discuss, champion, celebrate and lobby for cultural learning and urges all State of the Arts participants to continue the conversation with us on Twitter, #culturelearning, on Facebook, and on this blog.


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