Cultural Learning Alliance

When you’re young, the arts afford you a glimpse of the world through the senses of others, whilst helping you make sense of yourself

Sir Alan Ayckbourn



What was your most memorable cultural experience when you were young and how has it stayed with you?

Below is a sample of your inspiring examples of the power of cultural learning. Please see the menu on the right for more videos and stories.

David Cameron, Prime Minister

David Cameron, Prime Minister
“It´s something that stays with you forever”
Sue Wilkinson, Museums, Libraries & Archives Council

As a young child my most important cultural experience was being taken to the library twice a week. Books were a route into different worlds. I was particularly entranced by a series of books on the childhood of famous people – the young Elizabeth Barratt Browning; the young Elizabeth Fry. Drawn from diaries and memoirs they gave a surprisingly accurate (I discovered later) account of the childhoods of famous women – and it was only the women I was interested in. I think they showed me that the world I was growing up in was not necessarily the world I had to stay in for the whole of my life. I knew from a very young age that I wanted something more than seemed to be on offer in the town in which I lived – books and collections helped me to understand more about what I wanted and how to get it.
Dr John Steers, General Secretary, National Society for Education in Art & Design

Aged about 14 I was taken by my school art teacher to the local (not very good) gallery. We were asked to identify the work we liked best. I chose a drawing of Abbeville Cathedral by John Ruskin and when asked why, I said that I admired the detail in the drawing. The response was an immediate put down: 'Beware detail, young Steers'. I thought 'you can think what you like, I want to draw as well as that'. I've been trying to do so ever since for the last fifty years!
Dr Paul Strickland, TimeMachineFun

I left school with a D in woodwork, told I was thick as a plank, ironically. 7 Years later I got a PhD. I became a senior lecturer and decided their was a need for perivate investment and independant resources, where you people could explore, vai project led learning. We have just opened the new center and launched Its a long time since I was at school, and if you have read this far will realise I suffer from dyslexia. The center is unique, in that the exhibits are experiments and we take things apart and 'shake the science out of them', every part had to be designed, engineered and manufactured. We then repair, reuse or recycle. I hope young people are allowed like me to think outside of the box and able to explore the richness of creativity, its not easy but its fun
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