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



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.

Sir Stuart Rose, Chairman, M&S

Sir Stuart Rose, Chairman, M&S
“I probably couldnĀ“t do what I do without it”
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
Quentin Blake

To write and draw in a school magazine that I also had the opportunity to edit was significant; but probably even more significant, with hindsight, was to appear in school Shakespeare productions. It was not so much the parts but the sense of that whole experience; of identifying with characters, sensing mood, pace, emphasis, contrast, even though I was probably doing quite a lot of this fairly unconsciously. All this was part of my art education, the preparation for being an illustrator. Illustration for me is very much the theatre of the page, and so I have spent years, as it were, producing texts; acting the characters, controlling the pace, the mood, the emphasis, rehearsing effects. It’s what turns drawing into illustration.
Patricia Lankester, independent consultant

My earliest one is the clearest. We lived in West Yorkshire and my parents didn’t go to art galleries or concerts, but they often went to the theatre, on their own. They liked musicals, but they also loved Shakespeare and when I was eight they took us to see Laurence Olivier in Twelfth Night at Stratford. I was dumb-founded by the evening, particularly as in the interval I wandered into the lighting technicians’ area and was shouted at to leave “get out, you horrible child”. The whole thing was astonishing – here were people doing something magical, serious and uncompromising. I immediately “auditioned” for a part in Alice, Thomas and Jane in the children’s drama club back home and pretended throughout the show that I was acting in the West End. The learning here was about confidence and individuality and that some adults inhabited a totally different and imaginative world.
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