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
Playwright

About Us

ImagineNation: The Case for Cultural Learning

ImagineNation includes key statistics, facts, quotes and evidence which you can use to make your own arguments to colleagues and policy makers across the learning and cultural worlds.

ImagineNation: The Case for Cultural Learning


The Cultural Learning Alliance believes that the arts and heritage have the power to transform young people’s lives. This document sets out how, and why. In it we argue that the knowledge, skills and experience made possible by the performing and visual arts, by museums, libraries, archives, and by heritage organisations are essential to young people’s development. This cultural learning takes place formally in schools and colleges, and informally in the wider world where the arts and heritage offer children and young people opportunities to express themselves and their ideas and values. They are encouraged to explore other cultures past and present, and are inspired to contribute to the arts and heritage that will be created and enjoyed in the future. Children and young people who have access to our cultural riches will be better equipped to contribute to our economic prosperity and social harmony.

The collaborations taking place between cultural institutions and those directly involved in the education of children and young people are remarkably cost effective: they extend the resources available to schools, and encourage children and young people – and their parents or carers – to make the most of what the arts and heritage have to offer.

However, the healthy relationship between formal and informal cultural learning is under threat; both from the financial retrenchment affecting cultural institutions, and from the planned reform of the education system - which is already leading to a decline in cultural opportunities in schools.

Culture is the way we come to know the world, individually and collectively. It is as rich and diverse as the traditions that stand behind its making. It is the active engagement with the creation of our arts and heritage, and the expression of what and who we are as individuals, as communities, and as a nation. The quality of that culture is a measure of the way we live. At this time of social and economic stress, the case for cultural learning is stronger than ever.

A host of leaders from across the sector have come together to add their voices to the debate and make a truly powerful case for the value of cultural learning. You see the full list at the beginning of the publication.

ImagineNation: The Case for Cultural Learning
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