Cultural Learning Alliance

There is an increasing realisation that the arts are essential to people’s wellbeing and that they provide a lifeline in difficult times

Julian Lloyd-Webber
Musician and Chairman of In Harmony



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.

Professor Tanya Byron

Professor Tanya Byron
“It's part of our life as a family”
Polly Hudson

When I was about six or seven, my parents took me to an exhibition at Tate Britain where you could climb along planks and swing (if my memory serves me correct) on giant ropes across the room. It made me think museums were fantastic fun. It was probably this and the excitement of getting a postcard and a Coke, every time we went to an exhibition, that began my lifelong passion for museums, galleries and art.
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.
Anne Marchant

My love of the visual arts. Aged 4 1/2 I painted a picture of a train "Intercity 125" (Most people unfortunately see it as a car!) in bold, gloopy colourful poster paint. I won a school prize for it, and have continued to practice the visual arts to this day.
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