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.
Kirsty Young, BroadcasterKirsty Young, Broadcaster
Life isn´t just about the practical
Louise de Winter, National Campaign for the Arts
When I was at school it was expected for us to take part in the music competition at the Bath Festival. I remember plonking (rather ineptly) through a piano recital and steeling myself to bear the humiliation of a merely adequate performance. However, I now look back on the experience, and on the nerves and tension it generated, with humour and affection, and in recognition that it was all good practice and a great lesson for meeting life's challenges generally!
Helen Chambers, National Children's Bureau
My first memorable cultural experience was at 10 years of age when I saw live theatre. I attended a travelling performance of Twelfth Night in a nearby secondary school hall with no stage or lighting, with cut out orange trees providing the backdrop to Tudor costumes of cross-garters and cross-dressing. Suddenly the dry text pages made sense as they were given life, meaning in action and movement. I joined the drama society, was in school and house plays, and sat my Guildhall exams – as well as gaining the school English prize. My second cultural experience was in the 1st form at grammar school when taken to a visiting symphony orchestra playing I know not what at the Palace Theatre in Newark – but sat on red plush seats, next to my best friend Ro. Did those musicians really have to do boring piano and squealy violin practice or were they born like that? I learned that I love music – but didn't have the patience to perfect the art. Ro did and she still is my friend.
Andrew Clover, Writer and comedian
When I was nine, every class at my school put on a play. 300 of us sat on the floor, and we saw Rocky O Leary, the school's smallest boy, who was playing Chicken Licken. Hilarious. I saw loads of short plays culminating in a fine comic turn from Andrew Brown, that I can still imitate. Sure, I'd been on a couple of coach trips to watch big musicals in big theatres, but this was way better. The big theatres didn't have Rocky O Leary.