Cultural Education

This working group aims to explore how partnerships between the HE and cultural sector can contribute to a thriving and sustainable cultural education offer in the Midlands. 

Through events and discussion, it plans to explore what collective knowledge we have about the growth and development of cultural education in the region, and how we then use that knowledge individually, organisationally and across the sector to improve the quality and equality of opportunities for young people.

In 2017, The Forum invited Erica Whyman, Deputy Artistic Director, Royal Shakespeare Company to discuss the widespread and growing concerns about the state and status of the arts in our education system. A roundtable discussion identified actions that we can take together to reclaim and strengthen the health and vibrancy of the arts and culture at every level of education. What new kinds of research can we develop? How can we identify and use evidence from the past and present to inform future policy-making and secure the future of cultural access for all young people? What other opportunities are there for mobilising students in our universities and schools and equipping them with the arguments and tools to shape their cultural inheritance?

What's Next
Our Cultural Education working group is led by Jacqui O’Hanlon, Director of RSC Education and Patricia Thompson, Professor of Education, Faculty of Social Sciences at University of Nottingham with Rob Elkington, Director, Arts Connect West Midlands; Nick Owen, Director, The Mighty Creatives.
Stories about the arts in education are generally told from either a national or London centric perspective, something we aim to address in our public forum events.
Taking place at The Library of Birmingham, our first cultural education event brings together the collective experiences/insights of artists, academics, researchers and education practitioners to explore two central ideas:

  • The development of a vision for how cultural education work in the Midlands can develop over the next 10 years – and the contribution that the HE and cultural sectors can make together.
  • To experiment with creating a living archive of cultural education in the Midlands over the past 40-50 years to help better understand the rich history of work we are all part of. 
    We anticipate this event to take place in early October. Please return to the website for booking details soon.