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On the 25th February Curious Minds in conjunction with Queen Elizabeth school in Kirkby Lonsdale, Cumbria, hosted C:ED TALKS-Cultural Education in the Rural Landscape.

This event was part of the BBC Get Creative programme of activities that took place throughout the country over that week. Get Creative is a major celebration of the nation’s arts, culture and creativity. Led by the BBC and What Next? In collaboration with a huge range of arts, cultural and voluntary organisations. Radio Cumbria was in attendance and record snippets of the debates and discussion and interviewed a number of attendees for broadcast as part of Get Creative.

The invited colleagues and  participants consisted of students from Queen Elizabeth and Dowdales Schools who are both part of the Specialist Leader in Cultural Education  programme, teaching staff, representatives from arts organisations, museums and galleries, libraries, local authorities, a cabinet member and artists.

The event was chaired by Peter Hooper Assistant Head of QES and Derri Burdon Curious Minds CEO spoke on the Value of Cultural Education. This was followed by three provocations  that were addressed by  brief inputs from different perspectives. The provocations were:-

What is the role schools play in cultural education and how key is it?

What are the cultural opportunities for young people outside the school setting?

What difference is technology making in terms of accessibility to culture?

Lively table discussions followed this.

In the afternoon a panel  of  consisting of Annie McCourt, Head of Learning and Participation at theatre by the Lake, Heidi Johnson, Director of NYMAZ and Jack Horrocks QES Year 13 student and chaired by  Peter Rushton Head of 6th Form, answered the questions:-

What would be lost to rural communities and particularly young people if cultural education was squeezed out of our schools? And What are the opportunities for the development of cultural education within the broader context of rural environments?

The event was record in the form of visual minutes produced by Holly Langley and Claire Stringer.

Curious Minds will be working more closely with Cumbrian colleagues in the next three years and we hope to continue to build on the enthusiasm and dialogue  with them that began at this event.

Participant feedback:

“Another positive & interesting conference. I thought it was particularly good that for the first time (to my knowledge) someone attended from the world of politics/government. Creating a stronger network seems vital but I still feel that much of the time we are still preaching to the converted and debating the finer points when this energy needs to be directed towards funders/polititians. Media – great that Radio Cumbria was here”

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