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Rising Tide: Navigating the Future of Cultural Learning


Take a look at our short film that brings together highlights from the day's speeches and performances.

Listen again

You can also listen to the keynote speeches and provocations from Rising Tide: Navigating the Future of Cultural Learning below:

Matthew Taylor, Chief Executive, RSA
Why tomorrow's children need a 21st century enlightenment

Charlotte Winters, Trustee, Firstsite
More than just a box to tick

Nicky Cox MBE, Founder & Editor, First News
27% of the world's population; 100% of the future

Julia Farrington, Independent Producer
Stemming the Tide

Sir Kevan Collins, Chief Executive, Education Endowment Foundation
To Lift All Ships


About the Conference

We live in a time of seismic global transformation that will affect the lives of all children and young people. Schools and cultural organizations find themselves buffeted by these rapid economic and political changes. What is the role of cultural learning in these turbulent times?

Schools and cultural organizations from across the South East are standing strong against this rising tide through exploring new approaches and new partnerships to become powerful voices for culture.

Our 5th Annual Conference explored these key issues and asked: what are the implications for arts and culture for children and young people and how can we chart a course that assures consistent and high quality cultural learning for all?

Key Questions:

  • How do we take account of how young people see the world and their concerns about the future?
  • What is the unique contribution that cultural learning can make?
  • How can arts and cultural education ride this rising tide and thrive?

Rising Tide was held on Thursday 29 June at The Historic Dockyard, Chatham.


Rising Tide was hosted by:

After acting in theatre and television, Baroness Lola Young became an arts administrator, before becoming professor of Cultural Studies at Middlesex University as well as a writer, cultural critic, public speaker and broadcaster. Full bio

The keynote address was given by:

Matthew Taylor has been Chief Executive of the RSA since November 2006. During this time the Society has substantially increased its output of research and innovation, has provided new routes to support charitable initiatives of its 28,000 Fellows – including crowd funding - and has developed a global profile as a platform for ideas. In October 2016 Matthew was appointed by the Prime Minister to lead an independent review into modern employment. Full bio

Charlotte Winters presented her perspective on the challenges facing young people:

Charlotte Winters describes herself as very strange. She has been labelled many things over her 19 years this planet and rarely gets an opportunity to label herself. Here are some things she definitely IS: an artist, a human being, a member of YAK, a student, a Trustee of Firstsite, Brad's mate, someone who refuses to grow up and a 24/7 experimenter with life.


Nicky Cox MBE is editor-in-chief of First News, the national newspaper for young people with more than two million readers a week. Nearly half of schools subscribe making First News the widest-read publication for children in the UK. Full bio
Julia Farrington is a freelance campaign, project and resources producer, working in the UK and internationally at the interface between arts, human rights and politics, with a particular interest in artistic freedom of expression. Full bio
Sir Kevan Collins took up post as the first Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) Chief Executive in October 2011, having previously been Chief Executive in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. Full bio

There was a closing keynote address from:

Jackie Kay was named Scots Makar — the National Poet for Scotland — in March 2016. She is Chancellor of the University of Salford and Professor of Creative Writing at Newcastle University. Full bio

You can find information about workshops here.