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Durham University

Durham Commission on Creativity in Education

News and Events

Public Lecture: Cultural citizenship – what have the arts and creativity got to do with it?

(11 April 2019)

In this lecture, Professor Pat Thomson will ask what role the arts and creativity play in cultural citizenship.

Article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that ‘Everyone has the right to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits’.

The right to culture is inseparable from other human rights and vital to the health of democratic ties.

Professor Pat Thomson will argue that the purpose of cultural education is to support young people to be and become active and critical cultural citizens.

Drawing on findings from the Tracking Arts Learning and Engagement project ( she will suggest that while the arts have a very particular and crucial role to play in this endeavour, a single-minded focus on creativity might be just a little risky.

Pat Thomson PSM PhD FAcSS FRSA is Professor of Education, School of Education, University of Nottingham. She is a former school headteacher and policymaker who now researches arts and creative pedagogies and practices in schools, communities, galleries and museums and arts organisations. She also researches, teaches and blogs about research methods and academic writing ( and @ThomsonPat).

When: Wednesday 24 April, 6-7pm, followed by drinks reception 7-7:30pm

Where: Durham University, Collingwood College, Penthouse Suite, South Road, Durham, DH1 3LT

To book: