Engage: Gallery Education

To mark the 25th anniversary of engage, this issue of the engage Journal looks back at the development of gallery education over that period and reflects on where it stands now.

Established in 1989 as the National Association for Gallery Education, the development of engage coincides with both the development of gallery education as a distinct area of practice in the UK, and significant change within the visual arts and education sectors.

Amongst these changes were: investment in cultural organisations developing education work in the 1980s; investment by government in new audiences engaging with the arts and culture; re-housing the arts through the Lottery in the late 1990s and 2000s. Currently we are working in the context of the austerity of the 2000s, where less investment in culture from the public sector and major changes in the education sector in England could threaten the engagement of children and young people in arts and culture. Conversely, these challenges may be may stimulate innovation and partnership in the field of gallery education.

The contributors to this issue have responded to these topics and more, with reference to practices and challenges faced in different contexts.

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