Pupils Cross The Line

6 May 2014
Tags: News

Pupils from a Lancaster school have become the first to benefit from a new cultural partnership between The Dukes and Lancaster University.

The partnership aims to enrich the city’s cultural life by providing services, opportunities and education to people in Lancaster using the arts.

Six classes from Central Lancaster High School worked with The Dukes Centre for Creative Learning on Crossing The Line, a 2014 twist on the Blue-Eyed, Brown-Eyed exercise devised by an American teacher and pioneer of diversity training.

The project, which caused controversy when introduced in the 1960s, challenges discrimination and was originally created shortly after the assassination of Martin Luther King.

It involved designating one group superior to the other according to eye colour. The ‘superior’ group was given certain privileges, sat apart from the other and was told to ignore them.

Within days friends were turning against one another and the exercise was reversed to monitor how the ‘inferior’ group reacted when they were given privileges.

Crossing The Line saw pupils create their own ‘society’ where classes were divided into groups according to certain skills such as being able to stand on one leg. Privileges were given to one group and not another to monitor the pupils attitudes and their reactions were filmed.

Creative Learning Director, Guy Christiansen, said: “We had an amazing reaction to this project. Young people were talking about how they’d really changed their minds about prejudice and standing up for themselves.”

Welcoming the new partnership, Vice Chancellor of Lancaster University  Professor Mark E. Smith said: “We are very proud of Lancaster and by funding work to engage young people with the arts we are investing in the city’s vibrant cultural life.”

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6/5/14

For further information please contact Louise Bryning on 01524 598509 or email

Editor’s Notes

The Cultural Partnership

A new three year cultural partnership between The Dukes and Lancaster University which aims to develop arts, education and learning in Lancaster and to enrich the city’s cultural life.

The partnership will deliver six bespoke cultural outreach projects before July 2014 across the Lancaster district as part of the MAKE Project. MAKE focuses on cultural outreach with young people and also aims to provide 120 young people from areas of social economic deprivation with high quality arts and education.

The Dukes

The Dukes Centre For Creative Learning devise and deliver innovative programmes to support the creative, personal, social and educational development of thousands of young people from across Lancashire.

The Dukes is an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation. The  Dukes receives regular funding from Arts Council England, Lancashire County 

Council and Lancaster City Council.

The Dukes is the winner of the Lancashire Tourism Cultural Venue/Organisation Award 2013.

Lancaster University

Lancaster University is ranked among the top 15 universities in the UK and the top 150 in the world. It is the highest ranked University in the North West of England in The Guardian, Times/Sunday Times and Complete University Guide.

It is also top for employability and student satisfaction in its region.

More than 90 per cent of Lancaster’s research is judged to be internationally excellent and the University has many subject areas which are ranked amongst the best in national and international league tables.

The University has a strong focus on working with business and has helped create more than 4,000 new jobs.

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