§ Mr. Matthew Taylor
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what was the purpose and location of the meeting between the Minister for the Arts and Mr. Ed McBride, of the US President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities on 25 February. 
§ Mr. Alan Howarth
Mr. Ed McBride was a guest at a lunch organised and hosted by the British Council in Washington DC which I attended in order to develop an understanding of arts policy in the United States. I was particularly interested to learn about the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities' Coming up Taller awards, which seek to focus attention on how the arts can make a difference in the lives of children from disadvantaged backgrounds. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State and I are committed to promoting access and educational opportunities in the arts precisely because we believe that the arts can make a difference in peoples' lives and can assist in the fight against social exclusion in this country.