The London 2012 Cultural Olympiad moved another hop, skip and a jump closer this week with the ‘opening for business’ to artists and arts organisations. You can read about the different ways to get involved here. Obviously there’s a considerable amount of lottery funding going into the Olympics and many people have made their views clear about that. Whatever the rights and wrongs, 2012 is a-coming and is now an opportunity to do some creative and fantastic things. I see no sense in the resentful scorn I’ve heard from some people. I think we could really do something to showcase the talent of young people, for instance, that might dislodge forever (ok, a generation…) this damaging myth that young people are, somehow, Trouble about which ‘something must be done’. I think it’s also a great chance for the arts in London to demonstrate the benefits to the whole of the UK of having a global cultural capital here.
At the IFACCA World Summit on Arts and Culture, organised by Arts Council in the North East in 2006 we had a session on cultural Olympiads, with two great speakers, Craig Hassall and Beatriz Garcia. Craig’s presentation emphasised the need to involve artists, which the team are striving to do. Beatriz’s website has lots of links of interest to those interested in the legacies of such events.