East Midlands Cultural Olympiad

From Music Nation in Derby to Global Footprint in Northamptonshire and AfterGold in Loughborough to Lionheart Project in Lincolnshire and Let’s Dance in Leicester, through to the finalé of World Event Young Artists in Nottingham and the closing production of Games Time at Derby Festé – the East Midlands comes together to show just why there is so much to be proud of across its six counties.

Cultural Olympiad in the East Midlands Launch
Monday 27 February 2012
Primary, 33 Seely Road, Nottingham
10.00am
The London 2012 Cultural Olympiad programme in the East Midlands is being unveiled today at Primary, a new arts venue in Nottingham, which will include a performance by Leicester based street dance company Addict, recent stars of TV’s Got to Dance. The programme has been inspired by the staging of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and is the result of a partnership between Arts Council England, Legacy Trust UK and London 2012. Legacy Trust UK is an independent charity set up to create a lasting cultural and sporting legacy from London 2012 in communities across the UK.

Too often the East Midlands has been characterised as an essentially nice but boring part of the country, with little that happens to attract attention and with little aspiration to organise or attract big cultural events. In 2008 a plan was hatched to try and transform these perceptions. Legacy Trust UK gave £1.61 million of support to Igniting Ambition, a 4 year programme of events for the Cultural Olympiad which would show just why people should sit up and notice the unique cultural strengths of the region.

Paul Brookes, the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad representative for the East Midlands, explains: “Ten years ago none of the cities in the region made a bid for the European Capital of Culture designation, which was eventually awarded to Liverpool. The East Midlands was the only region in the UK without a single city coming forward. Yet the last decade has seen an impressive number of new cultural venues open around the region. It was time to create a festival programme that reflected the new buzzing creativity of its different localities.

“The journey began with establishing a number of key partnerships. With the support of Arts Council England, Legacy Trust UK and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), our Igniting Ambition programme helped the development and delivery of the Derby Festé in 2008, establishing it as an annual outdoor arts festival

“In 2012 the whole region is coming together to celebrate the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympic Games. There are many great events in the coming months and concluding with the internationally significant World Event Young Artists in Nottingham, bringing over 1,000 artists and delegates from around the world together for a ten day conference and festival programme.”

Besides Igniting Ambition’s and its sister programme, Creative Innovation, this year’s activities include major contributions from other strands of the Cultural Olympiad , including Artists Taking the LeadUnlimitedStories of the WorldCommunity Celebration. As well as projects that are part of the Inspire programme and the London 2012 Festival – the spectacular 12-week nationwide celebration from 21 June and running until 9 September 2012 bringing together leading artists from across the world with the very best from the UK.

This year’s Cultural Olympiad programme has attracted considerable investment from outside the region, securing £2.5 million from Arts Council England, £950k from Legacy Trust UK and £160k from the ERDF.

Peter Knott, Regional Director of Arts Council England, said: “The Olympic year promises to be an unprecedented 12 months for the arts and culture in England. It will be a year like no other, a national celebration in which we can be confident that the talent and creativity of the East Midlands will sparkle.

“We are very proud of what has been achieved in a programme that has had three key values at its core: inspiring and involving young people; celebrating international understanding and cultural diversity; and leaving a positive legacy after 2012. We are confident that audiences everywhere, from towns such as Skegness, Corby, Loughborough and Matlock or cities such as Derby, Leicester, Lincoln and Nottingham will have the chance to participate and experience great art and entertainment and be part of the shared memories that will live on well beyond 2012.”

Moira Swinbank, Chief Executive of Legacy Trust UK, said: “Since 2008 we have funded a wide range of cultural projects in the East Midlands and across the UK as part of the Cultural Olympiad; the cultural celebrations of London 2012.

“As a Principal Funder of the Cultural Olympiad and the London 2012 Festival we are delighted at the wealth of creative opportunities on offer in the East Midlands this year.

“But the impact from this programme does not end in 2012. We are working to ensure that people continue to benefit from the fantastic cultural opportunities London 2012 has brought to the East Midlands.”

 
Note to editors:

Interview and photograph opportunities are available from 11.00am. Attending the launch will be:

· Joel Stickley – Lincolnshire Poet Laureate

· Addict Dance – Leicester

· Games Time – Derby Festé

· Shauna Richardson – Lionheart Project

· Paul Cummins – Unlimited Artist

· Ballare: To Dance – Philip Herbert

· Bright in the Corner – Kim Johnson

Legacy Trust UK is an independent charity set up to create a lasting cultural and sporting legacy from London 2012 in communities across the UK. The Trust is funded by a £40 million endowment from the Big Lottery Fund (£29m), Department for Culture Media and Sport (£6m) and Arts Council England (£5m), and is a Principal Funder of the Cultural Olympiad and London 2012 Festival. www.legacytrustuk.org

Igniting Ambition and Creative Innovation are part-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The ERDF programme aims to strengthen economic and social cohesion in the European Union by supporting regional economic development. For more information on ERDF funding generally, please visit www.erdf.communities.gov.uk

About the Cultural Olympiad and London 2012 Festival

The London 2012 Cultural Olympiad is the largest cultural celebration in the history of the modern Olympic and Paralympic Movements. Spread over four years, it is designed to give everyone in the UK a chance to be part of London 2012 and inspire creativity across all forms of culture, especially among young people.

The culmination of the Cultural Olympiad will be the London 2012 Festival, a spectacular 12-week nationwide celebration bringing together leading artists from across the world with the very best from the UK, from Midsummers Day on 21 June and running until the final day of the Paralympic Games on 9 September 2012.The London 2012 Festival will celebrate the huge range, quality and accessibility of the UK’s world-class culture including dance, music, theatre, the visual arts, fashion, film and digital innovation, giving the opportunity for people across the UK to celebrate the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Principal funders of the Cultural Olympiad and London 2012 Festival are Arts Council England, Legacy Trust UK and the Olympic Lottery Distributor. BP and BT are Premier Partners of the Cultural Olympiad and the London 2012 Festival.

For more details on the programme and to sign up for information visitwww.london2012.com/festival

For more information contact:
 
Sharon Joinson
Officer, Communications
t:0115 989 7559
m:07872 416649
e:sharon.joinson@artscouncil.org.uk

Added Friday 24 February 2012