London 2012 Festival highlights include:
Ruth Mackenzie, Director, Cultural Olympiad & London 2012 Festival, said: “We are proud to be working in partnership with Southbank Centre on world-class commissions for the London 2012 Festival including A Room for London, Music Nation, the celebration of George Benjamin, Poetry Parnassus, Angelique Kidjo and Baaba Maal on the Africa Stage as part of the BT River of Music, Gustavo Dudamel and the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra and the Unlimited programme.”
Festival of the World is inspired by the cultural vision of Baron Pierre de Coubertin (1863–1937), the founder of the modern Olympic movement. An educationalist and artist – who designed the iconic Olympics logo – de Coubertin was influenced by the thinking of two English educationalists: Thomas Arnold (1795–1842) and his work as headmaster at Rugby School, which de Coubertin visited, as well as Dr William Penny Brookes (1809–1895) who he first met in 1880. Brookes founded the annual Wenlock Olympic Games at Much Wenlock in Shropshire in 1850.
Pierre de Coubertin believed the arts could raise the aspirations of young people in the same way as sport. An exhibition in the Royal Festival Hall will use artworks, photographs and archive material to set Pierre de Coubertin’s work alongside other educational visionaries, for example Arnold J. Toynbee 1889–1975) and John Ruskin (1819–1900). One of many opportunities for visitors to participate is Wide Open School where the public can engage with visual artists from more than 60 nations; and the 300 young people who will be invited to take part in Africa Utopia. There will also be a major Festival of the World symposium ART AS AN AGENT OF CHANGE on 23 to 24 June, when Gustavo Dudamel and the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra are in residence.
Jude Kelly, Artistic Director of Southbank Centre, said: “Pierre de Coubertin’s vision of a better world through education, culture and sport for all is as relevant today as it was at the end of the 19th century. Southbank Centre shares his belief that young people should strive to be the best they can be to shape and contribute to the world we live in. Festival of the World will be a space for artists and visitors from around the world to enjoy a three-month celebration of the arts and its power to transform lives. This ambitious gathering will be made possible through collaboration with hundreds of artists and organisations and thousands of participants of all ages.”
For more information visit southbankcentre.co.uk/world.
As it heads towards its £2bn budget for staging the Olympic and Paralympic Games, LOCOG has seven domestic Tier One Partners - adidas, BMW, BP, British Airways, BT, EDF and Lloyds TSB. There are seven domestic Tier Two Supporters – Adecco, ArcelorMittal, Cadbury, Cisco, Deloitte, Thomas Cook and UPS. There are now twenty-eight domestic Tier Three Suppliers and Providers – Aggreko, Airwave, Atkins, Boston Consulting Group, CBS Outdoor, Crystal CG, Eurostar, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, G4S, GSK, Gymnova, Heathrow Airport, Heineken UK, Holiday Inn, John Lewis, McCann Worldgroup, Mondo, NATURE VALLEY, Next, Nielsen, Populous, Rapiscan Systems, Rio Tinto, Technogym, Thames Water, Ticketmaster, Trebor and Westfield.
There is one domestic Tier One Paralympic Games Partner, Sainsbury’s and one domestic Tier Three Paralympic Supplier, Otto Bock.
The Worldwide Olympic Partners signed up for London 2012 are Coca-Cola, Acer, Atos, Dow Chemical Company, GE, McDonald’s, Omega, Panasonic, Procter and Gamble, Samsung and Visa.
- A Room for London, a unique one-bedroom installation in the form of a riverboat, situated on the roof of the Queen Elizabeth Hall. Conceived by architect David Kohn and artist Fiona Banner, this is a major new collaboration between Living Architecture and Artangel, in association with Southbank Centre, from January to December 2012.
- A weekend celebrating the music of leading British composer George Benjamin (12 to 13 May) and Southbank Centre Associate Artist, with performances of 10 seminal works over three concerts, culminating in a rare performance of Jubilation.
- Poetry Parnassus, the largest poetry festival ever staged in the UK, will see poets being invited together from each of the 204 competing Olympic nations in London for a week-long celebratory gathering, led by Southbank Centre’s Artist in Residence Simon Armitage (26 June – 1 July).
- Unlimited, a programme of 29 major commissions that celebrate arts and culture by disabled and deaf artists on an unprecedented scale in the UK (1–9 September), including Claire Cunningham, Candoco Dance Company and Graeae Theatre Company. This runs concurrently with the Paralympic Games.
- Africa Utopia, led by renowned Senegalese singer and human rights champion Baaba Maal, will shed light on areas where the continent leads the world, through performances, talks, debates and film (1 June – 29 July).
- The highly anticipated return of Gustavo Dudamel and the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra for a four-day Sounds Venezuela residency (22–26 June).
- Southbank Centre to host the Africa Stage adjacent to Jubilee Gardens – one of six stages showcasing live music from each continent along the River Thames as part of the BT River of Music. Major artists confirmed so far include Angelique Kidjo and Baaba Maal (21 and 22 July).
- Dancing Voices (11 July), a performance by 150 dancers and 50 singers over the age of 60 led by East London Dance and Southbank Centre’s VoiceLab as part of The Big Dance.