The event, called Open Weekend, will offer the public the chance to go behind the scenes at over 160 cultural organisations.
The weekend is designed to give people a preview of the depth of talent and creativity that will take place over the coming years.
Among the highlights, Tate Britain will present a special ‘Olympic Hour’ with LOCOG Chair Sebastian Coe and other well known sports people replacing the regular team of sprinters in Turner Prize winner Martin Creed’s Work No 850.
Museums and galleries all over the country are opening up their stores to reveal their hidden treasures for the first time, including The Discovery Museum in Newcastle, the Stephenson Railway Museum, the Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens, Shipley Art Gallery, Laing Art Gallery, National Museums Liverpool, Tate, V&A, the Royal Naval Museum in Portsmouth, National Galleries of Scotland.
There will also be a special edition of Open Rehearsal, the Mayor of London’s annual festival opening up cultural organisations around the capital for backstage tours, rehearsals and workshops.
Weymouth, a venue for the sailing for the London 2012 Games, will host ‘Stories of the Sea’, a unique outdoor performance with spectacular pyrotechnics, light and sound created by acclaimed Spanish artists Xarxa Theatre, working with young people from Poole, Bournemouth and Weymouth
Blackpool Tower will be specially lit up in the four London 2012 colours at 20:12pm on the night of 26 September. There will be a spectacular fireworks display over the famous Blackpool Promenade and access to the town’s leisure facilities will be at 1948 prices - the last year that the UK hosted the Games.
Inspired by the founder of the modern Olympic movement Pierre de Coubertin’s idea of a marriage of sport and the arts, the Cultural Olympiad is designed to celebrate Olympic and Paralympic values in the cultural field.
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