2012 Cultural Olympiad
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The Olympic Charter, the set of rules and guidelines for the organization of the Olympic Games and for governing the Olympic Movement states that
London 2012 Festival
The London Olympic Games' Cultural Olympiad included 500 events nationwide throughout the UK, spread over four years and culminating in the London 2012 Festival. The cost of the events was over £97 million with funding provided by Arts Council England, Legacy Trust UK and the Olympic Lottery Distributor.
Those involved in the festival, which ran from 21 June to 9 September 2012, included Oscar-winning actress Cate Blanchett, director Mike Leigh, musician Damon Albarn, artists David Hockney, Lucian Freud, Rachel Whiteread, and writer Toni Morrison.
Twelve British artists were commissioned to design posters for the games: Martin Creed, Bridget Riley, Rachel Whiteread, Chris Ofili, Tracey Emin, Bob and Roberta Smith, Anthea Hamilton, Fiona Banner, Michael Craig-Martin, Gary Hume, Sarah Morris and Howard Hodgkin.
The Cultural Olympiad comprised a number of programs including: Artists Taking the Lead, Discovering Places, Film Nation: Shorts, New Music 20x12, Stories of the World, World Shakespeare Festival. Many of these involved public participation, for example Discovering Places encouraged people to explore their local environment and identify 2012 species, Film Nation was aimed at young people making short films, and Stories of the World involved young people working with 50 museums across the UK.
The Bandstand Marathon on 9 September 2012 was the closing event of the London 2012 Festival, and saw live music events take place at over 200 locations across the U.K. Participating bands were invited by Coldplay to perform their 2008 single "Viva La Vida" simultaneously at 2.00pm to celebrate the end of the games.
Artists taking the lead
|East||On Landguard Point||Pacitti Company||A series of outdoor events which will form a community feature film|
|East Midlands||Lionheart Project||Shauna Richardson||Three giant hand-crocheted lions recreating Richard the Lionheart's three lions crest|
|London||Bus-Tops||Alfie Dennen and Paula Le Dieu||30 LED screens on the roofs of bus shelters displaying works created by the public|
|North East||~Flow||Owl Project and Ed Carter||Electro-acoustic musical machinery powered by the River Tyne|
|North West||Column||Anthony McCall||A 100m vertical column of steam|
|South East||Boat Project||Gregg Whelan, Gary Winters||A 30ft vessel made from donated wooden items|
|South West||Nowhereisland||Alex Hartley||A floating island nation|
|West Midlands||Godiva Awakes||Imagineer Productions||A 10 metre-high carnival puppet of Lady Godiva|
|Yorkshire||Leeds Canvas||Quay Brothers||Overworlds and Underworlds, a month-long series of interventions and art ambushes with film, music and movement|
|Northern Ireland||Nest||Brian Irvine, John McIlduff||A creation made from donated objects and a large-scale music and choral event|
|Scotland||Forest Pitch||Craig Coulthard||A full size football pitch hidden within a forest|
|Wales||Adain Avion||Marc Rees||A mobile art space created from the wreckage of a DC-9 airplane|
New Music 20x12
New musical works commissioned from 20 composers performed around the UK and at the Southbank Centre, London. Artists included Howard Skempton, Mark-Anthony Turnage, Irene Taylor, Luke Carver Goss, Joe Cutler, Graham Fitkin, Mark Prescott, David Bruce, Aidan O'Rourke, Emily Howard, Conor Mitchell, Sheema Mukherjee, Michael Wolters; Oliver Searle, Aaron Cassidy, EXAUDI and Richard Causton.
World Shakespeare Festival
Programming themed around the plays of William Shakespeare was a major part of the London 2012 Festival. Most of the programming was part of a strand titled the World Shakespeare Festival, which included translations, adaptations, and re-workings of Shakespeare's plays. This festival began on 23 April 2012 and finished in November 2012. It was produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company and involved the British Museum, Shakespeare's Globe, the Barbican Centre, the National Theatre and the Almeida Theatre, among others. It included approximately 70 productions related to Shakespeare's plays, over half of which were performed in a language other than English (particularly those which formed part of the Globe to Globe Festival at Shakespeare's Globe). Shakespeare also featured in the BBC's 'Shakespeare Unlocked' 2012 season (particularly The Hollow Crown (TV series) and in the 2012 Summer Olympics opening ceremony. The World Shakespeare Festival also included the Worlds Together Conference, an international interdisciplinary conference exploring the role of Shakespeare and arts learning in young people's lives. 
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- By:. "London 2012 Festival: Drama on display - Features". The Stage. Retrieved 2012-10-14.
- Maev Kennedy. "Biggest Shakespeare festival ever will straddle the London Olympics | Culture". The Guardian. Retrieved 2012-10-14.
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- Minard, Jenny (2012-01-27). "BBC News - London 2012: How Shakespeare's Tempest shapes the ceremonies". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-10-14.
- "Worlds Together | World Shakespeare Festival 2012". Worldshakespearefestival.org.uk. 2012-09-08. Retrieved 2012-10-14.