Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Olympics and the Arts

"O" is for Olympics in the A to Z Challenge

I was tipped off to this article on technologyinthearts.org from a tweet by the Lincoln Center Institute @LCInstitue on Twitter.

The title of the article is The London 2012 Olympic Games and the Role of the Arts

Sean Bowie writes:

The hope, organizers say, is to leave a “lasting legacy for the arts in the UK,” and with millions of tourists visiting the city for the festivities, and billions watching around the globe, there may be no better opportunity for that kind of exposure...

Organizers are proclaiming that there are “10 million free opportunities to get involved,” and while the full list of events has yet to be revealed, there are already hundreds of shows and exhibits that have been announced. Perusing the website you can find such events as film festivals, comedy shows, concerts, carnivals, and fashion shows, some of which require tickets, but the majority of the events are free to the public.

One of the most notable events announced thus far is the Damien Hirst exhibition at the world-famous Tate Modern. In the world of film, a festival showing silent movies by home town director Alfred Hitchcock will be presented, alongside a live musical performance of the material...

William Shakespeare will be in the spotlight, as the World Shakespeare Festival, which begins next Monday (April 23rd) and runs through September, will present almost 70 productions of Shakespeare’s plays in thirty different locations across the United Kingdom, including Scotland and Wales.

Organized by the Royal Shakespeare Company, organizers are calling it the “biggest celebration of Shakespeare ever staged,” with thousands of actors from around the world taking part in the project. In addition to the usual theatre presentations of Shakespeare’s work, there will be street performances and even amateur performances as well. The most ambitious part of the festival is the Globe to Globe project, where performers will act out all of Shakespeare’s plays, but each of them will be performed in a different language with different actors used for each performance...

Bowie observes that there are critics who complain that it takes months or years of preparation to produce an event on the scale of the Olympics, but the event lasts only two weeks. He replies:

While the sporting part of the Olympics is only in town for those two weeks, it is the hope of organizers of both the London 2012 festival and the Cultural Olympiad that the impact that the arts community brings to the festivities, through art, dance, music, film, culture and so much more, has a lasting impact even after the games have ended and all the medals have been handed out. It may not be in place as long as a giant football stadium, but the impact on British culture is sure to last for quite some time.

I think local communities can take a cue from this. When local events draw large number of people to town (lets say for NASCAR, football games, national conferences, etc...) it is an opportunity to showcase your art and culture. Piggyback on other events, particularly ones that last for more than a day.

For more, go to technolgoyinthearts.org

"O" is for the Olympics, and April is Parkinson's Awareness Month

1 comment:

  1. It is interesting to think of major events in a city being coordinated in some way. This happens on a small scale all the time when small vendors set up on the street around performances and sell to the crowd, but when NASCAR or some other large event that bring many from out of town, perhaps they are met with a poster showing concurrent events around the city, QR codes (or other) for more info like a map to get there, etc. It may be the Economic Development arm of local govts are already doing this to some extent, but I have not seen it ( not that I go out a lot!). Are you aware of anything like this?