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Arts and cultural activities on your own doorstep!

London 2012 - be inspired, be a part, with arts and cultural activities on your own doorstep!

2012 is an exciting year. The Olympic and Paralympic Games, the world's greatest sporting event, finally arrives in the UK this Summer. But it's much more than just sport on offer...

The London 2012 Cultural Olympiad is an amazing arts and culture programme linked to London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. What's more it's happening where you live - so you don't need to visit London to be a part of London 2012, you can take part right here in Yorkshire, on your own doorstep.

Cultural Olympiad Yorkshire and Humber

Your guide to hundreds of free arts and culture events near you What's On MAY-SEP 2012 - Download now »


Creativity is something that people in the UK are great at. And to prove it, no other host nation has ever attempted an arts and cultural programme of this size and scale ever before. Activities are happening in public places, outside spaces and online. There are events and exhibitions in family friendly venues and museums. There's plenty to take part in, whatever your interest.

imove explores and celebrates the joy of human movement through arts and cultural activity. This four year programme of once-in-a-lifetime regional events will culminate in 2012, leaving behind some unforgettable memories for those involved. And it's not too late to be a part! You can expect to find a ground-breaking world premiere in Sheffield as a former Olympic synchronised swimmer and a pioneering dance choreographer preview AquaKathak, a new form of traditional Indian dance and synchronised swimming combined, in the first ever performance of Synchronised. Elsewhere live performance, carnival antics and digital display combine in interactive touring event My Last Car - paying homage to our relationship with the humble motor car, through a series of poignant, funny and uplifting tales. Games in the Park, a series of outdoor and indoor events celebrating the joy of children's games and how they've moved around the world, travels the region from May - expect mass participation and demonstrations of games both old and new - from skipping to free running, to brand new interactive fun. Plus Summer wouldn't be Summer without a bike ride would it? This July will see a brand new opera written by the ‘Bard of Barnsley' Ian McMillan, celebrating unsung local hero, cyclist Lal White - an Olympic medal winner at the 1920 Antwerp Olympic Games. Bring your bike, bring a picnic and join in.

But that's not all, imove is just one part of what Yorkshire's Cultural Olympiad has to offer. Precious Cargo is a series of imagination fuelling exhibitions and events led by young people and inspired by regional museum collections from all over the world. Travel to Scarborough Art Gallery where Fears, Foes and Faeries are explored in an ancient exhibition of amulets and charms. Or head to Bradford Industrial Museum for Golden Threads, and discover hidden artefacts and a newly commissioned cloth made especially for London 2012 by local young people. There are fifteen museums taking part - each with their own Precious Cargo tale to tell. Get involved, and share your own story with the region... and even the world.

If that's not enough to inspire you then you might want to delve into the depths of Leeds with the intriguing Brothers Quay, as they invite you to expect the unexpected, and see the city as you never quite seen it before. Leeds Canvas: Overworlds & Underworlds will see a weekend of strange events and happenings throughout Leeds city centre that will plunge you, your family and friends deep into an alternative reality of art, dance, theatre, and music.

Many of the arts and cultural events that make up the Cultural Olympiad are free - you just need to turn up and take part. Take a look at imove on the street's series of pop up performances; head to the National Media Museum for In the Blink of an Eye - featuring astonishing works by early photographers, animators and film makers; take your seat ringside for Karen Lee Stow's incredible Girls in the Ring exhibition at Fabric; or wake up the world by becoming part of Martin Creed's live artwork All the Bells. You could even create your own art filled stay away - from camping in Scarborough to an overnight city break in Leeds!

The Cultural Olympiad in Yorkshire is local to you. It features unique opportunities to inspire you, your friends and family, and to give you a truly memorable experience of London 2012.

So if you want to...

...dive right in
Sea Swim is the perfect way to create a splash. Part sea swimming club, part art club, Sea Swim celebrates the creative inspiration that a dip in the ocean can bring! Join in regular swims, share stories and create your own works of art to be shown and performed around the region.

...take to the hills
Then the Stanza Stones trail will take you on a poetic journey through the breath-taking Pennine landscape between Ilkley and Marsden. Discover celebrated regional author and poet Simon Armitage's brand new poem sequence In Memory of Water, which has been carved into rocks along the route, forming a poetic treasure hunt through blissful scenery. Download the free trail guide from May.

...hear the sirens' call
Irresistible is the one for you. Join composer, musician and performer Jez Colborne for his siren symphony amongst the Cow and Calf rock formations of Ilkley Moor. This outdoor musical spectacular combines warning sirens, choral music, projections and dramatic lighting to create a truly unique live performance.

...spread your wings
Then take to the air on a voyage of discovery in Amy's Last Dive - celebrating the remarkable life of one of the region's most fearless heroines, Amy Johnson. This world premiere performance celebrates the freedom of flying - looking back at the incredible daring ambition and celebrity lifestyle of this world record breaking aviator, who simply refused to be earth bound.

Come and celebrate. Make your London 2012 one to remember - take part through culture and art.

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