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Cultural Olympiad competition

Major new work to be created for the North East as Artists take the lead in new £5.4m competition for the Cultural Olympiad

Artists of all kinds from across the UK and across the North East are being
challenged to use the nation as a blank canvas for twelve inspirational
commissions that will showcase our creativity to the world, as part of the
London 2012 Cultural Olympiad.

Artists taking the lead is the most ambitious and wide ranging art prize in
the UK and is being developed by Arts Council England, in partnership with
London 2012 and the arts councils of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. 

12 commissions of up to £500,000* will be awarded to create 12 new works of
art across the country; one in each of the nine English regions, and in the
nations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. (*See Notes to Editors for
the value of commissions offered in each Nation and Region) 

Artists taking the lead is the first of ten major projects of the London
2012 Cultural Olympiad to be launched. It provides artists across the
country with an unparalleled opportunity to create work that celebrates the
London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and reflects the rich cultural
diversity of the UK. 

Until Friday 29 May 2009, artists can submit their ideas for the commissions online at
The submitted ideas will be judged by panels in each of the nations and
regions, made up of artists, the Creative Programmers (representatives of
London 2012 outside the capital who help to shape the UK-wide cultural
Olympiad), and an Arts Council representative. 

Arts Council England expects to announce the shortlisted artists in July
2009, and the final twelve commissions in October 2009. The successful
commissions will be developed across 2010 and 2011, and all twelve will take
part in a final unifying celebration before the opening of the London 2012
Olympic Games.