London 2012 Cultural Olympiad? Few Londoners have heard of it, yet it’s been running since September 2008. What cultural treats, then, does the Mayor’s Advisor on Arts and Culture have in store for us? A presentation entitled London Culture In 2012, given to a conference organised by the London Civic Forum in June 2009, reveals the following:

  • Big Dance in 2010 and 2012 – a biennial festival set up by Mayor Ken Livingstone in 2006.
  • Story Of London and Rhythm Of London (“may take place again next year”) – two “festivals” from the new Mayoral administration which both suffered from abysmal publicity, lack of participation and, in the case of Rhythm Of London, last-minute cancellation of events. Covered on Boris Watch here, here, here and here.
  • 2012 City Planning Group For Culture:
    “…the 2012 City Planning Group for Culture has been established at the GLA, which will keep track of cultural activities and how they fit into wider strategic planning in London” – keeping track, not initiating.

It would appear that City Hall has not been given a major role in developing and presenting new arts initiative for the Cultural Olympiad. However, the very recent appointment of Ruth Mackenzie as Director of the Cultural Olympiad would seem to have been dogged by the same political interference by Johnson and Mirza as the still-to-be-filled post of Chair of Arts Council London.

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