WE PLAY in 2012

WE PLAY – to connect, collaborate and celebrate London 2012

WE PLAY is the Northwest’s statement of intent as we welcome the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games to the UK and the regional umbrella for its cultural programme in 2012. Northwest residents and visitors are invited to participate in London 2012 as players in a region wide cultural celebration made up of extraordinary projects, inspiring events and once in a life time experiences.

Humans are the greatest players of all and the Olympic and Paralympics Games the world’s largest stage for sport and art. Play is an activity that connects art and sport and drives innovation and learning across many fields. It implies community, participation and involvement and through play we can all progress.

With play as our starting point, the Northwest invited cultural organizations and artists to respond to three questions. What do we mean by Fairplay? What do we mean by taking part? Where is our place on the map? These philosophical questions inspired events and activities engaging with play from many different perspectives.

For the year of 2012, the Northwest brings you a vision for culture that is rich in diversity and debate and centred around the principles of experimentation, collaboration and participation . Our programme promotes our region’s strengths in outdoor arts and digital culture and illuminates our passion for playful human expression through both art and sport.

We bring you a programme shaped by many of our region’s outstanding cultural producers working in collaboration with organisations and artists from around the world.  For one remarkable year, the region becomes your public playground with activity located in every type of space imaginable, from the physical and virtual to the biological and digital, to stimulate new forms of interaction and participation in ways which open a window onto the future and the region.

At the heart of our programme and funded by Legacy Trust UK is Abandon Normal Devices – a regional festival of new cinema, digital culture and art, Blaze – a youth led culture and sport programme for Lancashire and the Fylde Coast and Lakes Alive – a Cumbria wide summer season of outdoor performance and street arts. These annual programmes combine to form the Northwest’s unique contribution to the build up and legacy of the London 2012 Games and in 2012 present their most ambitious programmes to date as well as joining forces at the end of the Games for our WE PLAY EXPO – the Northwest’s finale for the Cultural Olympiad in Preston on 7th – 9th September 2012.,

In January 2012 we will kick off WE PLAY with the WE PLAY Challenge – a mass participation campaign and social platform inviting the public to get involved with the events coming up and contribute to the generation of an online  public artwork which will form, evolve and grow over the Games Time period, culminating in a physical installation as part of the WE PLAY Expo.

In the Northwest, encounters and opportunities for physical, social, creative and intellectual play will be taking place for London 2012 as part of its UK wide Cultural Olympiad and London 2012 Festival. We hope you will join in with London 2012 in the Northwest and make your own playful contribution to the UK’s spectacle of the century.

Debbi Lander

Creative Programmer for London 2012, Northwest

 WE PLAY is the Northwest’s unique contribution to the build up and legacy of London 2012 and primarily funded by Legacy Trust UK, an independent charity whose mission is to support a wide range of innovative cultural and sporting activities which celebrate the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and which will leave a lasting legacy in communities throughout the United Kingdom. The Trust is a Principal Funder of the Cultural Olympiad and London 2012 Festival. www.legacytrustuk.org. WE Play is hosted and also funded by Arts Council England. www.artscouncil.org.uk

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