Kunstfactor – the equivalent organisation to Voluntary Arts in the Netherlands – is working with the Dutch Government on the preparations for a bid for the 2028 Olympic Games (which will be a century after the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics). They are keen to learn from our experience of trying to embed the amateur arts within the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad and this week Hans Heimans and Wies Rosenboom from Kunstfactor came to London for two days to find out more. Our Once in a Lifetime Project Officer, Helen Thomas, organised an interesting and varied itinerary for Hans and Wies which included meetings with several UK voluntary arts umbrella bodies who have been involved in developing Cultural Olympiad projects. Our Dutch visitors also attended one of the ‘Big Dance’ events and a concert by an amateur orchestra at St James, Piccadilly. On Friday morning I met Hans and Wies at the offices of Making Music to talk about the development of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad from the original Olympic bid to the development of the Inspire Mark. It’s always interesting how trying to articulate a complex and lengthy story to an outsider helps you to clarify it in your mind and how you begin to see things you hadn’t noticed before! We had an interesting discussion about the need to appoint a single Artistic Director to create a clear vision for the Cultural Olympiad – and to do so early in the process. Many thanks to all of the umbrella body representatives for their valuable contributions and to Helen for putting together a really interesting two days.
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