Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Cultural Olympiad 4-1-1

A national reporter who contributes to a few broadcast shows in the U.S. today asked for story suggestions related to the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games. "What are some of the Olympic stories that aren't being told but should?" was one question posed.

For a P.R. person, talk about a dream conversation!

In tandem with a client-news-infused response, and donning an objective Olympic enthusiast hat, the first thing that came to mind was the lack of attention for the Cultural Olympiad, too often the red-headed step child of the Olympic Games.

The Cultural Olympiad was a significant element of the Centennial Olympic Games of Atlanta, including four years of major arts, music, literature and film events such as a Nobel Laureate gathering, pre-Games film festival, an Avon-sponsored exhibition on women in culture, Annie Liebovitz photography and the outstanding High Museum of Art exhibition "RINGS: Five Passions In World Art" which brought Rodin's "The Kiss" sculpture and Edvard Munch's "The Scream" to Atlanta.

But at each Games attended since, it's been difficult to impossible to find elements of the Cultural Olympiad for each host city.

I went out of my way to locate programs for Games-related arts events in Sydney to no avail. At Salt Lake, the first Olympics after 9/11, there were a few elements (like the Dale Chihuly installation downtown, which was gorgeous) but the Cultural Olympiad was likely scaled back as funds shifted to security.

Athens had an actual published program for the Cultural events, but most seemed too far afield. And in Torino and Beijing, I found programs but sparse time to experience the arts and music offerings due to timing and work duties.

So it was exciting to find tonight an official "2010 Cultural Olympiad Program Guide" magazine-style free program including almost 90 pages of Vancouver events now through the Paralympics. Get your copy at the Vancouver Public Library. Interested parties should also "know the C.O.D.E." (the Cultural Olympiad Digital Edition) to Connect. Create. Collaborate.

Some of the 2010 Cultural Olympiad events that jumped off the page include Destination Art, Laugh It Out!, KAMP, a Feist concert, the world premiere of "Laurie Anderson: Delusion," "Out From Under: Disability, History and Things To Remember," and the public poster project titled "Endlessly Traversed Landscapes."

Further afield, the celebration sites Whistler Live!, Richmond O Zone and Surrey 2010 Celebration Site are enticing. And in the city, the LiveCity Yaletown and LiveCity Downtown venues (disclosure: Edelman clients) will be hopping, as wil the 2010 Aboriginal Pavillion.

Vancouver has some interesting options for arts at the Games. In the future, it would be cool to see the Cultural Olympiad gain event more attention at the Olympics.

Photos via VANOC's C.O.D.E. site

1 comment:

Not A Shopaholic said...

Great point! I love that there is a huge focus on the Arts during the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. I'm hoping I can fit some of it into our already busy schedule!


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