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The London 2012 Cultural Olympiad is the largest cultural celebration in the history of the modern Olympic and Paralympic Movements. Since it began in 2008, over 16 million people have taken part in a wide range of events across the UK, from local projects to large-scale performances.

Building on our 30-year commitment to UK arts and culture, BP became a Premier Partner of the Cultural Olympiad in 2009. We launched our support with London 2012 Open Weekend, a three-day event inviting the public to celebrate the countdown to the London 2012 Games at arts, cultural and sporting events across the UK. An estimated total of over 3 million people participated in over 3,000 events from 2009 to the final one year to go celebration in 2011.

In 2010 we introduced BP Portrait Award: Next Generation, a Cultural Olympiad project which has so far opened the eyes of over 200 young artists of the future at workshops in London and Aberdeen. 2010 also saw the launch of the Tate Movie Project, which created the world’s first animation film made by and for children, involving over 34,000 5 to 13 year olds and breaking a Guinness World Record in the process.

And now in 2012 the finale of the four-year Cultural Olympiad, the London 2012 Festival, is set to be the most exciting festival the UK has ever seen. Running 21 June to 9 September, the Festival will bring more than 10 million opportunities to see 1,000 events from leading artists, musicians, writers and filmmakers from around the world and BP will be there playing our part as Premier Partner.

London 2012 Festival

We’re collaborating with our long-standing partners to help deliver several London 2012 Festival programmes and events that will inspire young people and provide opportunities for everyone across the UK to be part of London 2012.

The Olympic Journey. The Story of the Games
28 July to 12 August 2012
BP and the Royal Opera House have joined forces with The Olympic Museum, to create this free and unique exhibition telling the Olympic story through the endeavours of ancient and modern Olympians.

The World Shakespeare Festival
April to November 2012

As Founding Presenting Partner of the World Shakespeare Festival, BP is supporting a number of Royal Shakespeare Company productions including the What Country Friends Is This? trilogy of  The Comedy of Errors, Twelfth Night and The Tempest, the associated community performance of Pericles, and the London season of Julius Caesar and Much Ado About Nothing.

Shakespeare: Staging the World
19 July to 25 November 2012
Shakespeare: staging the world, the BP Exhibition, is presented by the British Museum in collaboration with the RSC, which will revisit William Shakespeare’s stories and tell them anew to London in 2012.

BP Portrait Award: Next Generation
BP Portrait Award: Next Generation is a dynamic project led by the National Portrait Gallery, inspiring 14 to 19-year-olds by opening up opportunities to meet and gain insights from past BP Portrait Award artists.

Tate Movie Project: The Itch of the Golden Nit
Details of screening dates in 2012 will be published in our Events section when confirmed.
The Tate Movie Project presents The Itch of the Golden Nit – an animated adventure drawn and dreamt up by children from across the UK. Thousands of drawings, sound effects and story ideas make up the action-packed, half hour animation.