London’s bid to host the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games in 2012 embraced the founding principles of Olympism linking sport, culture and education. The richness of our cultural life was key to the bid’s success. The benefits of hosting the Games will spread throughout all the nations and regions of the UK, with sporting venues located from Glasgow to Weymouth and Cardiff to Manchester. The cultural programme will similarly reach beyond the capital – with events like the Torch Relays, held in the months leading up to the Games, sparking community festivals and celebrations across the country, as the Torch comes within 60 minutes of 95% of the UK population.
Museums, libraries and archives have a unique opportunity to be part of the Games, in the years leading up to 2012, during the Games themselves and beyond. To generate ideas and discuss the possible scope of a sector offer for the Games, the MLA Partnership held workshops over the summer with people from museums, libraries and archives across the country.
Setting the Pace presents the latest information on planning for the Games and how the work of museums, libraries and archives already focuses on the emerging themes of the cultural programme for the Games - ‘inspiring and engaging the youth of the world’, ‘celebrating world cultures and the diversity of the UK’, and ‘leaving a lasting legacy’. It also highlights some of the inspirational ideas which people from museums, libraries and archives have already put forward for engaging with the cultural Olympiad.
Please take the time to fill in our online survey at http://settingthepace.mla.gov.uk let us know your ideas for engagement. The results will become the basis of an offer for the sector which we will launch in the New Year following further discussions with LOCOG and other cultural partners. We look forward to discussing it with you at a special event in the Spring.