Festival of the World

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Country and Region United KingdomEngland
Type of Festival Dance, Literary, Music
Location of Festival London, England, UK
Festival Description

Jude Kelly, Artistic Director of Southbank Centre, said: “Pierre de Coubertin’s vision of a better world through education, culture and sport for all is as relevant today as it was at the end of the 19th century. Southbank Centre shares his belief that young people should strive to be the best they can be to shape and contribute to the world we live in. Festival of the World will be a space for artists and visitors from around the world to enjoy a three-month celebration of the arts and its power to transform lives. This ambitious gathering will be made possible through collaboration with hundreds of artists and organisations and thousands of participants of all ages.” The festival will feature Dance, Music, Visual Arts, and Literary events.

Festival Dates June 1 - September 9, 2012
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Festival Story:

Festival of the World is inspired by the cultural vision of Baron Pierre de Coubertin (1863–1937), the founder of the modern Olympic movement. An educationalist and artist — who designed the iconic Olympics logo — de Coubertin was influenced by the thinking of two English educationalists: Thomas Arnold (1795–1842) and his work as headmaster at Rugby School, which de Coubertin visited, as well as Dr William Penny Brookes (1809–1895) who he first met in 1880. Brookes founded the annual Wenlock Olympic Games at Much Wenlock in Shropshire in 1850.

Pierre de Coubertin believed the arts could raise the aspirations of young people in the same way as sport. An exhibition in the Royal Festival Hall will use artworks, photographs and archive material to set Pierre de Coubertin’s work alongside other educational visionaries, for example Arnold J. Toynbee 1889–1975) and John Ruskin (1819–1900). One of many opportunities for visitors to participate is Wide Open School where the public can engage with visual artists from more than 60 nations; and the 300 young people who will be invited to take part in Africa Utopia. There will also be a major Festival of the World symposium ART AS AN AGENT OF CHANGE on 23 to 24 June, when Gustavo Dudamel and the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra are in residence.


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