Five Boroughs CREATE cultural festival for Olympics

Art and culture will take centre stage in East and South East London in the run up to the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games – and it all starts this summer with CREATE08.

CREATE08 is a celebration of art, culture, festivals and performance in the five host boroughs of Greenwich, Hackney, Newham, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest.

It brings together a collection of exciting, inspiring and very different things to do, see and take part in across the host boroughs this summer.

Music, dance, crafts, theatre, carnivals, parades, exhibitions and more will provide a vibrant and eclectic mix of entertainment – much of which is free - from now until the end of September, celebrating the rich diversity of cultures across the host boroughs.

Handover celebrations for communities across the host Boroughs - including street parties, music and live performances - will mark the moment when the Olympic flag is handed to London on Sunday 24 August.

CREATE08 culminates with the launch of the Cultural Olympiad at the end of September, placing the arts at the heart of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Speaking on behalf of the Five Host Boroughs, Cllr Guy Nicholson, Hackney Council Cabinet Member for Regeneration and the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, said:

“Art and culture thrives in the neighbourhoods across the Five Host Boroughs and this is our opportunity to get as many residents and local groups involved in creating a celebration of the arts for London’s Cultural Olympiad, over the four years up to 2012 and leaving a rich legacy for the arts in our neighbourhoods.

“CREATE brings together the physical energy of the sporting communities with the creative energy of the artistic communities across the Five Host Boroughs, developing the spaces and events around which we can express, celebrate and participate in our Olympic and Paralympic Games through the arts, celebrating the Olympic ideals and making London’s Games a truly inclusive Olympiad. ”

CREATE is the cultural partnership of the London boroughs of Greenwich, Hackney, Newham, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest. The boroughs are working together with leading venues, cultural organisations and festivals to develop CREATE as a permanent annual feature in the arts and cultural calendar as part of the Cultural Olympiad for 2012.

The annual CREATE festivals will also include a new £40,000 participatory art award: the CREATE Art Award.

The five host boroughs are home to more than 10,000 artists, including a handful of Turner Prize winners. This makes the region Europe’s largest cultural quarter. To celebrate this and to mark the Cultural Olympiad, the Five Host Boroughs – in association with Arts Council England, London and the Whitechapel Gallery – are launching the CREATE Art Award.

The award encourages artists living and working in the Five Host Boroughs to create a temporary or permanent artwork that engages and enriches the lives of the people living around them.

Applications must be submitted by 1 August 2008. Artists can find out more about the award and request an application form by e-mailing: or visiting: