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Brighton Museum & Art Gallery launches youth-curated world gallery for London 2012

  • Date: 10 December 2010
  • Area: South East
Member of the Refugee & Asylum Seekers Project photographing an Inuit pipe made of walrus ivory, with photography workshop leader

Member of the Refugee & Asylum Seekers Project photographing an Inuit pipe made of walrus ivory, with photography workshop leader. Local Global, Brighton Museum & Art Gallery, 2010. Credit: Photograph: James Pike

A museum in Brighton will carry out one of the first commissions and special projects announced as part of the London 2012 Festival.

Brighton Museum & Art Gallery will launch a permanent gallery devoted to world culture. They will present their collections from Africa, Asia, the Pacific and Americas, curated by young people as part of the UK-wide Stories of the World programme.

The project, Local Global, allows young people to research and select objects for the gallery, helping them to understand and represent other cultures through their own concerns and experiences. It is part of London 2012 Festival, a 12-week UK-wide celebration that will run throughout the summer in 2012 and offer everything from dance, music, theatre, the visual arts to film and digital innovation.

Leading international stars head up the commissions including Cate Blanchett, Toni Morrison, David Hockney, Mike Leigh, Jude Law and Damon Albarn.

The festival marks the end of the Cultural Olympiad, a four-year initiative to give everyone in the UK a chance to be part of London 2012 and inspire creativity across all forms of culture, especially among young people.

London 2012 Festival and the Cultural Olympiad are supported through Arts Council England, Legacy Trust UK and the Olympic Lottery Distributor.

Local Global is one of eight projects that make up the Stories of the World programme, which involves 60 museums in 35 towns and cities, from Brighton to Edinburgh. The programme is led by Museums, Libraries and Archives Council in partnership with the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

So far over 12,000 young people have already participated in Stories of the World museum workshops and activities, and over 1,000 young curators have helped shape the final exhibitions in 2011 and 2012.

London 2012 Festival hopes to attract three million people across the country to join in the festivities such as the Stories of the World, with over 1,000 events being published online from summer 2011. It opens on 21 June 2012, Midsummer's Day, and runs until 9 September 2012, the last day of the Paralympic Games.

Sally Abbott, Regional Director, South East, Arts Council England said: 'This is a truly inspiring programme that will show some of the most innovative and entertaining work being created in the UK and around the world.

'In the south east, Brighton Museum & Art Gallery has been commissioned to develop an innovative new world cultures gallery, in partnership with young people, to mark the London 2012 Games.

'2012 will be a very special moment for the arts across the world, and this programme offers an artistic experience for absolutely everybody. It will be a fantastic finale to a range of wonderful work already taking place across the south east.

'We look forward to working more closely with museum and library partners such as Brighton Museum & Art Gallery to create a more coherent cultural offer, working on projects such as Renaissance in the Region. This is following our recent announcement to take over a number of functions from the recently dissolved Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA).'

Andrew Motion, Museums, Libraries and Archives Council Chair said:

'By working directly with collections in museums, thousands of young people will fittingly remember the international celebration that is the Olympics. 

'Stories of the World will help spread the London 2012 celebrations across England and Scotland in a fun but thought provoking way that will bring better understanding and longer term benefits to the museums and communities involve.'