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What's on in 2011 - arts activities around England

  • Date: 7 February 2011
  • Area: National

We highlight a few of the many great arts activities taking place around the country throughout the year.

This month State of Emergency's Desert Crossings, with choreography by Gregory Maqoma, will begin its UK tour in the South West - where the commission was created. Also in February, new contemporary opera Anna Nicole will make its debut at London's Royal Opera House. Don't miss State of the Arts 2011's Cultural Question Time, which will be streaming live on 10 February at http://bit.ly/sota11stream.

On 16 April, the Turner Contemporary in Margate will open its doors in the town's emerging creative quarter and Jaume Plensa's first UK show opens at Yorkshire Sculpture Park. May sees the opening of Yorkshire's new art gallery The Hepworth Wakefield.

In 2011 we welcome the return of biennial festivals the Northern Print Biennale, with activities taking place across NewcastleGateshead, and Manchester International Festival (MIF) - whose line-up this year includes Victoria Wood's new play That Day We Sang. The East Midlands enjoys its fourth year of Igniting Ambition with a summer of Olympic and Paralympic-inspired projects and events.

In September, visual arts centre firstsite in Colchester will move into its new space designed by architect Rafael Viñoly and in October, the BALTIC will host the Turner Prize  in Gateshead - the first time the prize will be hosted by a non-Tate venue outside of London.

We celebrate a number of anniversaries this year including: Bristol's Arnolfini, which turns 50, and the Devon Guild, which turns 25. It is the 5th year of the North East's Journal Culture Awards, the 15th year of the Photographers' Gallery's Deustche Boerse prize in London and the 25th anniversary of Leicester Belgrave Mela Festival.

As we approach 2012, we are counting down to the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics Games with a host of events and commissions as part of the Cultural Olympiad. Round two commissions for Unlimited, the UK's largest ever disability arts programme - which celebrates disability, arts, culture and sport, were announced last week and round three closes to applications in April 2011.

Meanwhile, Artists taking the lead winners across the country are busy developing their commissions. In the South East, Lone Twin have opened their shed for donations of wood and wooden objects for The Boat Project; live events will begin across the East of England in May as part of Pacitti Company's On Landguard Point; and Alex Hartley from the South West will be voyaging to the Arctic over the summer to collect the material for Nowhereisland.

Keep visiting our website news pages for regular arts updates from around the country throughout 2011.