The London 2012 Cultural Olympiad was an unparalleled showcase of arts and culture in the UK, with millions of people across the country experiencing and getting involved in innovative and ambitious world-class work.

Arts Council England was involved in its development from the bid stage and was a principal funder of the entire Cultural Olympiad through to its culmination, the London 2012 Festival.

We worked in partnership with Creative Scotland, Arts Council of Wales and Arts Council of Northern Ireland on three flagship programmes. These gave artists and cultural organisations the opportunity to push boundaries, raise their profile, forge new collaborations and trial new ways of working which would deliver a meaningful legacy for the sector.

Our flagship projects were:

  • Artists taking the lead, 12 extraordinary public art commissions, with one in every English region, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales
  • Unlimited, 29 new, ambitious and unique works from the largest ever commission fund for Deaf and disabled artists
  • Stories of the World, the largest youth participation project ever delivered by museums, placing young people at the heart of their programmes

Browse our news stories and supported project case studies to find out more about our involvement with the Cultural Olympiad. 

London 2012 Cultural Olympiad Evaluation

The Cultural Olympiad Board asked the Institute of Cultural Capital at the University of Liverpool to evaluate the Cultural Olympiad. Read the findings below:

Executive summary
Full evaluation
Appendix 1: Technical appendices
Appendices 2-6: Case studies
Appendix 7: Social media data analysis 

Visit visit Dr Beatriz Garcia's website and the Institute of Cultural Capital website to access subsequent report updates and complementary information on the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad research programme. 

Read essays about the artistic programming and marketing strategies of the London 2012 Festival, by specialist independent experts Michael Coveney and Marc Sands:

Independent Evaluations of the London 2012 Festival