Cultural organisations must be invited to Olympic party says NCA

Nuala Calvi

Politicians must not ignore the arts during the preparations for the Olympics in London in 2012, the National Campaign for the Arts has urged.

Chief executive Victoria Todd said in the run up to the Sydney Olympics, arts organisations had been approached at the last minute to put on special events, without sufficient resources.

While the organisation welcomed the proposed cultural festival, which forms part of the successful bid, it also warned that core government and National Lottery arts funding could suffer as a result of London having secured the games.

Jane Robinson, NCA development manager, said: “This is an opportunity to showcase the best of London’s artistic talent and we need to be pressing the bid team on arts right from the start. We need to keep an eye on how Lottery money is spent and make sure that funds aren’t restricted. The last thing we want is for all the money to be channelled into sport for the next seven years and then in 2011 for the arts to be asked to put on a magnificent show. We want sustained investment so the arts can plan strategically.”

As the International Olympic Committee’s decision was announced, an official spokesman for the prime minister made assurances that other elements of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s work would not suffer as a result.

A DCMS spokesman said the arts had been “hard wired” into the Olympic bid from the start because the International Olympic Committee had made culture a vital part of their assessment of each city. He said: “We are confident as we can be that this will continue and we will avoid the difficulties raised by NCA.”

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