Underpinned by a partnership between the Glasgow 2014 Organising Committee, Glasgow Life, and Creative Scotland, the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme had two strands; a Scotland-wide programme called Culture 2014 which ran until the end of August last year, and a Games-time celebration in Glasgow running alongside the sporting action, called Festival 2014.
The Programme provided an opportunity for people across the country, whether visiting or resident, to join the celebrations and experience new work by world leading and emerging Scottish and international artists and cultural organisations. The Scottish Government Highlights Report August 2014 said that the programme “played a massive part in the lead up to and success of the best-ever Commonwealth Games”.
More than 2,000 events, many of which directly involved participants all over the country, captured the spirit of the Games, and generated excitement in the communities that took part. Three projects in particular had national reach and scale: Get Scotland Dancing; Big Big Sing; and GENERATION – 25 Years of Contemporary Art in Scotland.
Big Big Sing was a nationwide celebration of singing that inspired many thousands of people to get singing in the lead up to, during, and after the Games. It provided a huge range of opportunities to participate, with Big Big Sing Days across the country, a range of live Song Stages in and around Glasgow, and a free song book of specially chosen Commonwealth songs. An event on Glasgow Green during the Games – the Big Big BIG Sing – saw 40,000 people enjoy a whole day of communal singing.
One of the programme’s most long-lived projects was inspired by and named after the children’s book The Tin Forest and comprised a nine-month programme of community engagement and international cultural exchange, culminating in an immersive version of the story and a series of events in one of Glasgow’s most iconic buildings. The South Rotunda had lain derelict for 25 years before it was transformed into a puppet labyrinth and a cavernous arts and performance space during a 10-day festival of stories, which saw thousands of people in four post-industrial areas of Glasgow take part.
GENERATION, the landmark series of exhibitions celebrating 25 years of contemporary art in Scotland attracted over 1.3 million visitors in 2014 and early 2015 across 60 venues the length and breadth of the country, and exhibited over 100 artists. This major exhibition which had at its heart a desire to inspire future genertions and bring to life the possibilities that contemporary art offers to engage with the world around us was delivered through a partnership between the National Galleries of Scotland and Glasgow Life and was supported by Creative Scotland.
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