Cultural Olympiad Young Artists World Event

Applications from music, dance, theatre and spoken word to film, visual art and fashion and from artists aged between 18 and 30

World Event Young Artists 2012 (WEYA) launches in Nottingham in September 2012. A finale to the Cultural Olympiad, WEYA – the first event of its kind – will bring together 1,000 young artists from 120 nations for a ten-day cultural festival across the city. WEYA now seeks applications from UK-based artists of every discipline who have exciting new work to share and who are open to the possibilities of intercultural dialogue that the festival will afford.

Applications are invited across all art forms  from music, dance, theatre and spoken word to film, visual art and fashion  and from artists aged between 18 and 30. Successful applicants will go on to represent the UK in the festival, and will join artists from countries ranging from Italy, Kenya and Mexico to Canada, India and China. WEYA takes place from 7 to 16 September 2012 and will be held across Nottingham’s world class arts venues and in alternative spaces all over the city.
World Event Young Artists is hosted by UK Young Artists. As well as giving artists a high-profile international platform to show their work, WEYA will provide them with opportunities to see work from all over the world, collaborate with other like-minded individuals, network and take part in talks and debates. Successful artists will be chosen by an expert selection panel comprising curators and programmers from a range of UK arts venues.

Following an open call for submissions from artists aged between 18 and 30, 48 artistic individuals/groups (totalling at over 75 individuals) were selected from over 400 applications. Although all have been based in the United Kingdom for at least one year, they came from twelve different countries as well as from all across the UK – from Inverness to Penzance, County Down to East Lothian and Derby itself. The artists are all cross-art form, including: choreographers, ceramicists, dancers, musicians, video artists, installation artists, painters, performance artists, photographers, sculptors, storytellers, writers and poets.
Over the course of the event, exhibitions and performances took place in venues across Derby including: the Ark Shop, Bubbles Laundrette, Derby LIVE Assembly Rooms (Darwin Suite), Déda, Derby Theatre Studio, Pickford’s House, QUAD, The Silk Mill, the University of Derby, Cathedral Green and Market Square.

From the 75 artists represented this year, 13 young artists were chosen to represent the UK at the 2011 International Biennale of Young Artists of Europe and the Mediterranean in Morocco. The selection panel was led by the internationally renowned performance artist Akram Khan who was also joined by international artist Mariele Neudecker.

‘I was so impressed by the young talent that is residing in England. What is most promising is that there is a new kind of collective and yet individual voice that is emerging through the young artists of today. I was extremely glad to be part of selecting the young artists that we have chosen to go forward. By being part of this programme I feel we were all learning from each other, and about each other’s craft. I cannot reiterate enough the great importance to continue and embrace art in this way.’ Akram Khan

‘I am very pleased to be involved in such an exciting and ambitious project. What a good idea to encourage such a broad spectrum of art forms to be hosted in such a compact situation. With a very strong group of projects in this first event, UKYA has great potential for the future. The sense of the participating artists being inspired and stimulated was tangible and overwhelming.’ Mariele Neudecker

UKYA would like to thank the venues for all their support, our principal funders – Arts Council England, Igniting Ambition, De Montfort University, Loughborough University, Nottingham Trent University and the University of Derby. We are grateful to our many project supports  and would like to thank Déda, Derby City Council, Derby LIVE, Derby Museums, QUAD, Art in the City and the proprietors of Bubbles Launderette.

The closing date for entries is 1 October 2011, with selected artists informed of their success in February 2012. Call for entries for other countries will be announced in different waves throughout the summer.

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