2009 Liverpool Cultural Offering – Some Details Announced

Liverpool has unveiled a highlights programme of over 100 events and festivals in a bid to be the UK capital of FREE culture in 2009.

The city announced today it is to build on its success as the 2008 European Capital of Culture, which generated £800m for the regional economy, by commissioning several major FREE cultural events including a waterfront festival and a public art parade similar in scale to the ’08 hit Go Superlambananas.

Liverpool City Council is inviting arts organisations to bid to deliver a FREE festival of art, music and film staged over three weekends in the summer on its world famous waterfront.

The On The Waterfront festival aims to reflect Liverpool’s connection to New York and would be one of the premiere events to celebrate the city’s Year of Environment – the first ’08 legacy themed year. It will also overlap with Tate Liverpool’s major art exhibition for ’09 – Colour Chart – and a new film festival AND at FACT.

The Year of Environment has also inspired the commissioning of a FREE public art event called A Winters Trail – which would be staged in the run up to Christmas and have a similar impact to Go Superlambananas event last summer.

As well as new events for ’09 there will also be major artistic commissions, worth up to £25,000, attached to some of the city’s celebrated FREE outdoor festivals.

And for the first time the city will be staging an exhibition of all the grassroots cultural projects it funds in the summer, as well as staging a celebration of a neighbourhood wide arts programme – called Four Corners – at the Bluecoat in July.

The council’s new culture team – called Culture Liverpool – has also revamped some of the biggest FREE events on the calendar, such as:

* HUB Life and HUB Night – a new week-long fringe festival for the UK’s biggest free extreme sports event, delivered in partnership with major cultural organisations – May 24-31.
* Liverpool’s Lord Mayor’s Pageant – to be car free with new route, June 6, supported by new week of children’s events in the June half-term break.
* Mathew Street Festival’s Fringe Festival is to be expanded – August 30-31.

Today’s announcement comes just six weeks after the council approved an £8.45m arts budget maintaining Capital of Culture funding levels for the next two years, benefiting 67 arts organisations. Equivalent to a phenomenal 42% rise from 2005 to 2011, the council is also investing £2m more in culture than before it set up the Liverpool Culture Company in 2005.

Nine other major FREE events to look out for in ‘09 include:

* The Great Green Sculpture Challenge over Easter Week at Tate Liverpool.
* The End of the Line  – A new major drawing exhibition by 11 international artists, at the Bluecoat – 22 May to 19 July.
* Colour Chart: Reinventing Colour, 1950 to Today at Tate Liverpool – with works by Andy Warhol to Damien Hirst. Under-12s go FREE. 29 May to 13 September
* The 2008 BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year Exhibition at Liverpool Anglican Cathedral – 15 August to 20 September.
* New Radicals: From Sickert to Freud  – exhibition of early 20th century British masterpieces from L.S. Lowry to Stanley Spencer. The Walker -10 July to 20 Sep.
* Urbanism ’09 – New work by Liverpool Biennial with week-long celebration of six months of environmental interventions on the Leeds-Liverpool canal. Sep 16-20.
* Under the Volcano – A major Bluecoat exhibition to mark centenary of Merseyside’s giant of modern fiction – Malcolm Lowry. 25 September to 22 November.
* The Rise of Women Artists – Tracking the historical changes influencing women artists from painting to ceramics at The Walker – 23 October to 14 March 2010.
* Next Level: Game Spaces Beyond the Screen – a celebration of the evolution of computer games at FACT from December to February 2010.

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