Artists taking the lead was one of the major projects of the Cultural Olympiad and was featured in London’s bid to host the Games. The project was developed by Arts Council England in partnership with London 2012 and brought together the four UK Arts Councils in an unprecedented programme to support twelve public art commissions, one in each of the nine English regions and one in the nations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Between 19 March – 29 May 2009, a call went out for artist-led, original ideas to be submitted in any artform. 2,163 applications were received across the UK, with 172 received in the region of North West England.
Regional panels comprised of the Arts Councils and independent arts directors, advisors and artists short-listed 3-5 projects per region that were then developed and presented to the panels for final decision. Anthony McCall’s ‘Column’ was selected by Arts Council England, North West together with the North West selection panel and announced as the Artists taking the lead commission for the North West of England in October 2009.
Arts Council England is the national development agency for the arts in England. It champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people’s lives. Arts Council England supports a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature and crafts to collections.
For further information on Artists taking the lead visit www.artscouncil.org.uk/what-we-do/our-priorities-2011-15/london-2012/artists-taking-the-lead.