New 14-18 NOW project to deliver participatory art commissions for First World War Centenary

By Culture24 Reporter | 06 December 2013

Mass participation public arts events for the First World War Centenary are promised as part of a new £10 million Lottery-funded project called 14-18 NOW

a photo of an army concert party wearing Pierot clown costumes and one man in drag in front of a First World War tank
A First World War Concert Party at Central Stores, Tank Corps© IWM (Q 9885)
A scheme that will see leading artists from around the world respond to the First World War Centenary has been announced as part of the UK’s official centenary programme.

Under the title 14-18 NOW, the £10 million Lottery-funded project aims to build on the many artistic responses to the First Word War – from poetry and visual art to music and film – and will feature contemporary artists from a range of disciplines.

The intention is to “look afresh at the First World War and the wider social, political, scientific and technological developments of the period, exploring the full range of their resonance today”.

Scheduled for launch in early 2014 under the Directorship of Jenny Waldman, who was responsible for delivering Cultural Olympiad finale, the London 2012 Festival, 14-18 NOW will centre around three key moments: August 4 2014 (Anniversary of the Declaration of War), July 2016 (100th anniversary of the start of the Battle of the Somme) and November 2018 (Centenary of the Armistice).

The first events, which are yet to be fully outlined, will take place from June to August 2014 leading up to a large-scale participatory event on August 4 to mark the actual centenary of the outbreak of war. The hope is to engage as many people as possible with a particular focus on young people.

Cultural organisations across the UK including the Philharmonia Orchestra, the Royal Opera House, Tate Liverpool and Liverpool Biennial, Welsh National Opera and National Theatre Scotland have already signed up to work on the project.

The BBC is also a key partner and will present a number of projects including events as part of the BBC Proms. Channel 4 is also involved.

The project complements the First World War Centenary Partnership Programme, which was established by Imperial War Museum in 2010 to bring together not-for-profit organisations from around the world. The scheme will present more than 4,000 events across the country from 2014-18.

More on this story:

First World War Centenary Partnership announces 2014 exhibitions and events (November 2013)

Wales Remembers 1914-1918: First World War centenary commemoration launched in Cardiff
(October 2013)

Heritage Lottery Fund reveals first plans for £6 million First World War: Then and Now
(August 2013)

Government reveals detailed plans to mark 100 years since beginning of First World War in 2014
(June 2013)

Heritage Lottery Fund unveils small grants programme to help commemorate First World War
(May 2013)

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