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North West artist awarded Cultural Olympiad commission

By Alex Johnston, Reporter

An artist from the North-West is celebrating after being awarded commission for the final round of an exclusive cultural programme.

Laurence Clark is to be awarded funding for his comedy show as part of The Cultural Olympiad programme, which celebrates work by disabled and deaf artists.

Laurence’s show, entitled Demotivational Speaker, challenges its audience’s stereotypical views of the Paralympic Games.

Laurence said: “I’m over the moon about getting this commission. I’m really excited about developing a new comedy show for the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad and hope this will enable me to reach a much wider audience.”

The £3 million Unlimited programme celebrates the Olympic and Paralympic Games by encouraging partnerships between deaf and disabled artists.

In January and March of this year, a total of £1.2 million was awarded to 23 such artists.

The Director of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad, Ruth Mackenzie, said: “This is the largest commissioning fund for disabled and deaf artists the UK has ever seen.”

Another North West project is Fitting Multimedia Arts’ The Ugly Spirit, which uses the lives of Siamese twins Chang and Eng Bunker as an inspiration to ask questions of its audience’s inner conflicts.

Ed Vaizey MP, Minister for the Cultural Olympiad, believes the artists represent the spirit of London’s ‘Games.

He said: “Their talent and commitment are inspirational, and these awards will mean that excellent, innovative works can be enjoyed throughout the country.”

Sarah Maxfield, Regional Director, Arts Council England, says the organisation is pleased to sponsor Laurence’s work.

She commented: “Laurence’s work is an example to the exciting range of diverse arts within our region.

“We are proud to have him represent the North West,” she added.

Part of the London 2012 Olympic Games legacy, Unlimited Commissions awards artists whose work celebrates the UK, and invites the public to become involved.

More information about the awards can be found at www.artscouncil.co.uk

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