Opening Day Ceremonies: January 24, 6 p.m. (From the Official Program Guide)

InCUBATE Storefront, 2129 N. Rockwell


     The Anne Glickman Players
     Liaison to the Advisory Council on Parties & Vinyl Records in the 16th Ward
     Screening of the short film, For the Nations


     A Word From Our Sponsors
     Welcoming Remarks from Salem Collo-Julin, Chicago resident
     Matthew Joynt for InCUBATE
     Anne Elizabeth Moore for the Ulympics Organizing Committee

     On behalf of all judges, Roman Petruniak will repeat the following Judge’s Oath: In the name of all the judges and officials, I promise that we shall officiate in these Unlympic Games with occasional impartiality, respecting and abiding by the rules which govern them, unless we decide to change them at the last minute, in the true spirit of sportsmanship, or personal gain, or financial benefit, or fun: whichever strikes us at the time as the best plan.
     On behalf of all athletes, all attendees will repeat the following Athlete’s Oath: In the name of all the competitors, we promise that we shall take part in these Unlympic Games, respecting and abiding by the rules which govern them, or not, depending on our mood, committing ourselves to a sport without doping and without drugs, except at the LARP Family Potluck Dinner, in the true spirit of sportsmanship, for the glory of sport and the honor of our teams.

THE GAME WHERE YOU WIN (See rules, below)




Please note that all Awards Ceremonies are BYOB.

The Game Where You Win (Individual, limit 30)
Please place your name on the sheet in the order in which you would like to place in this game. Please print neatly. If our judges are unable to read or properly pronounce your name, you will be disqualified. Please write your name only during the given name-writing time.




Opening Day Ceremonies are sponsored by InCUBATE, the Institute for Community Understanding Between Arts and the Everyday. InCUBATE is a research institute dedicated to challenging how current infrastructures affect artistic production.

The Olympics Movement claims to strongly support artistic production, even naming “culture” as the second of its three Olympic Pillars. Yet in the two upcoming festivals, cultural programming has been slashed from the Olympic budget, and cities have reappropriated funding intended for the arts—from hundreds of thousands to almost a billion dollars—toward sports.

Early on, the Game’s arts programming was simply made competitive. In 1912, the Olympic Arts Competition had artists compete for gold, silver, and bronze medals in various creative categories, but judges found it increasingly difficult to compare works from diverse international locales and the competition was discontinued in 1956. Exhibitions and festivals held in conjunction with the games were established, but without the thrill of competition, sports writers covering the games found little to hinge stories on. (“Ever Decreasing Circles?: The Profile of Culture at the Olympics,” Beatriz Garcia and Andy Miah, Cultural Olympics Web site).

Inspiring coverage continues to be a problem for Olympic cultural programming, as Garcia and Miah note, “which also leads to difficulties attracting funding—particularly sponsorship—and an awkward position within the Games’ management structure. . . . The difficulty in attracting cultural sponsorship is the result of strict Olympic regulations where only one product category can be associated to the Games (eg. McDonalds for food) and official sponsors are focused on the most media-friendly deals.”

So: arts and culture programming doesn’t make good TV, which means it’s difficult to get sponsors behind, and given short shrift by the Olympic Organizing Committee. Indeed, in Vancouver, arts programming takes up less than three pages in the city’s massive three-volume bid book and its original $12mn budget has been slashed to $750,000, the Vancouver Sun reports.

Budgetary issues are also behind the increasingly tense relationship between the London arts community and the 2012 Olympics committee. When a £900 million increase was deemed necessary in late 2006 to keep the Village afloat, that money came “directly from funds normally earmarked for the arts: lottery funded arts organisations would be left facing ‘significant cuts,’” the Guardian reported.

Peter Hewitt, a former staunch supporter of the bid and Chief Executive of Arts Council England, explains on his blog that this was only the most visible diversion. Fifteen projects written into the bid, and slated to be a part of the Movement, will only partially be covered by the £9bn 2012 budget. “The implication is that the cultural sector is expected to make up the very large difference with other public and private partners. Then there are the very many local projects and activities that are expected to take place in the years leading to 2012—no extra money is available, indeed the budgets that were to fund these projects have now been reduced. Added to which we know that arts sponsorship will be hit, inevitably diverting to some extent to sport.”

The Unlympics Opening Day Ceremony and InCUBATE ask, can Chicago’s cultural production community afford to host the Olympic Games in 2016?

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