What does 2012 have in store for you?

Date: 20/01/12  |  Author: Steve Fisher
Tags: information, advice

We’ve mapped out some key cultural events and initiatives that are due to take place in 2012 so that you can either ensure that your own projects don’t clash, or ensure that they coincide and therefore benefit through association and increased exposure

Planning ahead is important. Whether you’re organising an event or an exhibition, developing a business or business idea or planning a project, it’s important to know what you’re doing and when.

It’s also important to know what everyone else is doing.

During the London 2012 Olympic Games, for example, you could find it harder to attract the attention of your audience or the media, unless your project is linked to the Cultural Olympiad or London 2012 Festival

On the other hand, if you’re planning literary events or writing initiatives, consider the potential to link with one of the many established national or international celebrations listed below, such as National Storytelling Week, World Book Day or National Poetry Day.

The following is by no means a comprehensive list. Pick a topic or cause and there is very likely to be a day, a week or a month dedicated to it.

In researching this post, I was pleased to discover that Wrong Trousers Day will take place on 29 June, and that it is in fact, a Wallace and Gromit’s Children’s Foundation scheme to help sick children in hospitals and hospices in the UK. I was curious to find that National Chip Week (20 - 26 February) is entirely separate to National Curry Week (8 - 14 October), despite the popular pairing of the two dishes.

I was reminded of some of the sillier schemes, such as International Talk Like A Pirate Day on 19 September; those that cater for minority groups, such as the 13% of the world’s population that are left-handed (International Left-Handers Day is on 13 August); as well as many noble environmental causes, such as World Environment Day on 5 June, and World Car Free Day every 22 September.

Please feel free to offer suggestions and comments. Let us know if this proves to be a useful tool and perhaps we’ll start compiling a list for 2013.


International Holocaust Memorial Day
27 January 2012
Holocaust Memorial Day provides an opportunity to remember the millions murdered in the Nazi Holocaust and subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur in order to challenge hatred and persecution in the UK today

National Storytelling Week
28 January - 4 February 2012
Storytelling events and performances take place in theatres, bookstores, libraries, schools, museums, arts venues, clubs and pubs


National Apprenticeship Week
1 - 8 February 2012
Raising the profile of apprenticeships amongst employers, teachers, parents and the media

Dickens 2012
7 February 2012
Celebrating the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Dickens with events in his Portsmouth birthplace and around the UK, throughout the year

National LGBT History Month
1 - 29 February 2012
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transsexual (LGBT) History Month celebrates the lives, achievements and diversity of the LGBT community

National Fair Trade Fortnight
27 February - 11 March 2012
Supporting better prices and working conditions, sustainability and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world


World Book Day
1 March 2012
Global celebration of books and reading offers every child in full-time education in the UK a World Book day book token

National Doodle Day
2 March 2012
Raising awareness and money for Epilepsy Action, one of the UK’s leading epilepsy charities, through sketching, drawing and doodling

World Education Games
6 - 8 March 2012
Incorporating the World Spelling Day, World Maths Day and World Science Day Games

International Women’s Day
8 March 2012
International Women’s Day, observed annually on 8 March since the early 1900’s, links thousands of events throughout the world that inspire women and celebrate women’s achievements

National Science and Engineering Week
9 - 18 March 2012
Celebrating the role of science, technology and engineering in our everyday lives and helping to inspire the next generation of scientists


World Health Day
7 April 2012
A World Health Organistion (WHO) initiative, this year World Health Day focuses on the planet’s aging population, particularly in less-developed countries

Earth Day
22 April
Supporting the environmental movement and engaging new environmental activists around the globe

World Book and Copyright Day
23 April
Reading, publishing and the protection of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) through copyright organised by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)


National Voluntary Arts Week
12 - 20 May 2012
Organised by Voluntary Arts Network to highlight amateur arts and craft activity


National Volunteers Week
1 - 7 June 2012
Celebrating the contribution that millions of volunteers make across the UK, organised by Volunteering England

World Environment Day
5 June 2012
The 2012 theme for World Environment Day is the ‘Green Economy’, organised by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

National Refugee Week
18 - 24 June 2012
A UK-wide programme of arts, cultural and educational events that celebrate the contribution of refugees to the UK

Armed Forces Day
30 June 2012
Raising awareness of the contribution made to our country by those who serve in Her Majesty’s Armed Forces, including currently serving troops, service families, veterans and cadets


The British Archaeology Festival
14 - 29 July 2012
Coordinated by the Council for British Archaeology (CBA), museums, local societies, country parks and heritage organisations across the UK offer the opportunity to learn about their local heritage

British Food Fortnight
27 July - 12 August 2012
Organisers of the national promotion, Love British Food have this year moved the annual British Food Fortnight event to coincide with the London 2012 Olympic Games

London 2012 Olympic Games
27 July - 12 August 2012
More than 200 nations compete in the world’s largest sporting event which incorporates a range of cultural initiatives around the Olympic Torch Relay and London 2012 Festival


London 2012 Paralympic Games
29 August - 9 September 2012
The Paralympics originated at Stoke Mandeville Hospital Buckinghamshire in 1948, now the National Centre for Disability Sport


National Heritage Open Days
6 - 9 September 2012
Celebrating England’s architecture and culture by offering free access to properties that are usually closed to the public or that normally charge for admission

Global Truce/Peace One Day
21 September 2012
The Global Truce initiative by Peace One Day takes place every 21 September - the International Day of Peace - and calls for a day of ceasefire and non-violence so that UN agencies and aid organisations can safely carry out life-saving work


UK Black History Month
1 - 31 October 2012
Black History Month (BHM) is held every October in Britain, and every February in the USA and Canada to promote knowledge of Black history, culture and heritage

The Big Draw
1 - 31 October 2012
The Campaign for Drawing promotes engagement with museum and gallery collections, libraries, schools and community centres through drawing (Big Draw Day takes place on 6 October)

National Poetry Day
4 October 2012
A national celebration of poets and poetry with events taking place throughout the UK including readings and workshops


National Trustees Week
5 - 11 November 2012
Third annual celebration highlighting the work that trustees do with opportunities for people from all walks of life to get involved, organised by The Charity Commission

Global Entrepreneur Week
12 - 18 November 2012
Formerly National Enterprise Week, now organised by The Princes Youth Trust International

Image by Ant Jackson licensed for reuse under the terms of a Creative Commons Licence


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