Coventry City of Culture

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The River Runners in full flow during the This is the City parade. May 2022.
Photo by Dylan Parrin.

Coventry was UK City of Culture in 2021 and 2022. It worked with strategic partners and stakeholders in the city and in Warwickshire - community groups, leading artists, third sector charities, and flagship cultural organisations - to produce an ambitious cultural festival (which reached live and online audiences of over 1,000,000 who experienced more than 700 events).

Coventry took a unique approach to its UK City of Culture year and put co-creation at the heart of its programme. This programme valued local stories, supported and developed local talent, and created sustainable cultural projects that communities in Coventry will continue delivering after the City of Culture has ended. This deeply rooted way of working, recently presented as 'The Coventry Model', delivered a range of both intimate events and high impact activities to deliver long-lasting social value. This approach is now seen as a significant shifting point in the way in which major cultural programmes can be delivered. Embedding engagement at a hyper-local level, the 'co-creation' approach saw city communities including faith groups, community centres, libraries, schools, community radio stations, the police, and local arts organisations take centre stage in designing the creative programme. 

I was a member of the Collaborative City team and delivered projects across its three strands - City-wide scalable, Connecting People with Place, and Celebrating and Amplifying Culture - working with a £1.4 million budget from the National Lottery Community Fund. As Producer South West, my remit was to initiate, design and deliver cultural projects in the south west of Coventry with stakeholders from change makers, cultural organisations, and residents to shape programmes that showcased local culture. For a flavour of the work I did in Coventry, click on the projects below.

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This is the City

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The Home Spun Festival

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Love Ireland

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The Coventry Model