In 2019 activity will be ramping up towards Coventry’s City of Culture 2021 programme. The programme will be announced in 2020 and has a budget of £25m.
The events will be orientated around a series of principles which focus on community, accessibility and building legacy. These are:
1) We call it Cov: Community-led creative programming reflecting the diversity, youth and aspiration of the city.
2) This is for you: Reflecting culture in its broadest form, the programme will be about being human, centred around accessibility and learning.
3) From us with love: Artistic-led capacity building, ensuring all projects leave a legacy. National and international artists will work with existing organisations to produce work in Coventry to make a sustainable difference in the future.
The full line-up is being developed, however on the cards already are:
- A festival of Refugee and Migrant Arts, celebrating the contribution that refugee and migrant communities are making across the world.
- A Taxi Arts Centre, recognising Coventry's important role in the development and manufacturing of the iconic British Taxi. Coventry schools will commission seven artists to transform seven new electric taxis, designed and built in Coventry, into works of art. Each will have an uber-cool design on the exterior, and a converted interior, turning these vehicles into travelling gallery spaces, cinemas, stages and street food vendors.
- Coventry's Ring Road will form aconcrete canvas for the backdrop of Britain’s first 2-mile-long poem. Glimpses of the poem will be etched into the concrete, signposted in the subways and projected onto the pillars.
- Coventry's neighbours, the Royal Shakespeare Company will take residence in the city for a year-long programme of Shakespeare-based events. This will include unique screenings of the whole canon of Shakespeare’s 37 plays. The screenings will take place in a wide range of spaces and venues in Coventry for example you may see As You Like It in the Forest of Arden, Macbeth in London Road Cemetery and Richard III on Gosford Green.
- The Streets of Culture line up will include 52 weeks of activity in 21 streets celebrating Coventry’s most varied neighbourhoods. Poetry on the pavements, line dancing on the lawns, dinners on the driveways… Streets of Cultures will be a year-round programme of street-based celebrations, all designed and created by the communities who live there. Members of the public will visit previously undiscovered areas of the city to meet the residents and share in their cultural celebration.
Look out for a series of pilot and build-up events taking place throughout the journey towards 2021. To be among the first to know, sign up to the initiative's newsletter at www.coventry2021.co.uk and follow it on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @Coventry2021.
Image: Collectif Coin bring Childhood to Broadgate as part of The Festival of Imagineers