Coventry 2021 looking for artists or organisations for City of Culture school art project

Coventry City of Culture Trust, the Thames Festival Trust and Open Theatre will be working with the eight Special Needs schools in Coventry and their students to celebrate Coventry’s historic River Sherbourne. This project will form part of the City of Culture schools programme.

They are seeking a Coventry-based artist (or artists) or an arts organisation to deliver a programme of high-quality art workshops based around river and environmental studies with the eight schools. The work produced will be exhibited as part of Coventry City of Culture in 2020 and 2021.

Download the brief and criteria at Coventry 2021's website and apply before 12pm on Friday 7 February 2020.

The Rivers of the World and Story of Water is an innovative programme, delivered in partnership with Thames Festival Trust. The project is aimed at helping children and young people connect and learn about rivers and to create work inspired by its culture, community and ecology.

Each school will be assigned one of six river themes (based on their local river) and the artwork they produce as part of the workshops will be inspired by these themes: River of Life, Polluted River, Resourceful River, River Culture, River City and Working River.

It will be the artists’ responsibility to research the themes and work with the pupils to decide on the idea behind each work including the best media for each workshop. The criteria emphasises giving pupils the opportunity to work with materials they may not have used before. Each class group is to create one joint piece of artwork. Pupils should be involved as much as possible in creating the designs and deciding on the final layout of the piece.

Artists applying should have:

  • An inspiring creative portfolio
  • A keen interest or experience of working with young people, including those with special educational needs and providing in-school art workshops
  • Good knowledge of Photoshop (desirable) – or ability to document art works digitally and make print ready
  • Good availability during March–June 2020
  • A current DBS certificate

Fee: £9,800 inclusive of travel and VAT; based on the artist/arts organisation being responsible for own tax and NI on a freelance basis.


  • £800 Artist development week training and school visits (4 days @ £200 per day)
  • £250 CPD training session (prep and 2hr delivery)
  • £500 planning time with schools (2 days @ £250 per day)
  • £6250 for school workshops with 10 groups (equivalent 25 days @ £250 per day) including mounting school display
  • £1000 Pulling imagery together and creating 10 digital artworks (4 days @ £250 per day)
  • £1000 materials budget (£100 per school group)

Application Deadline: Friday 7 February (no later than 12.00 noon).


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