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Transformational vision and Residents of Coventry

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This project will address how the City of Culture’s transformational vision for Coventry and its residents is enacted, lived with, and experienced by residents in key positions within the City’s civic, cultural, and business communities. Scholars from the Centre for Cultural and Media Policy Studies will unearth in-depth stories of three networks within the city and the effects the title has on them.

The team will identify cross-sectoral partnerships generated in the lead-up and through the City of Culture year and work with these networks to assess the value and sustainability of these partnerships. We conceive this as a collaborative, participant-led, project in which qualitative research evidence is gathered at strategic points to tell an unfolding ‘insider’ story of the expectations, experiences and effects of the programme and its role in re-imagining the future of Coventry.

About the team

The project's principal investigator is Dr Vishalakshi Roy, Assistant Professor at the Centre for Cultural and Media Policy Studies and a researcher with extensive evaluation experience within the local cultural ecology.

Vishalakshi has been part of the creative and cultural sector for the last 20 years as a consultant and an academic. She is an assistant professor at CCMPS and director of cultural consultancy Earthen Lamp. Her research interests include entrepreneurship and the management of creative businesses and cultural organisations, their markets, and audiences. More recently she has contributed to research that has fed into Coventry’s 10‑year Cultural Strategy 2017-2027, the city’s City of Culture bid, evaluation of Coventry’s Great Place programme and a study into the identity of creative practitioners in the city. Vishalakshi is director of rural arts touring agency Live and Local, Art in the Park festival and Creative Academies Network, and is a certified member of the Market Research Society.

The team also includes Dr Heidi Ashton, drawing on and building on the participatory methodologies from her Urban Village project on Coventry's Roma Community, Dr Jonathan Vickery, extending and developing his work on how the discourse on Cultural Rights can inform civic development in Coventry City of Culture 2021, and Dr David Wright, currently researching public art and with extensive experience of mixed-method empirical investigation of cultural participation.

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