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Weathering the Storm

An evaluation of the City of Culture Trust’s impact on the cultural sector and its work during the C-19 pandemic

This work builds on the Performance, Monitoring and Evaluation Strategy for Coventry UK City of Culture 2021. The initial strategy is based on a Theory of Change developed with the City of Culture Trust which has led planning for the year and its desired outcomes, impacts and legacy. Subsequently, the world has experienced the Covid-19 pandemic, including the on-going process of lockdowns and other social distancing measures. The response has been a range of unprecedented policy interventions from international to local levels to support resilience and recovery. Nevertheless, the cultural and creative sector, in particular, has faced devastation incurred by social distancing, loss of income and opportunity and on-going major and substantial concerns about the future sustainability of the sector.

One major regional response has been that published by the City of Culture Trust on 30 March 2020:

 “This isn’t business as usual; as a charity, working as part of a city-wide response with the City Council and all key partners, we will use this time to support those in need, ensuring that our resources can help those in the city during this difficult time.”

Given this response, there is an urgent need for the Performance, Monitoring and Evaluation Strategy to respond to the changed focus and activities of the Trust. What is agreed with the Trust is that whilst the activities (and outputs) expected within the Theory of Change for City of Culture 2021 have been, and will be, substantially disrupted and altered to take into account new cultural, social and economic realities, it is the case that the impacts – such as civic pride and influence, culture’s contribution to social and economy prosperity, and a connected and future facing pioneering city - remain highly valid.

The purpose of the proposed ‘Covid-19’ M&E work is to document and understand

i) the financial, social and wellbeing impacts that the pandemic will and has had on the local cultural and creative sectors within Coventry and Warwickshire and

ii) how the Coventry City of Trust has responded to support the sector to ensure that a sustainable and resilient sector remains.

For full details of the Monitoring and Evaluation Strategy for City of Culture 2021, please click here.

A more detailed proposal and methods section for this project will be added soon