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Creative Showcase - Grassroots and research

Fargo Village, Far Gosford Street. CV1 5ED. Friday 6 July

To celebrate the approach of Coventry City of Culture 2021, the Universities of Warwick and Coventry joined forces with local cultural and community organisations to bring research to life using cookery, writing, dance, debate, mosaic, poetry, photography, theatre, even Lego!

Drop in or book for free talks with our projects including:

  • Invisible Irish of Coventry: women diaspora, food and performance
  • WAKANDA: (Climate) Justice for the Caribbean
  • Exploring the Perception of Touch in Young Children and Families through Dance
  • Identity and Resettlement Among Young Refugees in Coventry
  • Practices of Solidarity and Community Building Using Mosaics
  • Is the Future of Humankind, Martiankind?
  • Self-reflective Photo-artworks Working with Asylum Seekers and Refugees
  • Can’t We DO IT OURSELVES: exploring the heritage of food and health in Coventry
  • Writing Gyms for Parents of children with ASD
  • The Van: a new kind of outreach for Warwick Arts Centre

Book to hear some of the project talks between 1.00pm - 2.30pm or just turn up between 2.30pm - 5.00pm

For Bookings:

Refugee Week

18 - 24 June across Coventry

Refugee week

We are looking forwarding to a week of huge celebrations for the twentieth year of Refugee Week in 2018. A Partnership involving Coventry City Council’s MiFriendly Cities programme, Coventry Refugee & Migrant Centre, the Positive Images Festival, Positive Youth FOundation and Fargo Village, have put together a programme of events and activities for all. From Monday 18th all the way through to Sunday 24th June there will exciting events and activities happening every day, starting with an Eid Feast for 200 people and cumulating with a Changing Trax “World Music Edition” Open Mic, all hugely supported by the City of Culture.

Black Conscious Coventry presents 'WAKANDA; Reparations or Else... '

16 June, St Peter's Centre Coventry CV1 5NP

WAKANDAThis event will envision Africa and the Diaspora in a new light. It will highlight and explore in depth the importance of reparations.
Wakanda - A name synonymous with sovereignty, self sufficiency, self determination, prosperity and technological advancement, and looks at Africa that rejects, colonialism, neo colonialism, imperialism and racism.
Often at the forefront of the case for reparations is financial compensation. While monetary reparations are unquestionably important, as Africa has suffered the biggest and longest holocaust to date and continues to be extorted from all of its precious history and minerals; We need to look at reparations holistically.
This event will explore the over representation in the penal system, or over representation in the mental health services, police brutality, racist legislation, the threat of deportation, a whitewashed curriculum, the real threat of ecocide and the break down in the black family structure. Our community needs to understand that if we do not fight for these reparations then we will continue to be an oppressed people.
On the panel we have:
Esther Stanford-Xosei - Discussing the work of Pan-African Reparations Coalition in Europe (PARCOE) and the stop the maangamizi.
Dr. Nathaniel Tobias Adam C------ - Talking about the effects of a white washed curriculum
Sister Sheeba Levi - Talking about Rastafari call for reparations.
Dr.Leon Sealey-Huggins - Speaking about why we should be pursuing reparatory justice from a Climate Change perspective.

£5 Tickets available via eventbrite.
The entry fee will also include a Caribbean meal PLUS a FREE Return trip to the the African Emancipation Day Reparations March on 1st August. Through our partnership with Warwick University we will be taking a coach from Coventry to the march and back. Spaces are limited so get your ticket and sign up for your space on the day! The march will take place Windrush Square, Brixton to the House of Parliament.
For more information or to exhibit/perform at this event please contact blackconsciouscoventry at gmail dot com / 07983451224

Congratulations to Coventry!

Coventry is gearing up for one of the biggest years in its history after being named UK City of Culture 2021.

The city beat off strong competition from Paisley, Stoke, Sunderland and Swansea to win the prestigious national title and was named the winner live on BBC TV on Thursday night.
Work will start straight away to deliver the plans for an incredible 12 months that were set out in the city’s bid to the Department for Digital, Media, Culture and Sport.

Laura McMillan, Manager of the Coventry City of Culture Trust, said:

This is a win for Coventry, a win for young people and a win for diversity. The economic impact will be huge for the city and the West Midlands.
“It’s been a bid by and for the people of Coventry. It has brought so many people and organisations together and this is just the start. Over the next three years we will ensure that everyone in the city, which has been moving people by cycle car and jet engine, is now moving people through culture.”

Coventry’s programme will include a Streets of Culture programme co-producing work in local communities. The first build-up event will be the UK’s first Shop Front Theatre Festival in March 2018 and the city will celebrate the 100th anniversary of its Cathedral with a major new lighting commission.

A 2.2 mile Ring Road poem is set to one of the digital centrepiece of 2021 along with major productions by the RSC and the screening of the entire works of Shakespeare in iconic locations.
An artist-led festival called ‘Moments of Silence’ will create moments of silence and beauty and reflect on the city’s 700-year-old Carthusian monastery Charterhouse and play on the myth of being ‘Sent to Coventry’.
Building on the success of 95-year-Old Indian Photographer Masterji’s exhibition, the city will develop a project Tale of Two streets that looks at two of the most diverse streets in Britain through the eyes of photographers.

David Burbidge, chair of the Coventry City of Culture Trust, said:

I must thank Coventry City Council, Coventry and Warwick Universities, the West Midlands Combined Authority and every business, artist and individual that has supported us along the way. In just two years ago this bid has put Coventry back on the map.
“I am so proud of everyone involved and now we are determined to put on the greatest show that Coventry has ever seen.”

Coventry City Council leader George Duggins said:

I am delighted we have been named UK City of Culture 2021 - it’s the Christmas present we were all hoping for and it means so much for our city.

“We knew we had put together a very strong bid, but we were up against some excellent competition and I’d like to thank and congratulate all those who have helped to show what a wonderful City of Culture we will be.

“Since we announced our intention to bid, we have seen the incredible effect it has had, with a staggering variety of events and exhibitions that have brought people together and breathed new life into our city.

“I can only imagine what’s to come over the next four years as we build on that.

“Coventry is a vibrant, multicultural city with a fascinating and inspiring story to tell and an arts and cultural scene that deserves its place in the national spotlight.

“There is still a lot of hard work ahead, but as UK City of Culture 2021 we will be able to show everyone why we are so proud of our city and the people who live, work and study here and build something lasting for our children and grandchildren to enjoy.

“Hull has proved to be a worthy holder of the title this year but now it is our turn and I am confident we will do even better in 2021.”

Stuart Croft, Vice Chancellor of the University of Warwick, said:

As I say to all of our students when I greet them on arrival to the University; Coventry is a great city.“As a community in this great city we have worked together as never before to achieve this exceptional result. Coventry will put on the greatest UK City of Culture year ever! The bid team have been wonderful; I am very proud of the part that the University of Warwick has played in this.”

For the full press release please see here

Previous Events

Ska Town - Ghost Town

Writing Gyms - Autism Stories

The Chamber - Take your seat on a political roller-coaster

Can’t we do it ourselves?

As part of the joint Coventry and Warwick University Creative Exchange programme, we are delighted to be able to share a series of events which are happening because of thie programme and Coventry 2021;

Writing Gyms - Autism Stories

Theatre Absolute, 8th May (10.30am - 12.30pm) and 29th May (10.30am - 12.30pm). Shop Front Theatre, 38 City Arcade, CV1 3HW

- Are you a parent of child with ASD?

- Would you like to share your story using arts activities?

- Do you want to connect with parents in similar situation?

We are looking for parents of children with ASD to take part in “Creative writing gyms” in Coventry, where through arts and drama you can express the positive and negative experiences you face. A writing gym is a mental workout to get words out onto the page. You will be set a series of random writing tasks and over short period of time text and narratives will emerge. No previous writing experience is necessary.

Led by award winning writer Chris O’Connell. (Theatre Absolute/Shop Front Theatre)

For more information and registration see

Reimbursement for your time – Retail voucher worth £40 for attending both sessions - provided on completion of session(s).

Can’t we do it ourselves?

22 May 12-2pm Moat House Leisure and Neighbourhood Centre

19 June 12-2pm Moat House Leisure and Neighbourhood Centre

CanCome and join us for lunch!
We all know that together we are stronger, so we’d like to invite you to come and chat about how food can help build community and make us healthier.
We will be sharing the story of a wartime project in Coventry, the Family Health Club, that sought to create a healthy community. We’d love you to bring along any photos, recipes and memories to do with food, as we will be creating a collage to display in the Moat House Leisure and Neighbourhood Centre.

To register, please contact us at s dot a dot greenway at warwick dot ac dot uk

Project organisers: This project is the work of Dr Marina Chang of Coventry University ( and Sophie Greenway of the University of Warwick (

The Chamber - Take your seat on a political roller-coaster

Central Hall Coventry, Saturday 12th May 2018 from 11 - 3pm

The ChamberDo you want to change your community?
Have you got ideas you want to share?
Come and take a seat in this interactive, touring parliamentary chamber. This is a FREE event and includes Lunch

To book and find out more visit
The Chamber is a collaboration between Face Up Theatre, Rideout (Creative Arts for Rehabilitation) and academics from the Department of Sociology and School of Law at the University of Warwick and the School of Law at Coventry University, and is funded by a creative exchange grant.

Ska Town - Ghost Town

Friday 1 June Coventry Cathedral (6.30 - 9.00pm)

RudiesAs a follow-up screening to Remembering Coventry: Ghost Town Haunting #1 (at the Shopfront Theatre in April this year), showcasing Helen Wheatley's research programme, this special screening event is a night of archive television from the early eighties about Coventry's Ska scene

At this event we'll be showing the following:

Arena: Rudies Come Back or The Rise and Rise of 2-Tone (12th March 1980, 35 minutes)

A brilliant documentary about Coventry's ska scene, with performances from The Selector and The Specials and some iconic footage of both bands in and around Coventry. Come and look for yourself bouncing away at Tiffany's!

Play for Today: Three Minute Heroes (26th October 1982, 60 minutes)

A television play made in Coventry and written by Leslie Stewart. The Radio Times listing for this describes it as follows "Saturday. Out on the streets, young people looking for fun. Billy, living for Two-Tone music. Adrian, only limping when he walks. Lectric, dressed to kill. Debbo, bored with stereotypes. Rhoda, bored with Elvis. Elvis, playing games. They move around the city in the day, making life happen wherever they are. They come together at nights to listen to their music. For as long as the song lasts, they're heroes. Three minute heroes." Packed full of all your favourite Two-Tone tracks.

Tickets £2 (£1.50 for members of Equity, the Musician's Union and the Writer's Guild). Proceeds to be split between the Cathedral and Coventry's Music Museum.

Doors open at 6.30pm – screening starts at 7pm. Refreshments available to purchase at the Cathedral

Tickets available from Coventry Cathedral ticket tailor

Looking for a fresh start in 2018?

January challenge

Come and join in with The JanuaryChallenge; 31 days of fun and free creative challenges.

This is the 4th year of 64 Million Artists’ January Challenge and this year is set to be bigger than ever! The idea is simple. Once you sign up, each day in January we’ll send you a short creative challenge to do. It will only take 5 or 10 minutes to complete, it’s free and any materials you need should be easy to find (a pen, paper, random junk in your recycling bin, a sense of humour etc). The challenge might be writing a poem or drawing a picture, or it might be thinking your way around a problem or going on a mini-adventure. You never know what to expect!

Then post your challenge on social media, tag #TheJanuaryChallenge and @coventry2021C

Back the bid - the time is right for Coventry!

back the bidThe winner of UK City of Culture 2021 will be announced on Thursday 7 December during the BBC One Show live from Hull.

We have been so proud to read everyone's comments and hopes if Coventry wins following Coventry's social media takeover led by the DCMS on Friday. Each of the 5 shortlisted cities (Swansea, Stoke, Sunderland, Paisley and Coventry) will be featured by the DCMS and BBC in the run up to the announcement.

Read some of the Twitter comments here.

You can watch the BBC News programme here.

We appreciate everyone's support on this journey and regardless of result, we know Coventry has evolved and grown during this process with partnerships and networks developed and strengthened. We deserve this!

Open Call for Applications for Funding (Warwick Creative Exchange & Coventry University)

Warwick Creative Exchange and Coventry University are together offering four £2,000 awards to projects bringing together Warwick and Coventry academics with cultural organisations in Coventry to develop public engagement activities with impact which invite the general public to participate and respond.
The Awards are partially linked to Coventry City Council’s work with the Arts Council of England Great Places scheme, Place, Heritage and Diversity in a Modern UK City, administered through the Coventry City of Culture Trust. Great Places seeks to enable cultural and community groups to work more closely together and to place heritage at the heart of communities.
Supported by the University’s Connecting Cultures GRP and Coventry University, and building on the work done by initiatives including the Warwick Commission on the Future of Cultural Value, the City of Culture partnership, and Coventry City Council’s Cultural strategy, these awards invite applications for either complete small-scale work or groundwork for larger projects.


  • The project team must include at least one academic from each university.
  • It must use your academic research and work with an organisation in the Coventry area, or have a clear demonstrable link with Coventry.
  • We are particularly keen to see proposals involving communities traditionally under-represented whether because of ethnicity, disability, or socio-economic status.
  • Organisations could be arts, community, health, cultural – we take a very wide view on this.
  • The proposed activity must be complete by 31 July 2018.
  • You must provide an indication of how to evaluate and/or measure your work

Recipients be will be chosen through a two-stage process:

  • Submit a single page of A4 outlining your proposal in brief
  • Attend a workshop with your partner organisation to discuss your proposal

All proposals and any queries should be sent to Flo Swann, f dot swann dot 1 at warwick dot ac dot uk by 08 December 2017. Receipt will be acknowledged.

The workshop date will be set once we have closed applications so we can consult on suitable dates and times.

Download information sheet  

Previous events

Remembering Coventry: Ghost Town Haunting #1

Ska Town - Ghost Town
Fri 1 Jun 2018 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm Coventry Cathedral

Coventry 2021 Public Meeting

Remembering Coventry: Ghost Town Haunting #1

16 - 20 April, Shop Front Theatre,38 City Arcade, Coventry, CV1 3HW

Ghost TownRemembering Coventry: Ghost Town Haunting # 1 is a week-long exhibition celebrating Coventry’s local television history, at Theatre Absolute’s Shop Front Theatre in the city centre of Coventry.

Visitors to the exhibition will be able to engage with various screens (including a pair of vintage living room sets) displaying showreels of programmes made in and about Coventry, co-curated with researchers from the University of Warwick, Kaleidoscope’s Chris Perry, and the Media Archive for Central England. Much of this footage has not been seen since its original broadcast, and will be digitised and preserved for the exhibition.

Come along and look for lost loved ones, your younger selves, your old house or place of work in our screenings. Join the conversation about the city’s past, present and future.

Theatre Absolute’s Shop Front Theatre, 38 City Arcade, Coventry, CV1 3HW.

Find out more about the weeks schedule and activities here.

The exhibition is part of the bigger Ghost Town project, a joint collaboration from the University of Warwick’s Centre for Television History, Heritage, and Memory Research, the Birmingham-based television archive Kaleidoscope, the Media Archive for Central England, and the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum. Ghost Town traces how Coventry’s history persists as ghostly traces in the television archive: glimpses of people, places, stories, and snapshots that have been captured and preserved. Through a number of civic screenings (or hauntings) in cinemas and other more unorthodox venues around the city, beginning with the exhibition, Ghost Town unleashes the city’s ghosts and brings past, present, and future Coventry into dialogue in the lead up to the City of Culture year in 2021.

For more information please see:

Coventry 2021 Public Meeting

Coventry City of Cuture Trust invites you to join them at one of our three public events where we'll be talking through the process so far, what happens next, and how you can get involved.

  • Albany Theatre, Albany Rd, Coventry CV5 6JQ, Tuesday 15 May 7.30pm - FULLY BOOKED

There'll be an opportunity to pick up our brand new summary bid brochure, as well as answering any burning questions you might have.

We need to keep track of all the attendees, so if you're bringing a friend, please make sure you've signed them up too.

Book at;

If you've missed out on any of the public meetings, but you'd still like to attend one, please email info at coventry2021 dot co dot uk and if there's enough interest, we'll put another meeting on.

If you have any questions about the event, please contact the team on 02476 998 221, or email info at coventry2021 dot co dot uk

Shop Front Festival in Coventry city centre

shop front festivalShop Front Festival in Coventry city centre

23 & 24 March 2018

Actual realityAs part of the build up programme for Coventry 2021, Theatre Absolute are delighted to host the first Shop Front Festival in Coventry.

Experience the city centre in new ways - Theatre in shop fronts, pop-up performances in precincts, dancing in the streets – all putting people’s creative talents centre stage. There’s something for everyone to participate in at the first ever edition of Shop Front Festival. We warmly invite you to play, perform and enjoy the two-day city centre celebration.

Shop Front Festival features some of the UK’s most exciting new and established theatre makers and artists working in dance, circus, music, visual and outdoor artists, bringing together creative communities local to Coventry together with those from further afield.

Imagine your visit to Coventry city centre transformed

From 10am on Friday 23 March to 10.30pm on Saturday 24 March, you’ll find immersive and interactive performances and artworks in empty shop spaces, cafes, retail spaces and outdoors. Most of these are FREE and suitable for people of all ages. Walk a mile in someone else’s shoes, star in a melodrama, play in an Actual Reality Arcade and don’t forget to join England’s favourite shopping pastime – queuing!

Discover What’s On:

Friday 23 March – All Day Events, Timed Events, Shop Talk, Works in Progress and a Late Night Shopper

Saturday 24 March – Timed Events, Theatre Lab, You Do It, All Day Events and a Great Night Out

What’s On At A Glance – Easy-to-use listings and map

the_q.jpgJoin 'The Q' and be part of the Festival

It's not too late to be a part of Shop Front Festival. Renowned Coventry theatre company Talking Birds need volunteers to join its street performance The Q.

It's a celebration of the art of queuing and began right here in Coventry as part of their campaign for queuing to be included in the Olympics ensuring gold for the UK.

The @Q_Mob is like a flash mob, but slightly more orderly. To join the Q Mob you need to sign up for a 4 hour slot (with ample breaks!) during the Shop Front Festival on Friday 23 or Saturday 24 March, during which time you will be helping form queues around the City Centre, led by the Q Corp Captains (the elite SAS of queuing). You will also need to attend a short (1 hour) Q Mob workshop where you can find out more, meet the team and … practice queuing. Sign up by emailing theQmobs at gmail dot com, call the QLine on 0800 012 2401, or find out more here.

out in the coldOut in the cold, exhibition

Thursday 22nd February, 5-9pm, Warwick Arts Centre

Out in the Cold brings together video works by artists from around the world and recent participants in the Venice Biennale, including Mel O’Callaghan (AUS), Taus Makhacheva (RUS) and Nayoung Jeong (ROK).

Out in the cold is a student-run exhibition by Oliver Noble, looks to re-contextualize contemporary art, taking it out its comfortable gallery spaces and culture-capitals and placing it amongst unknown friends. The exhibition invites us to immerse ourselves in a place of boundless human expression, accessible to all — to those both inside or outside the world of its creation.

Between 5-9pm on Thursday 22nd February the Arts Centre lobby will come alive for 4 transportive hours for an evening of art, music and dance. With Keep the Faith on the decks and the projections of out in the cold surrounding us, it promises to be a spectacle not worth missing!

Expect Funk, Soul, Disco and World. ALL WELCOME, just bring yourselves.

The event is FREE but DONATIONS to Leamington Winter Support would be greatly appreciated!

For more information, please see the Facebook event page

Changing Trax - Electric Proms at Warwick Arts Centre

ChokeChoke, Theatre Absolute, Shop Front Theatre

6th - 17th February 2018 Shop Front Theatre - Eves & matinee perfs

Tuesday 13th Feb - Pay What You Can night

CHOKE is #6 in the Are We Where We Are programme at the Shop Front Theatre, and written by Theatre Absolute’s artistic director and writer Chris O’Connell.

Rob’s made a twelve-hour journey, buttoned up in a ball of five coats begged from a bunch of strangers. He’s hitchhiked in sub-zero temperatures to the edge of nowhere because he just can’t stand it any longer, and because he has the strangest, most absurd request…Choke tells the story of lifelong friends Rob and Stu, each staring into the gap between who they thought they were, and who they are now.

Tickets and more information available from Theatre Absolute website, evening performances are at 7.30pm and Thursday matinee is 2pm.

Coventry & Warwickshire Business Festival

Join the #covsafari elephunt!

Two-Tone Taxi tours

Open Citizens: CanCan you make it?

Urban Flows (you were here)

Museum of the Moon

Against Prejudice: A Celebration of Ira Aldridge

Ira Aldridge plaque unveiling

Enchanted community - a collaborative arts project

Royal Opera House free big screenings

Talking Birds - Disorder Contained

Godiva Festival

City Student Innovation Challenge - Enhance your skillset

Coventry Elephantastic – May Day Drawing Event with Warwick brain scientists and Mary Courtney

Imagining a Sustainable Cultural Future for Coventry

Belgrade Theatre pays tribute to African-American actor Ira Aldridge

Masterji & Coventry; Photographic Exhibition at Fargo Village

The Last Newspaper with Canley Youth Theatre

Storytelling 4 Health: Artists and academics exhibition at Fargo Village

Black History Month in Coventry

Festival of Imagineers returns to Coventry

Changing Trax - Electric Proms at Warwick Arts Centre?

1st November, Warwick Arts Centre

changing_trax.jpgA group of 12 young musicians from Coventry are set to showcase their incredible talent thanks to an ambitious and exciting project through the city’s bid to be UK City of Culture. The group – aged between 16 and 21 – have all come through Positive Youth Foundation’s Changing Trax project, which offers music as a platform to allow them to express themselves. They are now collaborating with classical musicians from Armonico Consort to produce a stirring, professional performance at Warwick Arts Centre in November.

‘Changing Trax - Electric Proms’ will see the young people perform seven original tracks with the orchestra and youth choir – from country to hip hop – as well as four cover songs.

Rehearsals are already underway, with the young people being guided by former BBC Proms Young Composer of the Year Toby Young, composer-in-residence for Armonico Consort.

This is a life-changing project for the young people who are involved. We asked them what would be the ultimate achievement for them musically – some said getting a record deal, one said performing with Jay-Z. Another talked about the time that Dizzee Rascal collaborated with an orchestra and how that brought a new dimension to his work. At Positive Youth Foundation, we strive to provide young people with access to the highest quality opportunities. So now that this is happening through the support of the Coventry City of Culture Trust, their event sponsors and the Heart of England Community Foundation, it will genuinely make this young group of musician’s dreams come true. But this is not just a community project – it’s going to be the real deal, a professionally put together performance that shows off the unbelievable talent of this group of young Coventry people. The original pieces have been created by the young people themselves over the past seven years through their determination, hard work and passion. It is going to be wonderful and a real example of what Coventry is all about.”

Susie Murphy, of Positive Youth Foundation

Watch the trailer with Positive Youth Foundation rehearsing for the performance

Changing Trax Electric Proms

Coventry & Warwickshire Business Festival

The first ever Coventry & Warwickshire Business Festival will be held between 20th November to 1st December where region will come alive with a fortnight of exciting business events put on by local organisations from right across the region. Coventry 2021 have a number of events during the festival which Warwick are supporting:

​How can we boost digital creative industries in Coventry?
Thursday 30 November 5.30 - 7.00pm, WBS

New research undertaken Warwick and Coventry Universities suggests that digital creative businesses earn around £0.5bn in Coventry each year. Future growth may be limited, however, by a lack of coherent strategy and planning as well as challenges related to skill availability and suitable premises. Come along, hear about the new research, and have your say on what needs to be done.

Digital Creative industries report

Confirmed Speakers:

  • Professor Jonothan Neelands PhD, DSc, FRSA, Associate Dean Creativity, Warwick Business School
  • Professor Stephen Roper, Director, Enterprise Research Centre, Warwick Business School
  • Sarah Windrum, CEO and Co-Founder of IT consultancy Emerald Group, Board Director of C&W LEP and Member of WMCA Digital Board
  • Sinead Ouillon, Programme Leader, The City University Initiative, Coventry University and FabLab Coventry

Download a pdf version of the full report 'Digital Creative Sectors in Coventry, trends and potentials' here.

Tickets are free but must be booked through the business festival website

Who visits Coventry and Warwickshire? The latest tourism research analysis to inform your business.
Monday 27 November, 11:45am — 2:00 pm

Aimed at those running or involved with Coventry’s hospitality tourism-facing industry to hear analysis of the very latest visitor research, commissioned by Coventry City of Culture Trust which can provide accurate data to inform your business decisions.

NGI Solutions will reveal why people visit Coventry, who they are, how they find out about the City’s offer and what they do when they visit. Also hear about the £2 million we have secured to develop strategies and events which will boost tourism in Coventry including a new Destination Management Plan.

Tickets are free but must be booked through the business festival website

The University is also supporting the Business Festival with 2 events to showcase the University’s range of business support services to SMEs and a science and engineering focused industry event to help businesses of any size gain access to state-of-the-art equipment and collaboration opportunities through direct contact with its world-renowned scientific departments.

For more information on these events, please follow the links:

Meet the University event (20th November)

Access facilities, knowledge and support (29 November)

Join the #covsafari elephunt!


Have you herd? Coventry elephants have packed their trunks and have escaped in #thisiscoventry - can you find them?

We've set 221 elephants loose across the city, including 10 on campus. 7 have already been found, so there are 3 still on the loose.

If you find one of our numbered elephants, share a photo with the elephant's number on social media #covsafari and tag @coventry2021 for your chance to win FREE Escape Room tickets for up to 4 friends. Happy herding!

Two-Tone Taxi tours

two tone taxi

BBC Coventry & Warwickshire with Theatre Absolut have created a special 2Tone taxi which will celebrate the city and the people in it, telling the story of Coventry; the special places, people or hidden gems.
You can now book a tour with the 2Tone Taxi running from Friday 20th October. Limited tickets are free but must be booked by telephone on 024 7655 1000. For more information, see the BBC C&W webpages.

Open Citizens: CanCan you make it?

Coventry City of Culture Trust's Digital Artists in Residence, Ludic Rooms are hopingto inspire fun and conversation when they take over the city centre from October 16 to October 22 with its Open Citizens project.

Bins that burp, scooters that go faster when you scream and a bench that warms your backside when you talk are coming to Coventry, designed to make the city more playable.

A Buddy Bench will be situated within Coventry Cathedral ruins and features warming seat pads and massages – but they will only be activated once people begin to talk to one another.
Tuesday, October 17 – Sunday, October 22: Cathedral Ruins, 10am to 4pm

Scream If You Wanna Go Faster features two motorised scooters that will be in Millennium Place on Thursday (October 19). The helmets will be hooked up with special microphones that will pick up the shouts and screams of the riders, which will control the speed of the scooters.
Thursday, October 19: Millennium Place 2pm to 7pm

Six Nod Bins will be placed in different locations around the city centre and, thanks to special modifications, they will react when people place rubbish into the bin by omitting a range of sounds from laughter to music and from a ‘thank-you’ to a burp. (Monday, October 16 - Sunday, October 22: Six city centre locations)

cancan_cityscape.jpgThe most ambitious part of the week-long playable fun is the Neverending CanCan. The You Can-Can capture booth will be in different places each day with a green screen and a green mannequin and will get people to let go of their inhibitions to create a short clip of themselves dancing. These clips will be pieced together to create an infinite line of Coventrians dancing to the CanCan and it will be available to view online, with plans to project the finished article onto a building in a city centre location.

  • Monday, October 16 – Tuesday, October 17: Cathedral Lanes, 12pm to 5pm
  • Wednesday, October 18: Coventry Market, 10am to 4pm
  • Saturday, October 21 – Sunday, October 22: Lower Precinct Shopping Centre, 10am to 5pm (Saturday) and 11am to 4pm (Sunday)

Follow #opencitizens on social media for more information

Urban Flows (you were here)

10-13 October 2017, Coventry Biennial of Contemporary Art. A performance adventure by sirenscrossing.
Tickets £12.28 (including booking fee) – book your start time for 17:30, 18:30, or 19:30

urban flowsSensing the City’, urbanflows (you were here) is the first performance piece in a three year research project running 2017-2020

Note that the piece will include both indoor and outdoor locations in central Coventry and will proceed rain or shine. Please dress for the weather. If you have special access needs, please contact the organiser before booking. The performance is suitable for people 16 years of age and older.

Click here for tickets and more information

Museum of the Moon

Coventry Sports and Leisure Centre, Fairfax Street, Monday 25 – Wednesday 27 September
Coventry Cathedral, Thursday 28 – Saturday 30 September

The Moon

An out of this world art installation depicting the moon in stunning detail is set to land in Coventry.

Museum of the Moon will be illuminating the city centre with an interesting and unique programme of events planned this September.

The special event is part of the Festival of Imagineers a city-wide, week-long celebration of art, design and engineering. Created by Luke Jerram, the fascinating artwork, which measures seven metres in diameter features detailed imagery of the lunar surface from NASA, and will be featured at Coventry Sports and Leisure Centre before moving on to Coventry Cathedral.

The moon’s tour of the city has been made possible thanks to the Festival of Imagineers, working in partnership with Coventry’s bid to be the UK City of Culture in 2021 and Coventry Sports Trust.

It will be featured at the leisure centre on Fairfax Street from Monday, September 25 to Wednesday, September 27 before moving to Coventry Cathedral on Thursday, September 28 until Saturday, September 30.

For more information and tickets see the programme here

Festival of Imagineers

Festival of ImagineersImagine. Make. Inspire, 25th - 30th September 2017

This year’s festival focuses on Transformations, exploring our relationships with space, humanity and technology, transforming spaces by connecting outdoor arts with Cathedrals, Museums, Swimming Baths and Factories as well as working with local communities, businesses and artists nationally and internationally to bring a vibrant programme of work new to Coventry.

For more information and the full programme see the Festival of Imagineers website

Against Prejudice: A Celebration of Ira Aldridge

19th September, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre

In September, the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse at Shakespeare’s Globe will present a revival of the drama-documentary (Belgrade Theatre November 2016) telling Aldridge’s story, followed by a discussion with historians and performers sharing their perspectives on Ira Aldridge’s importance.

Arriving in England in the early 1820’s, Ira Aldridge became Britain’s first black Shakespearean actor and Theatre Manager. Brutally attacked for daring to act in Shakespeare’s plays in America, he rose to fame in the UK and became sensationally successful, though he was never accepted by the major London theatres and critics.

He died in Poland, just as he was about to return and challenge America after the Civil War and the abolition of slavery. Ever since, his memory has been kept alive by actors from Paul Robeson to Adrian Lester, and by writers like Lolita Chakrabarti who have pieced together the scattered fragments.

Against Prejudice

Part One: Performance Ira Aldridge, Theatre Manager: Coventry 1828

Astonishingly, while Britain’s colonies still depended on slavery, Aldridge at the age of only 20 became manager of the Coventry Theatre in the West Midlands. His short but successful season used melodrama, music and Shakespeare to challenge racist stereotypes. Using contemporary documents and the words and music of Shakespeare’s plays, this script in hand performance will ask: how did it happen?

Cast: Ray Fearon, Rakie Ayola, Jason Avoth with Una May and The Belgrade Theatre Coventry Black Youth Theatre
Script: Tony Howard, Director: Jason Morell

Part Two: Discussion - The Heirs of Ira Aldridge
Opening with a series of speeches and songs by members of the Coventry Belgrade Youth Theatre, Tony Howard leads a panel of performers and scholars in considering the importance of Ira Aldridge’s achievements for his time and ours.

Panellists include: David Olusoga (BBC Historian), Joseph Mydell (Actor), Martin Hoyles (Biographer) and Joseph Marcell (Actor). Further speakers to be announced

Supported by the University of Warwick, the Belgrade Theatre Coventry, Shakespeare’s Globe, the Coventry City of Culture 2021 Bid, and Being Human, organised by Tony Howard and Warwick University’s Multicultural Shakespeare Project.

For more information and to buy tickets, please see the Shakespeare's Globe website

Ira Aldridge Othello

Ira Aldridge, a young, black american actor fled racism and persecution in the states and against all practical odds, found himself as the successful manager of the theatre in Coventry in 1828. Rather than turn against him, the people of Coventry and the press rallied around Ira and supported the abolition of slavery.

Professor Tony Howard has worked with the Belgrade Theatre over the last few years to bring Ira's story to life and the plaque, funded jointly by the University of Warwick and Belgrade Theatre symbolises how important Ira was and his continuing influence on the City.

For more information about Ira Aldridge and Warwick's involvement see 'How Warwick is supporting the bid' and 'Multicultural Shakespeare'.

Ira Aldridge honoured; plaque to be unveiled in Coventry City Centre to commemorate Ira Aldridge's life

Thursday 3 August, setting off from the Belgrade Theatre at 2.15pm

A plaque celebrating the life and contribution of actor and theatre manager Ira Aldridge will be unveiled by Coventry's Lord Mayor in the city centre at the site of the original theatre.

We are encouraging people to join us for this event, on the 150th anniverary of Ira's death, celebrating the contribution Ira and the people of Coventry made in 1828 to support the abolition of slavery and also to celebrate the 100th birthday of Earl Cameron, one of the first black actors to break into mainstream film and television from the 1940s and has more recently been seen in Inception and The Queen. Earl was taught by Ira's daughter.

The plaque unveiling will take place in the Upper Precinct in Coventry City Centre and be followed by a short reception back at the Belgrade.

The campaign to install a plaque in Coventry was launched last November when, in a torchlit procession, Earl Cameron laid flowers on the site of Ira Aldridge’s long-lost theatre and by leading actors including the cast of the drama-documentary Against Prejudice, in which RSC Associate Artist Ray Fearon played Ira Aldridge.
Professor Tony Howard, who leads Warwick University’s Multicultural Shakespeare project, comments: ‘It was moving. The Black Youth Theatre sang songs that Ira Aldridge himself performed on that spot nearly two centuries ago, and they sang them to a gentleman who knew Ira’s daughter. Three generations came together to honour a forgotten moment in our multicultural past. In January 1828 Ira Aldridge was advertised as a fairground attraction - "A Most Extraordinary Novelty, a Man of Colour”- yet only a few weeks later Coventry gave him the keys to its theatre.

‘It was obvious there had to be a permanent memorial.
‘The building Aldridge managed was demolished long ago, and the Blitz even destroyed the streets around it. So the plaque marking the site will be in the heart of modern Coventry, in the Precinct. Every day hundreds of shoppers will be reminded of a great African American and of the city’s openness to “foreigners and strangers”.
‘A month ago Arts Council England admitted that still not enough has been done to open up theatres to diversity, especially at the level of “leadership”. The Ira Aldridge story reminds us of what can be done.’

The full press release can be read here and photos from the event here

Ira Aldridge Othello

Ira Aldridge, a young, black american actor fled racism and persecution in the states and against all practical odds, found himself as the successful manager of the theatre in Coventry in 1828. Rather than turn against him, the people of Coventry and the press rallied around Ira and supported the abolition of slavery.

Professor Tony Howard has worked with the Belgrade Theatre over the last few years to bring Ira's story to life and the plaque, funded jointly by the University of Warwick and Belgrade Theatre symbolises how important Ira was and his continuing influence on the City.

Read more about the story of Ira Aldridge here

Enchanted Community - Collaborative community art project and exhibition

The Central Library, Coventry, 4th -31st July, 2017

Enchanted communityThe project, led by Dr Alice Eden from the Institute of Advanced Study (IAS) and local artist Holly Dawes invited participants to come and think about paintings and our local community in new ways. How do you experience wonder, peace and enchantment in your everyday life and community? Do you see sparkle in leaves, raindrops or shadows?

The Enchanted Community project comprises a series of events inspired by the themes of art, enchantment and community and the paintings of Frederick Cayley Robinson. During workshops and outreach sessions in schools, participants will contribute towards a collaborative artwork.

All are welcome to come and view the results of our collaborative art project in the Central Library, Coventry until the end of July. Bring friends and family and during your visit you can contribute to the artwork and provide comments for the feedback tree.

For more information, please see the project pages.

More events will be announced for 2017. You can also find out what's on around Coventry on the coventry2021 website and add your own events to this page.

If you are involved in anything that could support Coventry's City of Culture bid and are based at Warwick, please get in touch via s dot wall at warwick dot ac dot ukto let us know so we can support and promote your activity.

Show your support on social media @coventry2021 #thisiscoventry

CCoC principal partner

Talking Birds - Disorder Contained

29 June - 15 July Shop Front Theatre, 38 City Arcade, Coventry CV1 3HW (opposite Argos)

Disorder containedDisorder Contained is the third play in the Asylum Trilogy: a creative collaboration between acclaimed theatre company Talking Birds and the Centres for the History of Medicine at the University of Warwick & University College Dublin, exploring historical approaches to mental health to interpret their research, drawing on contemporaneous documents such as prisoners’ memoirs, doctors’ casenotes, and the reflections of prison staff.

Disorder Contained examines the effects on mental health of the Separate System: a form of strict solitary confinement and total silence introduced to British and Irish prisons - originally with the expectation that convicts would reflect upon past crimes, repent and reform - and later continued as deliberate punishment.
Using documents from the time, including prisoners’ memoirs, doctors’ casebooks, and the reflections of prison staff, Disorder Contained combines music, song, wit and compassion to explore the effects of this harsh system which endures to the present day.

Professor Hilary Marland, Director of the Centre for the History of Medicine at the University of Warwick says,

"The Separate System was originally conceived by prison chaplains, doctors and governors as a way for prisoners to reflect upon their crimes and reform. Prisons were built to totally prohibit contact between prisoners, who wore masks when moved around the prison and were placed in individual booths, or ‘coffins’, when attending chapel. Prisoners described how the regime put each man in his ‘private hell’.”

Tickets: Matinees £6 (£3); Evenings £8 (£4)

Box Office: 0845 680 1926 or online

Royal Opera House free big screenings

Tuesday 4 July and Friday 14 July

For the third year running, we will be broadcasting two live, free outdoor screenings from the Royal Opera House to the Big Screen on campus:

  • Tuesday 4th July La Traviata (pre-show performance from 6:30pm, broadcast ends 10:20pm)
  • Friday 14th July Turandot (pre-show performance from 7:00pm, broadcast ends 10:25pm)

The screenings are free of charge and open to all, please bring chairs, picnics and refreshments to enjoy the performances. University outlets will also be open to purchase food and drink.

Godiva Festival

7 - 9 July 2017

This year's Godiva Festival featured a Sunday circus spectacular, thanks to the team behind the bid to be UK City of Culture in 2021.

Cirque Bijou performed at the UK’s biggest free festival on Sunday, July 9, presenting ‘New Day’, an exciting outdoor circus show, specially created for Godiva Festival. The 25 minute show was accompanied by a Coventry community choir singing ELO’s Mr Blue Sky – a song synonymous with Coventry City. Godiva saw record numbers of visitors this year who flocked to see musical artists such as Cast, The Stranglers, Tom Clarke, Example & DJ Wire, The Darkness and Kate Nash.

godivacirquebijou1.jpg godivacirquebijou2.jpg godivacirquebijou3.jpg godivacirquebijou4.jpg

Coventry City of Culture - Social innovation challenge open to all students.

Monday 26 - Friday 30 June

City Innovation Challenge - Enhance your skillset and collaborate with peers from across the University through developing innovative solutions to local problems!

To support Coventry’s Bid for ‘City of Culture 2021’, Student Careers and Skills are hosting a Social Innovation Challenge; to encourage you/Warwick students to engage with your local environment and develop exciting new ideas within the city.

The City Innovation Challenge offers the opportunity for students to collaborate with peers from different courses, with a variety of interest and experiences whilst also helping to develop their skills and capabilities: leadership, teamwork, communication, problem solving, creativity etc.

Over the course of a week: Monday 26th - Friday 30th June, you will be challenged to come up with innovative solutions to real problems around City of Culture themes.

You will then be able to present these ideas to a judging panel and pitch for a small amount of funding to help develop this idea over the Summer and maybe beyond...

Get involved now; make a difference locally.

Don't miss out. Book your place now to receive further details...

Coventry Elephantastic – May Day Drawing Event with Warwick brain scientists and Mary Courtney

Earlsdon Festival Monday May 1st 11.00-3.00pm, Earlsdon Library

The Coventry Elephantastic Mary Courtney and the Community  photo by Kevin VThe event, part of the the Earlsdon Festival was well attended by people of all ages who together created a fantastic drawing which will be displayed in Earlsdon Library for the new few weeks.

Neuroscientists from Warwick; Professor Bruno Frenguelli, Professor Kevin Moffat, Dr Eric Pollatzek, Dr Anne-Claire Jacomin and Greta Lazutkaite were involved with the event, showing the link between elephants – who are reputed never to forget - and memory and our brains.

A video of the day can be viewed on the The Coventry Elephantastic facebook page. It shows hundreds of people of all ages in a time-lapse video, creating a giant community drawing of the “Coventry Elephantastic” – a re-imagining of the animal symbol of our city.

Neuroscientists at Coventry Elephantastic

Press release:

The popular community drawing event will be giving a unique twist to Coventry’s famous elephant symbol, as well as offering something extra for the curious: Neuroscientists from the University of Warwick, led by Professor Bruno Frenguelli, School of Life Sciences will be bringing their insights, microscopes and models of brains and is being organised by local artist Mary Courtney and supported by the Public Engagement team and Coventry City of Culture.

Elephants are believed to have very long memories, but how do they, and we, make and store memories? Come along to the Coventry Elephantastic and talk to brain scientists from the University of Warwick to find out more about the workings of your amazing brain”.
Professor Bruno Frenguelli

Local artist Mary Courtney, organiser of the event says,

Together we’re going to create one giant drawing of our own fantastical Coventry elephant - the Coventry Elephantastic - out of hundreds of drawings and doodlings done on the day. It is an event for everyone, for people of all ages and from all walks of life. The youngest contributor to the giant drawing last year was only 8months and the eldest over ninety years of age. We had writing in languages from all over the world. We’re expecting another great mix of people, joining in this lovely group activity this year.”

The elephant is strongly associated with Coventry. Look about and you see them everywhere. On The Cov City football logo, on the front and side of the Council house, on the gates of the Memorial Park, on the City Centre bollards. Not forgetting the abstract elephant shape of the Sports Centre in Fairfax Street, soon to be just a memory. The Coventry Band, “The Enemy” wrote an elephant song and a life size elephant puppet was even seen walking about the city centre in January, as the star of Michael Morpurgo's show at the Belgrade.

Details for Earlson Library can be found at:

Sky Blues City: Imagining a Sustainable Cultural Future for Coventry

Exploring new collaborative research opportunities - Wednesday 26th April

Sky Blues city

GRP Sustainable Cities is organising a research event, open to academics from Coventry and Warwick universities to explore new collaborative research opportunities arising from the Coventry City of Culture bid and ten-year cultural strategy.

For more information and to register please go to

Masterji & Coventry: Photographic Exhibition at Fargo Village

3 - 20 November, The Box at Fargo Village.

masterjiside.jpgA 94-year-old photographer, who has documented the arrival and the lives of South Asian immigrants to Coventry since the 1950s, is being exhibited for the first time in November.

The exhibition of around 70 photographs features the work of Maganbhai Patel – better known as Masterji that were taken between his home studio and established Hillfields studio Master’s Art Studio between 1951 and 1990s. The exhibition has been brought about by Coventry’s bid to be UK City of Culture in 2021.
The photographs have been curated by a local group called the Photo Archive Miners (PAM) who discovered Masterji’s work during their Imagine Hillfields exhibition in 2015.

The work of Masterji is of huge significance not just for Coventry but the UK because it’s a window into the lives of people as they arrived here and the image they wanted to send home.
“Many of the pictures were taken as portraits or for their official documentation so you see a very formal image. In other photos, you see a more laid back style and also some of the difficulties they faced so it really documents a very important part of the city’s history and its cultural diversity.

Jason Tilley, Photo Archive Miners (PAM)

masterjihomevisit65.jpgMasterji moved to Coventry from Surat in India in 1951, with little more than a box brownie camera.
With a keen eye for photography, he began to shoot the local community and opened a portrait studio in Stoney Stanton Road, which he ran from the 1960s to the 1990s. It is still there today and is run by his son Ravindra Patel.
PAM have managed to track down hundreds of photographs and are carefully restoring them to their former glory with the help of his daughter, Tarla Patel.
Jason added:

He was a headmaster back in India – that is where the name Masterji came from. As a mark of respect, that is what members of the community continued to call him long after he stopped being a teacher.
“In certain parts of the city, he is quite famous because so many people visited his studio. We have been out for a drink with him and people still recognise him – they will come and say ‘hello Masterji!’
“I am part Indian myself and lived there for many years so, on a personal level, I am very proud to be curating this exhibition and really bringing the work of Masterji back to life.
“The fact that it has taken this long to actual exhibit his work tells you just how long it has gone forgotten and, to a certain degree, how under-rated he was and we are thrilled to be able to showcase his work finally at the age of 94.

Maganbhai Patel's daughter Tarla, works in the Office for Global Engagement at Warwick and has given us her story about the exibition.

The Guardian has published an article about the exhibition: Masterji - Coventry's secret 94-year-old photographer – in pictures

The free exhibition is open from 3 - 20 November from 10am - 6pm (closed Mondays).

For more information, see

The Last Newspaper with Canley Youth Theatre


rachel_300px.jpgWATE winner, Dr Rachel King (Centre for Education Studies) has been working with The Belgrade’s Canley Youth Theatre, Jouvan Fucinni (Youth Theatre Director) and Angela Evans (Youth Worker, Coventry Integrated Youth Services) to explore young people’s feelings about their future - asking what they hope for, what they care about and what they fear and loathe.

This ensemble performance of The Last Newspaper invites you into a dystopian fairy tale world of post-truth and alternative facts. This event aims to provoke discussion about the ways theatre and performance can foster young people’s sense of civic engagement.

The story takes place in the future – Once Upon a Tomorrow to be exact. In the divided town of Paperville, Grandma lives with her two grandchildren Jack and Jill. Despite the distractions of digital screens and Candy Houses made by The Three Little Pigs Limited, their world is unsettled by the arrival of a lost fisherwoman who asks them where she might find a library in their town. When Jack and Jill explain that they don’t know what a library is, Grandma knows it’s finally time to tell the truth and she sends them on a quest to find The Last Newspaper. In a fictional fairy-tale world of post-truth and alternative facts, who can be trusted?

The performance and research dissemination event has been funded by the Institute of Advanced Study, University of Warwick.

The Last Newspaper will be performing at the following venues;

Thursday 23 March, 6pm
Humanities Studio, (H076 Humanities Building)
University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL

To reserve a place, please email Rachel King on r dot e dot king at warwick dot ac dot uk

Friday 24 March, 6pm
Shop Front Theatre, 38 City Arcade, Coventry CV1 3HW

Tickets (free or pay what you can) are available via The Belgrade Theatre website

The performances last about 40 minutes.

'Hope, care and civic engagement' is an IATL funded project, part of an international research project is led by Professor Kathleen Gallagher (University of Toronto) in collaboration with Dr Rachel King, Centre for Education Studies, University of Warwick, investigating “hope”, “care” and “civic engagement” in youth theatre.

The following short film provides an insight into the Hope, Care and Civic Engagement project.

video still

Belgrade Theatre pays tribute to African-American actor Ira Aldridge

Against Prejudice – Ira Aldridge in Coventry 1828, Thursday 17 November.
Tickets are FREE but must be booked in advance through the Belgrade’s Box Office or call 024 7655 3055.

Ira Aldridge OthelloThe Belgrade Theatre has teamed up with Warwick’s Multicultural Shakespeare Project and The Coventry City of Culture Bid 2021 to present an event honouring the remarkable achievements of the African-American actor Ira Aldridge this November. He became Manager of the Coventry Theatre in 1828, at a time when slavery was still widespread across Britain’s colonies and the USA.

Against Prejudice – Ira Aldridge in Coventry 1828, will see an evening performance in the Belgrade’s B2 auditorium by a professional and community cast, followed by a night-time procession through the streets of Coventry.

Professor Tony Howard, a leading researcher on Ira Aldridge at Warwick will gives talks exploring the relationship between politics and Shakespeare in modern Britain and works with the University of Warwick’s Multicultural Shakespeare Project to gather information on the achievements of black and Asian artists. He said,

It’s an astonishing story. Adrian Lester has just played Ira Aldridge in London and New York and reminded the world of the achievements of a very great actor. But the fact that at the age of only 20, Ira – young, gifted and black - was handed Coventry’s Theatre to run, is truly remarkable. He presented plays that attacked slavery and at the same time he raised the standards of a run-down company in crisis.”

You can read Tony Howard's article reflecting on Ira's life in Coventry here and read an article published in The Observer on Sunday 13 November 2016 titled 'From 19th-century black pioneer to cultural ambassador of Coventry'.

The Performance entitled 'Generations Meet' tells how a 20-year-old African American, fleeing racism in America, became Manager of the Coventry Theatre and helped launch a nationwide campaign against slavery which would involve over a million people.

It tells how the theatre and the press in Coventry united long ago to show what a multicultural community could be.

Actor Ray Fearon (Shakespeare's Globe, RSC) will take on the role of Ira Aldridge. Aldridge was the first black actor to play Othello, a role Fearon has also played for the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Fearon is joined by Rakie Ayola (Holby City, National Theatre, RSC) and Matt Costain (National Theatre, RSC, Shakespeare's Globe).

The production will also involve singers and actors from the Belgrade's youth theatre and community choirs, performing Ira Aldridge's scenes and songs for the first time in over a century.

Tickets are free, but are limited, so if you would like to join us for this very special evening reserve your tickets now.

The production will also involve singers and actors of the Belgrade's youth theatres and community choirs, performing Ira Aldridge's scenes and songs for the first time in over a century and recreating them in the musical language of NOW.

GUEST of HONOUR: Earl Cameron CBE (age 99), the great Caribbean film, stage and televion star who lives in Kenilworth, acted on Coventry's stages in the 1940s and '50s - and was taught by Ira Aldridge's daughter!

'Being a foreigner and a stranger are universal passports to British sympathy.’
Ira Aldridge, 1828.

Presented by Warwick University’s Multicultural Shakespeare Project, the Belgrade Theatre, the Being Human 2016 Festival, and supported by Coventry UK City of Culture 2021 Bid.

The company will also perform extracts from The Slave by Thomas Morton, one of several plays that Ira Aldridge programmed at the Coventry Theatre during his brief time as Manager there. The procession will lead to the site of the long-lost playhouse where he and the local community made history, with scenes, speeches and songs from Aldridge’s Coventry season.

The event is also part of Being Human, a festival of the Humanities and a national forum for public engagement with humanities research, led by the School of Advanced Study and University of London, in partnership with the Arts & Humanities Research Council. This year’s festival, themed around hope and fear, will feature a programme of debates, talks and activities including Against Prejudice – Ira Aldridge in Coventry 1828.

Storytelling 4 Health: Artists and academics exhibition

26 November 2016, 10am - 6pm. Black Box Studio, Fargo Village, Far Gosford St, Coventry, CV1 5ED

storytelling for health

Emma Parfitt from Department of Sociology has worked with Fargo Village to bring artists and academics together for an exhibition of local artists work.

17 artists (from all mediums and crafts) will create pieces based on the research ideas of PhD students from the Warwick.
This exciting exhibition is a chance to bring people together with the aim of closing the art-science divide. It opens the academic world to the community, from an internationally diverse set of students and subjects. It is also a different way of communicating research in a creative way, thus demythicizing the idea that research outputs from theoretical to practical cannot be communicated to everyone. Knowledge, like art, should be accessible to all. Research can also impact our lives in different ways. I hope that you can join us on the 26th of November to see where inspiration leads.

Emma Parfitt, PhD researcher, Department of Sociology

The resulting artistic creations will be displayed alongside short paragraphs describing the PhD inspirations. Visitors will be offered the chance to purchase the artists’ work thereby supporting local art and culture. You can find out more information on Emma's Storytelling 4 Health blog or read more about Emma's research on her article here or the press release.

Amongst those featured:

emma_harris.jpgEmma Harris (jewellery and artwork)

From microbiology graduate (the study of microscopic organisms such as bacteria and viruses) to creator of unique jewellery and artwork. Most of my work is inspired by nature. I predominantly use polymer clay mixed with natural ‘gems’ collected on my travels around the countryside.

Sarah English (Biomedical Sciences)

I am researching the biology of perinatal depression. This covers depression both in pregnancy and in the postnatal period after giving birth. Over half of all cases go undetected each year, leaving around 35,000 women in the UK receiving no professional help. The consequences extend to the whole family and the offspring, for whom maternal stress in the womb can lead to detrimental health in later life. There are effective treatments available yet without detection we cannot target those women who need help the most. Severe cases may even result in suicide. Both a lack of awareness and stigma or fear of being judged are vital reasons why women are not seeking help, and bringing perinatal depression into the spotlight will help with this.
My research focuses on finding a biological marker or ‘biomarker’ for perinatal depression. The ultimate aim is to find a way to diagnose and predict depression from a simple blood test which can tell us which women are at high risk. The current evidence for this looks promising, using genetics to find a biological reason why some women suffer and some don’t.

Black History Month in Coventry

Throughout October, Coventry’s Belgrade Theatre will be proudly supporting Black History Month with an exciting programme of events including talks, workshops, a photography exhibition and a concert celebrating the diversity of Coventry’s communities.
Kick-starting the programme of events, is a Black History Month Launch event on Saturday, October 1st, from 4.30pm.

This is a free event that will include a special performance from the Belgrade’s Black Youth Theatre, conversations with curators and the chance to discuss some of the Belgrade’s ground-breaking work from this year and includes a double bill of performances by the Birmingham-based Strictly Arts Theatre Company in the B2 auditorium.

Two of Warwick's academics are involved with exhibitions and talks:

Embodied Islands posterVisitors to the theatre will have the chance to see Embodied Islands: An Exhibition of Caribbean Photography at the Belgrade, from Monday, 3rd October to Friday, 28th October.

Presented by Warwick University’s Centre for Caribbean Studies, Embodied Islands is a fusion of historical 19th century stereoview photography and contemporary visual art by award-winning Caribbean photographers which was previously exhibited at Warwick Arts Centre in June this year.

It provides a rare opportunity to learn about post-colonial Caribbean life through the history of photography.

Associate Professor at Warwick, Dr Fabienne Viala and award-winning Caribbean photographer, Jean-Francois Manicom, will also host five workshops and discussions at the Belgrade over the duration of Black History Month, which will take a closer look at history of photography, heritage and identity.

2016 is Shakespeare’s anniversary year, and never before have so many of the Bard’s greatest roles have been played by BAME actors - Macbeth at the Globe, King Lear at Manchester Exchange, Hamlet at Stratford and on tour.

But two great men called for this to happen long ago, and worked for it: Ira Aldridge and Paul Robeson. Tony Howard from the Multicultural Shakespeare project at Warwick tells their stories in a talk entitled Ira Aldridge and Paul Robeson: Setting Shakespeare Free on Thursday, October 20, at 6.30pm.
Tickets for this event are free, but must be booked online or through the Belgrade Theatre Box Office.

Find out what activities warwick SU are running for Black History Month.

Festival of Imagineers returns to Coventry

Festival of Imagineers returns for its third year with a week long programme of interactive exhibitions, workshops and activities from Monday 26 September – 1 October.

The festival is a series of free experiences, celebrating creative invention with local, national and international artists, engineers and designers inviting audiences to join in and become creative collaborators themselves at Daimler Powerhouse and throughout the City.

David Burbidge, Chairman of Coventry City of Culture Trust said:

This promises to be an exciting and memorable event and will be a great example of the innovation and creativity that Coventry has to offer.”

Warwick academics have been involved with a number of the activites and performances at the festival such as:

Likeable Cyclable City (Daimler Powerhouse from Monday 26 September – Saturday 1 October, 12 – 4pm daily)

Jo Trowsdale, Centre for Education Studies has been working with Imagineer Productions developing the Imagineerium Initiative: an arts, engineering and education partnership. The initiative centres on the process of making as a site for developing learner skills and proposes a particular model of STEAM education: learning about oneself as a learner as well as science, design, technology and maths through the arts.

The 2014 pilot has been adapted and developed for 2016 to include an increased teacher role (through CPD) and forms the basis of a current bid to the Paul Hamlyn Foundation. The Likeable Cyclable project which The Imagineerium Initiative bid underpins and locks into has just been selected by the City Council as a key City of Culture bid project.

Likeable Cyclable is an exhibition showcasing a new interactive cycle powered system of transport and city centre trail for Coventry, inspired by the interlinked trikes which propelled Godiva to London aboard her cyclopedia in 2012.

The development of the Winters Tale, Teatr Biuro Podróży and Dr Haedicke (Friday 30th September, 2-3pm at the Daimler Powerhouse)

This unique street theatre version of Shakespeare’s late play was initially explored during a 10 day workshop residency and performance as part of the Festival of Imagineers 2015. A further developed version will be performed in Poznan in early October before a further period of development. The full Imagineer Productions/Teatr Biuro Podrozy co-production will be one of the headline performances for Festival of Imagineers 2017 and will be an Performer Marta Strzalko and dramaturg Dr Susan Haedicke (Associate Professor of Theatre and Performance, Warwick University) will be in conversation about the latest developments of the production

The full programme can be found online at or via facebook Imagineer Productions or twitter @ImagineerUK.

Window on Warwick - undiscovered Coventry
Thursday 2 March, 12:30 - 1:30pm. CMR 1.0 University House

Window on Warwick

Calling all Coventry experts. Can you help us tell a better story around Coventry, the culture, the history, what is happening now and tomorrow and how to encourage people to support the bid?

Warwick is fully behind Coventry’s bid to become UK City of Culture 2021 and are one of the principal partners alongside Coventry University and Coventry City Council. We are interested in people’s experiences and cultural nuggets of Coventry – the stories that celebrate and showcase the city will help inspire and shape Coventry’s bid.

Even if you don't know the City but would like to - please come along and see if you can find out something new about the city on our doorstep.

This session will also give an overview to the bid timetable and activities and Warwick’s role but will focus on attendees’ ideas and stories.

Please book through the LDC webpages.

Call for Digital Artists Residency applications

Coventry is a city that is constantly reinventing itself. As part of our journey to bid for UK City of Culture in 2021, Coventry City of Culture Trust will invite an artist to reinvent the city again – to reflect on the architecture, subculture and people of the city.

Coventry is a young city, a diverse city and a city that is still facing challenges. A city that has moved people by cycle, car and peace is now moving people through culture. Once the capital of England, Coventry has as a rich medieval past. Rebuilding from its devastating bombings during the war, planners and engineers created the UK’s first pedestrianised city. Known for its invention, design, work in peace and reconciliation and the diversity of its population, the city is building a new future and wishes to invite artists to be part of that thinking.

The call

The call is for a digital artist – though we are open to proposals from musicians, dancers, visual artists, architects and others who might use digital technology in their work. We want the selected artist/artists to produce a piece of work that can be showcased at a site in the city or digitally on the web. You may choose to work with the city as a whole, a unique site or a specific community.

Depending on the proposal, and approach of the artists appointed, the project will be hosted by one or more of our cultural partners in the city.

More information is available on the brief and you can find out more on the coventry2021 website.