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Blog: Introducing… The Arts Society Coventry

By Leigh Mencarini

It’s been a busy 2021 for the City of Culture so far and there have been many highlights, but the official launch of The Arts Society Coventry (TASC) caught my eye. Why? Two reasons.

Firstly, I was surprised that a city with as rich a cultural history as Coventry didn’t already have one.

Secondly, because launching a lecture programme as the world slowly recovers from Covid shows an impressive level of spirit on the part of the organisers, if you ask me.

But after a delayed start, TASC organisers are now delivering events for Coventry’s diverse and vibrant population, and they hope to continue to do so long after the City of Culture tenure has passed.

Kate Purcell, vice-chair of TASC, explains: “We were keen to develop an arts society in Coventry that would attract its resident population, spanning the full age range and cultural diversity that it encapsulates. So we have organised a very varied and stimulating programme with this in mind, with sessions to interest and hopefully surprise everybody.

“There is so much creativity going on in Coventry, and interest in the arts, but little in the way of opportunity for people from all the different areas to get together socially to think beyond their own areas of interest. TASC provides that.”

It is an interesting programme. As a Warwick History of Art student, there are several lectures in the pipeline that align with current course topics - particularly Art and Technology Today: New Frontiers (February 2022) and Coventry Cathedral: Icon and Inspiration (April 2022).

Later in 2022 the lectures focus on women in art; Let's Hear It For The Girls (March) takes a look at contemporary British female artists, while The Creative Courtesan (June) tells us more about the women who modelled for Renaissance master painters.

This coming Tuesday (Nov 23), the BBC's Antiques Roadshow expert Mark Hill will challenge our ideas of what an antique actually is, with a focus what future collectors are buying.

So, a varied offering. Whether it is enough to persuade people to commit to an annual membership remains to be seen... the success of TASC depends upon it, so I really hope so.

The Arts Society Coventry: Key facts

  • When and where? TASC lectures take place on the fourth Tuesday of every month at the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, Coventry CV1 5QP. Doors open at 6.30pm for a 7pm start.
  • How much? Students can pay £5 on the door for lectures without becoming members, which is a great way to see what it’s like (and enjoy a complimentary glass of wine or a soft drink). Otherwise, annual membership is £55 per person, or £100 for two at the same address.
  • What do I get as a member? Access to the annual lecture programme and online events, as well as a quarterly magazine. Students can also compete for grants to turn creative ideas and projects into realities.
  • Find out more on The Arts Society Coventry website.
Sun 21 Nov 2021, 17:10 | Tags: UK City of Culture blog