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Connecting Coventry, Connecting Cultures

Coventry City of Culture

Connecting Coventry
Connecting Communities

Thursday 30th June 2016 6pm-7.30pm, Lecture Theatre M2, WBS Teaching Centre.

You are warmly invited to an evening of provocations and discussion about Coventry, a city that is celebrating, reimagining and investing in its cultural identity by bidding for the UK’s City of Culture 2021.

A major aspiration of Coventry’s bid is ‘place-making’, which aims to create spaces of belonging and engagement for its residents and visitors. This event will reflect on and question the multiple and diverse ways that communities participate in ‘place-making’ in urban settings. An international panel will share details of current collaborations between academic researchers, local artists and cultural organisations. These partnerships aim to foster meaningful connections between Coventry’s diverse communities, creating new ways of experiencing and participating in the city’s urban landscapes.

Searching for ‘hope’, ‘care’ and ‘civic engagement’ in the city

Professor Jonothan Neelands (WBS Create) will welcome Professor Kathleen Gallagher (Ontario Institute of Education Studies, University of Toronto). Kathleen will share details of her international ‘Radical Hope’ project, which investigates the local contexts of drama pedagogy, performance and civic engagement in the lives of young people.

Sensing the city, performing the city

Dr Nicolas Whybrow (School of Theatre, Performance and Cultural Policy Studies) will outline the aims of the forthcoming ‘Sensing the City’ project and choreographer Carolyn Deby (sirencrossing) will share details of her site-based pilot project in Coventry entitled ‘urbanflows: immersed in worlds'.

Tales of Two Cities: socially engaged theatre-making in the city

Andrew Kushnir (Playwright-in-Residence at Tarragon Theatre, creative director of Project: Humanity) will reflect on his role as a playwright in Kathleen’s ‘Radical Hope’ project and Chris O'Connell (Artistic Director, Theatre Absolute) will consider the role of the pioneering Shop Front theatre as a potential site of ‘civic engagement’ in Coventry.

Connecting Canley and Campus: performing our ‘stories-so-far’

Dr Rachel King (Centre for Education Studies) and Justine Themen (Associate Director, Belgrade Theatre) will detail their partnership that brings Canley Youth Theatre and University of Warwick students together to create collaborative storytelling about ‘hope’, ‘care’ and ‘civic engagement’.

After the panel, we will invite collective discussion guided by the following questions:

• For whom and about what do young people most hope and care in their city?
• What are the lived experiences of hope and care in the city and how might they be in tension with cultural policies and urban planning?
• Where are the sites in the city that need more hope and care and how might academic researchers, arts and cultural organisations and policy makers respond?

Refreshments will be served from 5.30-6pm in the foyer outside M2. The event will start promptly at 6pm and will finish at 7.30pm. If you would like to attend, please sign up to the event by emailing Rachel King: .