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Major summit hosted by Coventry’s universities to discuss direction of travel for cultural policy

  • University of Warwick and Coventry University to host a major summit of regional and national leaders to present plans for the impact and legacy of cultural mega-events like City of Culture
  • Leading figures from City of Culture and the UK’s cultural sectors will discuss how culture and research can drive social change
  • Forms part of the UK’s first major cultural event since the start of the COVID19 pandemic
  • The Coventry Cultural Policy & Evaluation Summit (24-25 June) is virtual and free to attend – tickets available now
  • Organised by Coventry University and the University of Warwick, with support from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)

Summit posterThe University of Warwick and Coventry University will host a major summit of regional and national leaders this month to present plans for the impact and legacy of cultural mega-events like City of Culture.

Coventry City of Culture 2021 is the UK’s first cultural mega-event since the start of COVID19 pandemic. The AHRC Cities of Culture Network: The Coventry Cultural Policy & Evaluation Summit, takes place at the beginning of Coventry’s tenure and aims to examine how culture can lead cultural, social and economic regeneration for regions in the UK.

Held on 24-25 June, the event will see leading figures from the UK’s arts and culture sectors and Coventry City of Culture 2021 meet virtually to discuss the role this major festival will play in the sector’s recovery, as well as what it will mean for Coventry itself.

The Summit will include presentations of pioneering research work between academics, artists and communities and the innovative monitoring and evaluation strategy that is expected to shape and influence the evaluation of the Commonwealth Games 2022 and the Festival UK 22.

Speakers will include, Julia Goldsworthy, Director of Strategy for WMCA, Carrie Cooke, Deputy Director of the Department for Culture Media and Sport, Laura Dyer, Deputy Chief Executive of Arts Council England, Christopher Smith, Executive Chair of the Arts and Humanities Research Council and Martin Reeves, Chief Executive of Coventry City Council.

Professor Jonothan Neelands, Academic Director for Cultural Partnerships at the University of Warwick said: “The UKCC21 is committed to transforming Coventry and bringing about lasting social change through arts and culture. The two Universities have led on an extensive and unique evaluation and research project to identify the social and economic outcomes of the year and its impacts on the lives and prosperity of communities and individuals in the City and its region.

“This will be the first post-pandemic opportunity to explore the road ahead for cultural policy and funding and how culture can be central to recovery and growth in our villages, town and cities, and it’s a real opportunity for us to showcase, on a national and international stage, the impact of two of the UK’s leading Universities in place-based research and civic engagement.”

Professor Neil Forbes, Director, Creative Cultures at Coventry University said: “Coventry University is proud of its partnership with the University of Warwick in providing funding programmes which support the production, by the local community, of superb creative work, generating impact for the region through 2021 and beyond. The AHRC Cultural Policy and Evaluation Summit is a unique event bringing together regional and national leaders, policy-makers, cultural workers and researchers involved in the planning, delivery and policy-shaping of UK Cities of Culture. The summit will provide an excellent platform to discuss and consider the future direction of such important events.”

Martin Sutherland, Chief Executive of Coventry City of Culture Trust said: “Being awarded UK City of Culture gives Coventry a unique opportunity as the country opens up after the successive COVID-19 lockdowns. No other city in the UK has the chance to reinvigorate and champion the arts and culture sector like we do.

“The Coventry Cultural Policy & Evaluation Summit is an incredibly important event that will help examine the direction of travel for arts and culture policy and explore how we can make the most of the legacy of Coventry 2021. We are looking forward to hearing the discussions.”

Commenting on the Summit and the impact Coventry City of Culture 2021 will have on the arts regionally and nationally Doreen Foster, Director of Warwick Arts Centre, said:

“So many organisations in our region are working in partnership to deliver what is the UK’s main arts event for 2021. This important conference, open to all, will show how we are working to support the arts in our region, which includes the reopening of Warwick Arts Centre, and how arts and culture can kick-start recovery and social change both in the region and throughout the country”.

Organised by Coventry and Warwick universities, two of City of Culture’s the principal partners, the summit is free to attend and access to the sessions can be booked online via Eventbrite.

Each session will be recorded and available as a free resource for those unable to attend on the day.

A full list of sessions and presenters is available here.

The Summit is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).


9 June 2021

For further information:

Andrea Cullis

Media relations manager, University of Warwick


M: 07825 314874