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Coventry City of Culture

Spirit of 2012 awarded a major £1m grant to Coventry City of Culture Trust to rollout a community programme of cultural activities that address the city’s most significant social issues.

The project in numbers

£1.2 Million

Project spend

January 2019 – May 2022

Project duration

Under the umbrella ‘Caring City’, this grant embedded associate producers into four community organisations to develop and deliver community projects in Coventry.

This followed a 12-month pilot, funded by Spirit of 2012, where producers collaborated with community organisations and service users to develop arts and cultural programmes in the lead-up to Coventry City of Culture 2021. During the pilot year a team of specially trained local volunteers were recruited to be Community Evaluators. This team gathered data and feedback from participants and event organisers to support the University of Warwick’s full evaluation of the City of Culture.

The four partner organisations for Caring City are:

Central England Law Centre which works with individuals with experience of homelessness;

Positive Youth Foundation which works with young people from a range of backgrounds, including those who have experience of the criminal justice system and those who are not in education, employment or training;

Grapevine which works with over-65s, care home residents, people experiencing isolation and loneliness (especially those with learning difficulties and disability), and men with lived experience of mental ill health;

Coventry Refugee and Migrant Centre works with asylum seekers, migrants, refugees, and LGBTQ+ people who have fled persecution.

Producers and community members worked together to co-produce an exciting and inclusive programme of events, which took place over the duration of Coventry’s City of Culture year. Highlights included The Walk in partnership with Good Chance Theatre, HOME arts and homelessness festival, and CVX Festival, which was produced by young people in the city.

Project aims

  1. Increase individual wellbeing
  2. Empower people to contribute creatively to their communities
  3. Improve social connectedness across social borders
  4. Cultivate civic pride and belonging

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