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

city of culture summit
City of Culture 2021

Wednesday 09 June 2021

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Coventry University and the University of Warwick 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.

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 Jonothan Needlands, Academic Director for Cultural Partnerships at the University of Warwick

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.

Professor Neil Forbes, Director, Creative Cultures at Coventry University

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.

Martin Sutherland, Chief Executive of Coventry City of Culture Trust

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.

Doreen Foster, Director of Warwick Arts Centre

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 on our Cities of Culture Network page.

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