The Coventry City of Culture Trust is delighted to announce new cultural events and activities taking place this Spring.
From a month-long celebration of Coventry’s Amazing Women across art, performance and music and fashion, to the return of the hugely popular Assembly Festival Garden, tickets are now on sale for some of the exciting events taking place in the UK’s City of Culture.
February sees the programmatic theme of ‘hope’. Starting proceedings, The Made in the Midlands podcast will explore the Midlands identity through the voices of those who are from the region and have risen to prominence nationally and internationally. Episodes include interviews with Coventry City FC legend Steve Ogrizovic, Olympian Ellie Simmonds, Labour MP Jess Phillips and musician Pauline Black, OBE.
On 18 February, Level Up, the second part of #WeMove comes to the city; three days of global conversations that are taking place across the year. At #WeMove! audiences are asked to question topics including what an internationally connected city that truly supports young artists would look like, as well as what the social issues most impacting creatives and artists are around the globe right now. Day Two of the Global Youth Series is about sharing experiences and supporting big thinking through international networking, global case studies, debate and showcasing new creative work.
From 19 - 26 February, an immersive sound and light installation, Where There is Light, will open in Coventry Cathedral. The voices and stories of sanctuary seeking communities will be heard, connecting with Coventry’s roots as a city of peace, reconciliation and sanctuary. In the same month, following the success of the event in 2021, Window Wanderland will see residents across Coventry and Warwickshire invited to once again light up their front windows and gardens to become beautiful night-time walking trails. Window Wanderland will also feature Artist on my Street, where Coventry Artspace have commissioned 21 artists, including Bibi, Asmahiel, Indira Lakshmi and Kitty Kaur, to transform windows in residential areas across the region.
Later in the month, starting on 25 February with events running throughout the weekend, CVX is a two-day festival centred around revealing undiscovered local talent in the Midlands created by young producers in Coventry. CVX will bring together local, regional and national artists, in a celebration of youth culture. It includes a night of laughter featuring Coventry’s own Guz Khan.
March sees the Coventry UK City of Culture 2021 celebrate ‘Amazing Women’, honouring influential, and often under-recognised role models for women in time for International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month. Coventry City of Culture Trust and The Tin Music and Arts are delighted to announce the return of Deliaphonic (3- 6 March), an annual celebration of the life and work of Coventry-born electronic music pioneer and composer Delia Derbyshire. The festival will see four nights of events, with performances from artists who have drawn inspiration from her wide-ranging work, including Cosey Fanni Tutti (Throbbing Gristle) as well as musician, songwriter and producer, LoneLady, and Coventry’s Jerry Dammers.
At Coventry Cathedral, a new artwork by Barbara Walker will be installed on 3 March in the West Screen as part of a series of commissions called Broken Angel, a creative response to a shocking act of vandalism. Meanwhile an Amazing Women showcase as part of The Show Windows, a 12-month programme by Coventry City of Culture Trust with Coventry Business Improvement District, presents new commissions in shop windows across the city centre by female artists including Karen McClean, Katrina Adams and Kemi Onabule.
At Warwick Arts Centre International Women’s Day (8 March) is marked with two wonderful programmes. No Apologies sees a hosted conversation with invited guests and audience members about how we can individually and collectively challenge the many expectations placed on women. The talk will explore how we can break down the walls society has built up over generations and enable women to live freely, without making apologies for who they are. No apologies is presented by Maokwo, the Coventry-based cultural organisation which promotes the lived experiences of migrants, refugees, asylum seekers and artists from migrant backgrounds. Also taking place is Black Voices: Celebrating Nina. This is a celebration of Nina Simone’s life, music, faith, and love. Nina Simone's uncompromising stance for social inclusion could not be more relevant today, and her rich legacy of songs have the capacity to speak to everyone. Presented by Black Voices (who had the honour of supporting Nina Simone in concert around Europe and the UK), this specially commissioned concert brings together a talented group of musicians to champion one of their greatest inspirations.
March will also see Friend or Foe (Fri 4 – Thurs 24 March), a fashion installation, created by Coventry-based artist Laura Nyahuye, to explore and interrogate the concept of resilience as being a woman. The celebrations continue with Her Day Opera, a new female-led opera that puts a spotlight on the lives of four ordinary Coventry women and This is Africa, a collaborative work by 36 individuals, creative practitioners, local voluntary organisations and businesses who together will deliver 15 inspirational and show stopping events celebrating African culture.
PRS Foundation and the Southbank Centre’s New Music Biennial celebrates its ten-year anniversary in the city from 22-24 April, with Biennial favourites performing at the festival alongside new commissions. Brand new pieces such as Yazz Ahmed’s “The Moon Has Become” and Rakhi Singh and Vessel’s NYX Electronic Drone Choir, alongside previous works “She Who” by Jessica Curry and “The Power of Glory” by Gazelle Twin will make up a weekend of exceptional music. The New Music Biennial sees Coventry showcasing local and regional talent - Armonico Consort and Capsule - throwing a spotlight onto female talent, as well as showing off a selection of newly opened music venues in the city.
Shoot Festival 2022 will be a week-long celebration (23 April - 7 May) of Coventry artists in partnership with major arts organisations across the city. The first weekend of performances will focus on early career artists and the fresh new talent Coventry and Warwickshire has to offer. Pirates of the Canal Basin is an epic adventure for all the family at Coventry Canal Basin. Part promenade, part static spectacle, the basin has been transformed into a lively private harbour, featuring live music, aerial aerobic spectacles and creative characters aboard a stranded ship! Brought to you by Coventry’s EGO Performance Company, the professional cast of actors along with circus performers from NoFit State Circus will join a 60-strong community ensemble.
The hugely popular Assembly Festival Garden will also be returning to Coventry from 14 April with a fresh new programme of family favourites, stunning spectaculars, and some familiar faces. During its 2021 residency, the pop-up space welcomed tens of thousands of visitors to its events with locals and visitors making the most of the buzzing social hub at the heart of the UK City of Culture. The 2022 programme will run throughout the spring and summer, with the first shows to be announced in February.
The Love Coventry programme, funded by the National Lottery Community Fund, will continue to build on work created with communities in the city and will include the return of Try It! sessions, which encourage local people to have a go at creative activities, while Radford Bubbles continues to provide a photographic snapshot of the Radford area of the city.
Love Coventry also features the Coventry x Volgograd digital table cloth, which is seeing the creation of a new tablecloth to build on the history of the two twin cities and will include QR codes that take you to photographs that help to tell the stories of both cities.
Theatre Next Door will see local community centres programming exciting, interactive shows bringing all the excitement of the professional theatre to local neighbourhoods in the city.
In Paint We Trust, in partnership with Coventry BID, will continue to bring art and colour to unique spaces, while Daniel Lismore’s exhibition at the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum: Be Yourself, Everyone Else is Already Taken, will be equally eye-catching when it opens in February.
The work of a Coventry photographer – Through the Lens of Masterji – is being exhibited at Compton Verney from February while Coventry-based Photo Miners are producing three exhibitions focusing on the life and work of Richard Sadler, Coventry's pre-eminent post-war photographer.
Other local partners – including the Belgrade Theatre, Warwick Arts Centre, Talking Birds, Imagineer, FarGo Village, the Albany Theatre and Theatre Absolute – also continue to play a major role in the City of Culture year.
Chenine Bhathena, Creative Director of Coventry City of Culture Trust says:
“We are delighted to announce our 2022 season of events, collaborations and productions which reveal the deeply rooted stories, joyful artistry and the creative activism of our citizens.
“Our penultimate programme features incredible internationally recognised talent from our city, new creativity from young citizens, amazing women, events that speak of hope and optimism for our future, as well as the stories of those that have sought sanctuary in the city. Hearing the many voices of citizens from our city is a great way to get to know the people that make Coventry so distinctive as a city of many cultures.
“And, taking its cue from the most amazing of women, Delia Derbyshire, we are thrilled to be celebrating all things innovative in our music city, with CVX Festival in February, Deliaphonic in March and the New Music Biennial in April.
“As we move into the second half of our UK City of Culture year, we look forward to welcoming audiences from across the city and the nation to visit Coventry.”
WE MOVE! GLOBAL YOUTH SERIES DAY 2 – LEVEL UP: MAKING CREATIVE CITIES -– DEBATE - Fri 18 Feb
WHERE THERE IS LIGHT: ART INSTALLATION - Sat 19 Feb - Dat 26 Feb 2022,
WINDOW WANDERLAND 2022 – VISUAL ART - Sat 19 Feb 2022 -– Fri 25 March 2022
THEATRE NEXT DOOR: THE TIME MACHINE -– THEATRE - Wed 23 February, 10.30am & 1pm
CVX FESTIVAL – YOUTH FESTIVAL - Fri 25 -– Sat 26 February
PIRATES OF THE CANAL BASIN - PERFORMANCE - Thurs 21- Sun 24th April
PIONEERING COVENTRY: THE POST-WAR PHOTOGRAPHY OF RICHARD SADLER -– ART - 8 February -– June
MADE IN THE MIDLANDS -– PODCAST - New episode each week from 9 February
AMAZING WOMEN -– PROGRAMME - Tue 1 – Thur 31 March
BROKEN ANGEL: BARBARA WALKER - Thurs 3 March – Sun 12 June
MAOKWO PRESENTS: NO APOLOGIES -– CONVERSATION - Tuesday 8 March 2022
BLACK VOICES: CELEBRATING NINA -– MUSIC - Tuesday 8 March 2022
THE SHOW WINDOWS -– ART - Various locations across the city centre
THIS IS AFRICA: SHE SPEAKS -– CONFERENCE - Saturday 5th and Saturday 12th March
THIS IS AFRICA: CELEBRATING AFRICA DAY - Saturday 21st May
RESILIENCE: FRIEND OR FOE -– FASHION - Fri 4 – Thu 24 March
DELIAPHONIC – MUSIC - Thu 3 -– Sun 6 March
HER DAY OPERA - MUSIC - Tue 8 -– Sat 12 March
EPSTEIN: STORIES IN STONE -– EXHIBITION - Sat 19 Mar – Tue 31 May 2022
NEW MUSIC BIENNIAL – MUSIC - Fri 22 – Sun 24 Apr 2022
ASSEMBLY FESTIVAL GARDEN – FESTIVAL HUB - Re-opens from 14 April
SHOOT FESTIVAL – FESTIVAL - 23 April – 7 May 2022