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Coventry Welcomes [News]

Published: Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Coventry Welcomes

Thousands of people are expected at a free festival bringing together and celebrating Coventry as a city which has a rich history of welcoming people from all over the world. 

Coventry Welcomes will feature over 20 free events taking place across the city with a rich array of theatre, dance, music, comedy and spoken word events.  As well as attending a variety of great shows and events, people will be welcomed to take part in a theatre or dance workshop or ‘share your language’ with someone else.

Coventry Welcomes celebrates people from all parts of the world who have made Coventry their home for many different reasons and highlights the contributions and resilience especially of its refugee communities, and those who have helped them along the way.

The nine-day extravaganza, which has been organised by Coventry Refugee and Migrants Centre and Positive Youth Foundation (PYF), and supported by Coventry City of Culture Trust, Coventry City Council and Coventry University, will run from Saturday, June 15 until Sunday, June 23.

Visiting artists include Good Chance Theatre Company who produced the acclaimed sell out production “The Jungle” in the West End of London. This was created after they spent months with refugees in Calais and included refugees telling their own stories.

There will also be an appearance from locally-based, international dance company Motionhouse, along with a Coventry-based migrant art exhibition curated by Maokwo, a locally-based culture organisation that encourages representation and inclusion in the city.

At the start of Coventry Welcomes, visitors will be able to sample food and wares from across the world at the International Craft and Food Fair in Broadgate, and during the week there will opportunities to voice opinions at workshops held in the Coventry Cathedral Ruins and at Central Library.

There will also be a ‘Nation’s League’ Football Tournament held in University Square. All abilities and backgrounds are encouraged to get involved with a range of prizes and trophies to be won.

For those who are seeking more peaceful moments, they can head to the Pavilion of Chairs in the Coventry Cathedral Ruins, pull down a chair and enjoy some of the five-day programme of sound, movement and drop-in events.

The festival will reach its climax with a Party in the City featuring world music, dance and food, in celebration of Coventry’s international diversity and history of migration from all corners of the world.

There will be free activities for the whole family to enjoy including games, quizzes, workshops and demonstrations as well as the chance to learn a new language.

Christabell Amoakoh, Coventry Welcomes Coordinator at Coventry City of Culture Trust, said: “Coventry is often talked about as a city of diversity and of peace and reconciliation and this festival puts some of those words into practice.

“Coventry Welcomes Festival is a chance to bring people together and not look upon each other as ‘them and us’ but to enjoy a fantastic week’s worth of events, encouraging better understanding of each other and celebrating our wonderful differences.”

Jacqui Ibbotson, Great Place Project Manager, said: “A strong partnership of organisations have come together to ensure the success of Coventry Welcomes 2019.

“Whether you want to explore and debate issues around migration, sit in a peaceful pavilion of chairs in the Cathedral ruins or sample incredible food and some incredible sounds, there is something for everyone in this city wide event.”

For more information visit www.coventrywelcomes.co.uk

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