Further funding has been allocated to Coventry to help deliver impactful and engaging cultural projects and build upon the legacy of its year as UK City of Culture.
Coventry City of Culture Trust has been awarded £250,000 from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation to support the commissioning of co-created cultural projects with a strong social and environmental consciousness.
The funding will be distributed through a series of targeted commissions with underrepresented and marginalised groups and individuals experiencing additional barriers to creative opportunities. The Paul Hamlyn Foundation contribution will crucially be used to build these groups and the sector’s capacity, so that by transferring learning, resources and networks, and embedding co-created practices, the cultural and voluntary sector is stronger, coordinated and thriving by March 2024.
The first commission to be supported through this funding is Cosy Creative in January 2023, which is a direct response to the cost-of-living crisis. With Coventry Central Hall as lead partner and the main creative hub, artists and makers will take up residencies both there and at Foleshill Community Centre to deliver four weeks of creative workshops focusing on sustainable art making, culminating in a celebration weekend for all those involved on the 28 and 29 January. The sessions will provide a warm, welcoming, and safe space for invited and visiting participants and groups to enjoy creative performances and workshops, with food also provided. Both venues will collaborate with local organisations and groups supporting individuals who are most likely to be affected by the current crisis. Central England Law Centre will provide rights-based advice at the venues as part of this initiative, exploring a unique, holistic approach to supporting the wellbeing and empowerment of Coventry’s most impacted communities.
Martin Sutherland, Chief Executive of Coventry City of Culture Trust, said: “We are extremely grateful to have secured another grant from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation. This generous grant will enable a wide variety of artists, organisations, and the community to come together to develop and partake in engaging, entertaining, and thought-provoking projects.”
Moira Sinclair, Chief Executive, Paul Hamlyn Foundation, said: “We’re delighted to support the Trust to build on the legacy of Coventry’s year as UK City of Culture, and to continue to bring communities together. This collaborative programme will empower more people to take part in the arts, and strengthen the capacity of Coventry’s vibrant arts and cultural sector.”
Notes to editors
Coventry City of Culture Trust
Coventry UK City of Culture 2021 started in May 2021 and ran for 12 months. More than 700 events were presented with early audience estimates across ticketed, free, and online events numbering over one million. After a delayed start due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the wide-ranging cultural programme reflected Coventry as a diverse, modern city, and demonstrated that culture is a force that changes lives. Coventry is known internationally as a city of welcome, a city of activists and pioneers, peace and reconciliation, innovation, and invention – and now as a City of Culture. For the whole year, Coventry celebrated with events, music, dance, theatre, digital experiences, and large-scale spectacle with numerous international partnerships. As well as these big celebrations, it showed its unexpected side, with more intimate experiences and ways to get involved in every neighbourhood through ‘The Coventry Model’ of co-creation. As part of the year’s legacy, the Trust will continue to run The Reel Store, the UK’s first permanent immersive digital art gallery. With Bradford now confirmed as UK City of Culture 2025, the Trust’s future focus will be on commissioning arts events and supporting local cultural organisations with an emphasis on ‘Green Futures’.
Paul Hamlyn Foundation
Paul Hamlyn Foundation was established by Paul Hamlyn in 1987. He died in 2001 and left most of his estate to the Foundation, creating one of the largest independent grant-making foundations in the UK.
The Foundation uses its resources to support social change, working towards a just and equitable society in which everyone, especially young people, can realise their full potential and enjoy fulfilling and creative lives.