Coventry is a city of music and art, of cars, enterprise and technology. It is a city of dreamers and artists, scientists and engineers.  It is a city of diversity and welcome, of inclusion and of reconciliation.

This and more made it the next home for Hello Culture and a collaboration with the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at Coventry University.

As the Faculty prepares to open the doors to a new building and new ways of working, the role of the arts and humanities in a post-pandemic world is changing.  Arts education for the 21st century needs to bridge the gap between the past and the future, between art and technology, continuing to guide and inspire artists, designers and creative thinkers as the University has since 1843.

Hello Culture x Coventry is co-curated by Lara Ratnaraja and Craig Ashley.  It is developed in partnership to reflect the art, culture, the digital and physical place that is Coventry as it embarks upon its year as UK City of Culture.


Hello Culture : The Coventry Edition

As Coventry prepares to launch itself onto a global stage with City of Culture, we celebrate the culture, civic society, art and diversity that made it what it is.

In an increasingly fractured world, culture and its relevance can highlight disparity and disconnects to audiences who feel alienated and under-represented by mainstream narratives. During lockdown these audiences however pivoted to safe and accessible online spaces demonstrating a desire for cultural experiences and authentic spaces where they could see themselves reflected.

As cities emerge from a lockdown that restricted our movements, how do we ensure the public realm is for the public and as we look at a physical/digital hybridity can we create new experiences, access and civic spaces both physically and digitally?

“Experimental Culture” the horizon scan undertaken by Nesta and commissioned by Arts Council England in 2018 found that “Concern about inequitable patterns in access to arts and cultural experiences reflecting (or even reinforcing) existing inequalities, means that work to broaden, diversify and deepen relationships with audiences will be critical in sustaining support for public spending on the arts in future.” The report also suggested “cultivating the capacity to be more experimental in harnessing new technologies and adopting new organisational practices, alongside leveraging the value of data in order to understand how best to engage audiences and test new business models. Central to extending their reach to a wider audience will be fostering a sophisticated array of partnerships – whether with universities, technology companies or with other institutions open to sharing resources and expertise”

Hello Culture x Coventry is commissioned by Coventry University and through a series of sessions, explores how the relationships between the arts and academia and how partnerships and collaborations in the physical and digital spheres are creating more inclusive and representative spaces, platforming unheard voices and helping the city’s artists navigate a brave new world of art and the public realm as we emerge from lockdown. It will examine what role practice, partnerships and people play in our brave new world. What do peace and reconciliation mean for post pandemic Coventry?

Coventry University is a principal partner for UK City of Culture; this event forms part of a wider programme of activity for the University, celebrating Coventry’s culture and creativity and the role of the arts and humanities in a changing world.



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