British Council and LFA Possible Futures project, Delvendahl Martin and Gaiss Architects ©

Mike Massaro

We are delighted to announce the launch of the Coventry UK City of Culture 2021 programme.

The programme reflects Coventry as a diverse and modern city, moving forward and embracing culture, to connect communities and change lives. Coventry is known internationally as a city of welcome, a city of activists and pioneers, a city of peace and reconciliation, a city of innovation and invention, and now a City of Culture.Co-created with local,national and international partners and grassroots organisations across Coventry, the 2021 programme will include major artistic events, world premieres and commissions across theatre, music, dance, literature, comedy and visual arts.

The British Council is the international partner for Coventry 2021, working with Coventry across a broad range of disciplines and sectors across multiple countries and regions globally to ensure that Coventry's full potential is showcased on the world stage. 

Some highlights from our flagship international programmes include:

Youthful Cities

As the birthplace of the post-war twinned city movement, Coventry is no stranger to international exchange and partnership. With the British Council, Positive Youth Foundation and Coventry City Council, Coventry UK City of Culture Trust today announced Youthful Cities, a major international programme of activity that places young citizens, and a youthful mind-set, at the heart of its year of celebrations in 2021. The programme will develop links between civic and cultural organisations in Coventry (UK), Beirut (Lebanon), Bogota (Colombia), Detroit (USA) and Nairobi (Kenya). These international collaborations will see young citizens explore the big issues and challenges in their cities.  Through art, music, poetry, and digital storytelling this international exchange of ideas, activism and innovation will see young people engaging with their cities as they seek to make positive change happen for their and their family’s futures.

Prototype City

An additional partnership will see the British Council bring its Prototype City initiative to Coventry. This international architecture exchange programme will address global urban challenges, including Coventry’s unique urban context, as teams from São Paolo (Brazil), Cairo (Egypt) and Aarhus (Denmark) work with UK architects to assess and propose new ideas for the city. 

International Changemakers Bursaries

A series of British Council International Changemakers Bursaries will support the development of partnerships between cultural practitioners in Coventry and their international counterparts, to inspire bold and creative ideas for international digital collaboration. 

Chenine Bhathena, Creative Director of Coventry UK City of Culture, said: 

‘Coventry was once the capital of England, and this year we’re the city of culture. After the year our citizens and communities around the world have had, our people-powered programme is a much-needed celebration and show of hope for the future. Locally driven, socially resonant and globally connected. Tune in, take part, and when you can come and visit.’

Skinder Hundal, Director of Arts, British Council, said:

‘As the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations, the British Council is delighted to be an International Partner for Coventry City of Culture. Coventry’s cultural programme echoes our own mission, supporting existing international connections and helping broker new relationships between the people of Coventry and people from wider locations across the world using arts and culture. We look forward to working with the wider city to ensure a lasting international legacy and enduring relationships beyond 2021.’

Get involved

  • Find out more about the programme here
  • Follow @Coventry2021 on Twitter and Facebook
  • Take a look at coventry2021 on Instagram