Coventry UK City of Culture 2021 will commence on 15 May 2021, running for 12 months. The 365-day cultural programme will reflect Coventry as a diverse, modern city, demonstrating 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 a City of Culture. The British Council is the International Partner for UK City of Culture 2021.
We are working in partnership with the Coventry City of Culture Trust to connect Coventry to international cities that are ‘youthful’ in their attitude and outlook. Youthful Cities are constantly innovating and moving. They are curious, playful, dynamic and forward thinking, with an ‘activist’ and ‘citizen-led’ approach to shaping their futures through art, creativity, and technology.
Inspired by research, this new, flagship international programme invites 48 young people (aged between 18-30) in Coventry (UK), Beirut (Lebanon), Bogotá (Columbia), Detroit (US) and Nairobi (Kenya) to creatively respond to important, urgent and youth-focused issues in their cities.
Working with local partners, young people from Coventry will connect with young people in each international city through a series of cultural and creative skills exchange labs and collaboration projects. They will explore mutual connections and creative synergies, shaped by their respective social and cultural contexts. Each international collaboration will result in creative artwork spanning music (Detroit), poetry and spoken word (Beirut), street art (Bogotá) and digital storytelling (Nairobi) which will be showcased as part of the Coventry City of Culture 2021-22 programme.
Youthful Cities will bring together young artists, makers and storytellers from around the world in a digital Global Youth Summit in November 2021. The summit will be an opportunity for the programme cohort to meet with peers and debate some of the biggest global challenges we all face together, as well as agreeing what role they can play in driving forward change in their respective cities, using the arts and culture as a powerful means of arts activism.
Partners include: Positive Youth Foundation (Coventry), BACE Foundation (Coventry), Graffwerk (Coventry), Media Mania (Coventry), Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit (Detroit), Rusted Radishes (Beirut), The Space (UK), Vertigo Graffiti (Colombia), Youthful Cities (Canada).