2021 City of Culture Winners!
Hello everyone! As I’m sure you’re all aware, Coventry was recently crowned the new City of Culture for 2021, so I wanted to write a little bit about its history, development and cultural sites as, although we are called the University of Warwick, we are actually situated in the outskirts of Coventry, so there is plenty to celebrate!
According to the popular urban myth, Lady Godiva took pity on the people of Coventry, who were suffering grievously under her husband’s oppressive taxation, and so she rode the streets naked upon her horse to persuade her husband to abolish the onerous taxes. She now appears as a common image throughout the city, especially in the form of numerous sculptures. During the Middle Ages, Coventry grew to become one of the most important cities in England due to its booming cloth and textiles trade. The city was also noted for its part in the English Civil War, and later became an important industrial city during the 19th and 20th centuries, becoming the centre of the British bicycle and later motor industry. Due to its success, it was targeted during the devastating Blitz in 1940, which destroyed much of the city centre, and saw its rebuilding during the 1950s and 60s.
Among Coventry’s cultural claims to fame are venues such as the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum and the Belgrade Theatre, which launched the Theatre In Education movement in 1965. It is also the home of the UK’s first Shop Front Theatre and boasts the UK’s largest free family music festival with the Coventry Godiva Festival. And of course, who can forget our very own Warwick Arts Centre, which regularly hosts events including contemporary and classical music, drama, dance, comedy, films and visual art. It is the largest Arts Centre in the Midlands, and the largest venue of its kind in the UK outside of London. Our University campus is also a vibrant hub of artworks such as various prints situated all around campus, and our own sculpture trail, featuring works by Richard Deacon and Peter Randall-Page.
The University of Warwick was a Principal Partner of the bid, providing significant support, and winning the title of the City of Culture will bring a major boost to the local economy and its investment, and will ensure that students and residents alike can enjoy an even greater amount of cultural events on offer in the run up to its reign."Diversity and inclusivity" was the theme at the heart of Coventry’s bid for the 2021 UK City of Culture, and the University of Warwick wholeheartedly supports such a stance, as it is a lively, diverse and multicultural environment, and the effort that has been put in to achieve this win will certainly benefit Warwick students and staff, providing huge benefits and a positive impact on our community, and even more of a reason to come and study here at the University.
Thanks for reading!Kristie