23rd Jun, 2021

£150,000 National Arts Council funding boost will see Coventry's Show Windows project extended

Tristan Harris 8th Jun, 2021 Updated: 8th Jun, 2021

THE COVENTRY BID team has been successful in its application for £150,000 National Arts Council funding to support The Show Windows project which is part of the UK City of Culture programme.

It means the specific project can be extended, ensuring BID businesses – and Coventry as a whole – will continue to be showcased and supported with their recovery.

Trish Willetts, Director of Coventry BID, said: “To receive national Arts Council funding – for a project that’s been in my heart for the past four years – is so rewarding.

“Our dream of securing this capital for Coventry started in 2017 when we visited Nantes and Toulouse in France.

“We saw, first-hand, how those cities had changed to become cultural destinations and how the city’s business community flourished as a result.

“This is exactly what I want to achieve for Coventry, especially in such an auspicious year – and beyond.”

Charlie Levine, The Show Windows curator, added it was a huge boost for the project and would enable it to meet its full creative potential.

“This funding allows us to offer more opportunities for local artists, to take some windows out beyond Coventry and produce additional content on Smartify for audiences on and off site.”

Chenine Bhathena, Creative Director at Coventry City of Culture, said she was delighted, adding it would make culture more accessible to everyone in Coventry, improving places in the process.

This project has been made possible by a unique partnership between the City of Culture Trust, Curator Charlie Levine, the BID and our city centre business community.

“I know it will really support our businesses as they bounce back from the successive Covid-19 lockdowns, putting culture at the centre of our reset, and make Coventry city centre an exciting cultural destination,. added Chenine.

Peter Knott, Area Director, Arts Council England said: “We’re delighted to have awarded £150,000 through the National Lottery for this rolling programme of fresh, contemporary art in the windows of businesses across the city. This will help bring City of Culture to life for visitors to Coventry.

“City of Culture is a time to celebrate for everyone in the local community, so a project where local businesses are involved in showcasing arts and culture to enrich the city centre and drive up footfall during Coventry’s year is a great thing.”

‘The Show Windows’ project is co-produced in partnership with Coventry City of Culture Trust, Coventry BID, West Midlands born ITV Creates curator Charlie Levine, Government Art Collection, Arts Council, Craft Council, Historic Coventry Trust, Coventry University and Biennial and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).

Featuring local, national and internationally renowned artists and architects, the project will showcase their bespoke artworks within shop windows throughout the city, creating ‘portals’ to other worlds and inviting audiences to discover something new.

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