20th Sep, 2018

Coventry festival celebrates diversity after Manchester terror attack

Emily Fish 24th May, 2017

A FESTIVAL celebrating diversity is set to welcome communities in the wake of the Manchester terrorist attack.

Positive Images Festival was founded to celebrate the heritage and cultural traditions of Coventry’s communities and now 23 years on it embraces diversity in all its forms.

It was organised before Monday’s terror in Manchester, but the celebration of diversity could not be more timely.

The festival is run and organised by volunteers from across Coventry and Warwickshire, alongside support from over 100 organisations, such as Culturae Mundi, Coventry University, University of Warwick, the Belgrade Theatre and Herbert.

Colin Scott, the chair of the festival, described the three-week event as ‘very communal’.

He said the festival aims to involve individuals from different backgrounds, as part of its efforts to ‘encompass diversity in its widest form’.

The cultural celebration will also play an important part in the city’s bid to become UK City of Culture in 2021.

David Burbidge CBE, chair of Coventry City of Culture Trust, said: “As Coventry bids to be UK City of Culture in 2021, the Positive Images Festival stands as a beacon of the city’s diversity, its creativity and its wonderful sense of community.

“We feel this is Coventry’s time to shine on the national and international stage and this festival proves, once again, that we are not only a city of culture but a city of cultures.”

This year’s launch will take place on Saturday, June 10 at noon outside the Central Library in Smithford Way by the Lord Mayor of Coventry and Pru Porretta, Lady Godiva.

The Festival is supported by Hillz FM radio station, who will be managing the festival stage with performances from both local and international musicians and dancers.

There are over 200 events – beginning with a storytelling session for families and a high profile poetry reading from the Stage event at the Albany Theatre on Saturday, June 3.

The pre-festival poetry event will feature multi-award winning playwright, poet and comedian Jackie Hagan alongside other acclaimed poets.

There will also be the Craft and Food Festival on the day of the launch and the Community Information Fair on Friday, June 16.

With the support of the Ukrainian community in the city, there will be a multicultural concert of music and dance on the evening of Saturday, June 24.

Colin said: “It’s the first time we’ve ever done anything on this scale.

“Virtually all events are free and there is something for most people.”

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