The £150,000 funding is to support The Show Windows project, which is part of the UK Coventry City of Culture 2021 programme and one of two inspiring projects that the BID is leading on. This will mean that this specific project can be extended, ensuring that BID businesses – and Coventry as a whole – 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, Curator of The Show Windows, added: “Getting this Arts Council funding for The Show Windows programme is a huge boost to the project and means we can now realise it to 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: “We are so delighted that our Business Improvement District has been successful with their funding bid from Arts Council England. The funding will see even more businesses across the city exhibit incredible art and installation in their windows and make art and culture accessible to everyone in Coventry, improving places. “This project has been made possible by a unique partnership between the City of Culture Trust, Cura-tor 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".
Peter Knott, Area Director, Arts Council England commented: “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; Coven-try Business Improvement District (BID), West Midlands born ITV Creates curator, Charlie Levine; Gov-ernment Art Collection; Arts Council; Craft Council, Historic Coventry Trust; Coventry University & Bi-ennial 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.