Culture Coventry Trust, which manages the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, has secured grant funding of £500,000 from Arts Council England and an additional £100,000 from Coventry City Council to enable them to capitalise on the opportunity of UK City of Culture and create a legacy that changes the national perception of Coventry as a place of significant visual arts programming.
The funding will enable the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum to work collaboratively with national, regional, and local partners and communities to enhance the quality and relevance of their exhibitions – including the delivery of several world-class, blockbuster exhibitions due to take place over the next two-years.
As a result of the funding, the Herbert will have a greater curatorial capacity and the ability to create more diverse programming. Programming that is rooted to Coventry and shaped through co-curation with the people who call it home.
The funding will also enable the development of their online programme and explore the blending of digital and analogue experiences, echoing the shift in how people choose to consume culture.
Coventry UK City of Culture Trust has also committed to this step change by providing support to enable the delivery of the Turner Prize 2021 at the Herbert. Turner Prize is one of the best-known prizes for the visual arts in the world and aims to promote public debate around new developments in contemporary British art.
Francis Nielsen, Culture and Creative Director of Culture Coventry Trust said “We are delighted to have been awarded this funding to enable us to utilise the opportunity of UK City of Culture 2021 to create a lasting legacy for visual arts in the city.
“Coventry is a youthful and diverse city which has been instrumental in the creation of some of the greatest innovators and creators in the world. It is the people of Coventry who make it so special and that is why we want to work with them to shape a nationally significant visual arts programme which addresses global themes in a truly Coventry way.”
Peter Knott, Area Director, Arts Council England said: “We are delighted to be able to award this £500,000 of funding to Culture Coventry Trust allowing them to make the most of Coventry’s year in the spotlight.
“Thanks to National Lottery players, Coventry has this chance to really ‘wow’ audiences. We are excited to see world class visual art coming to the Herbert, showcasing international as well as local talent. This award is a significant step in the Herbert’s development and will establish an exciting legacy for creatives and audiences in Coventry and beyond.”
Cllr David Welsh, Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities, said: “The grant will be a boost to the Herbert and help us build something lasting for the people of our city.
“Coventry will be centre stage as UK City of Culture, where we belong, and despite the challenges of Covid I’m really looking forward to enjoying a celebration that our city deserves.”