Art exhibitions, live music, a football World Cup and two community parties will be just some of the ways that Coventry celebrates the contribution, creativity and resilience of refugees that now call
Coventry’s celebrations are part of the nationwide Refugee Week which marks its 20th anniversary this year.
More than 500 events around the UK are planned from 18-24 June to bring together people from different communities, raise awareness of why people seek sanctuary and recognise the welcome Britain has offered to those seeking safety.
A number of organisations are working together to host a programme of free-of-charge cultural, artistic, sporting and educational events that celebrate the diversity of the city.
The Coventry City of Culture Trust is backing some of the events that are taking place throughout the week as part of arts funding from Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council England which was successfully bid for by the Trust.
Youth and diversity was a major element of Coventry’s successful bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 and Laura McMillan, Director of Operations and Legacy at the Coventry City of Culture Trust, said the city’s 20 year commitment to Refugee Week was a great example of that.
She said: “For two decades, the festival has brought together people of all backgrounds to celebrate both the contributions of refugees and also the welcome they have received from the people of Coventry.
“Coventry is a city of welcome, a city of diversity and is a city of peace and reconciliation and, throughout the bid process, we heard so many stories of people who said Coventry had given them a life they could never have dreamed of.
“It is wonderful to see that, once again, Coventry is coming together to celebrate Refugee Week with a whole host of events in June.”
Coventry Refugee and Migrant Centre (CRMC) will be opening the week’s celebrations with Penny Appeal, a charity which transforms lives and empowers communities around the world.
The two organisations, alongside Positive Youth Foundation (PYF), will be co-hosting an Eid celebration meal at FarGo Village in the Market Hall which is open to all and will include entertainment and a free meal for everyone.
CRMC will be holding their annual event ‘Coventry Welcomes, Party in the Park' on Saturday 23 June, at Primrose Hill Park.
The event, in its 13th year, brings together communities from across the city to enjoy a day of live music, dance and martial arts performances, freshly cooked food, entertainment and games for all the family.
PYF, which regularly supports newly arrived young people across Coventry, will be hosting several events from FarGo Village throughout the week. They include an indoor football tournament, the ‘Coventry Nations Cup’, complete with 70 teams (both UK and internationally born players), trophies and even live sports commentators.
An art installation – ‘Fusion’ – is open throughout the week, displaying both migrant and host art works. It has been curated in partnership with Laura Nyahuye of Maokwo and will have a special presentation viewing on Wednesday 20 June, with additional live performances.
The event will be headlined by Tayyibah Mota with her photography collection and Harpreet Dawett with images from her Grime magazine ‘HKD Magazine’. Both are PYF young talents.
The newly-launched MiFriendly Cities project will also be at FarGo with their Drop-in Café at Backhaus on Thursday 21 June. The €4m initiative is offering refugees and migrants opportunities to learn new skills, such as digital fabrication, journalism and DIY.
The event will provide an opportunity for the community to meet the team from some of its 11 partner organisations, including the Council and Coventry University, and find out how to get involved.
The week-long festivities will be concluded on Sunday 24 June, with a special ‘Changing Trax Open Mic – world music edition’, inviting a whole range of musicians into one space to perform and collaborate on their music styles. Host’s PYF will be joined by Media Mania, the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and Coventry Music in support.
The Positive Images Festival will also be running throughout the duration of Refugee Week with more information at positiveimagesfestival.co.uk
See more information on the whole of Coventry Refugee Week.
Coventry Refugee and Migrant Centre and its friends in Coventry, will be kicking off the city’s Refugee Week celebrations with an Eid Celebration at Fargo
The Nations cup is a 5 a side football tournament that is running in conjunction with refugee week and aims to bring local communities together
Positive Youth Foundation will be hosting a health fair to help celebrate and welcome all newly arrived young people and their families in Coventry.
Join Coventry Refugee and Migrant Centre and our partners, as we join Coventry’s Refugee Week celebrations with our annual ‘Coventry Welcomes, Party in the Park'
A music event where anyone can come and showcase their musical talent. Any type of Music welcome.
Supported by our local emergency services and Local Authority.