Coventry Creates

Since May 2020, BBC Radio Coventry & Warwickshire (CWR) have scheduled a new weekly show, led by our very own Creative Lives Producer Rachel New; Coventry Creates. Each week Rachel New shines a light on Coventry’s everyday creativity - featuring local practitioners, makers, amateur artists and grassroots creative groups. The show provides opportunities for local people to share their work and gain access to new audiences. Listeners can Upload their work to and get their work featured on the show.

Try It!

The Try It! programme from UK City of Culture encourages Coventry residents to have a go at a range of new, and often quirky, health-giving creative activities. The project aims to enhance the lives of community members and leave a lasting legacy of creative activities in Coventry. 

Listen to one of Rachel's shows about the Try It! programme open to everyone in Coventry who would like to have fun and connect with others while taking part in creative activities.


Collage of pictures from crafts workshop as part of the Try It! programme in Coventry

One of the workshops on offer is Art and Stitch with MICHALA GYETVAI who encourages participants to explore different ways of being creative, through looking at art history, painting and textiles. The emphasis is on developing individual ideas through the freedom of playing with materials. Rachel went to one of the workshops and met Michala and some of the participants. Take a listen!


Contains Strong Language 

BBC Contains Strong Language

Photo source: BBC Arts website

Mollie Davidson is also working in Coventry in partnership with the City of Culture 2021 to support the BBC spoken word festival, Contains Strong Language to foster community engagement, alongside Writings West Midlands. Creative Lives (formerly Voluntary Arts) has worked in partnership with the festival since 2017 when CSL featured as part of the City of Culture in Hull. 

The annual poetry and spoken word festival BBC Contains Strong Language came to Coventry this year with over fifty Covid compliant and in-person poetry events taking over the city between Thursday 23 and Sunday 26 September 2021 for all the family to enjoy. 

We're extremely excited that our #CreativeLivesOnAir colleagues have contributed to the production of:
Live showcase of poems written and performed by young Coventry Poets. Poet John Bernard has been working with schools across Coventry to produce poetry for BBC Local Radio.
An outdoors writing and walking workshop led by poets poet David Morley, and Charlotte Ridpath from Warwickshire Wildlife Trust's Sherbourne Valley Project.
A discussion with poets Roy McFarlane, Siana Bangura and young Coventry writers exploring Aldridge's impact on the city. Chaired by Chrissie Okorie, We Are Maokwo.

Photos by Cody Maycock for Creative Lives

Now in its fifth year, BBC Contains Strong Language launched in 2017 where it ran successfully in Hull for three years and travelled to Cumbria in 2020. The festival’s slot in Coventry represents a fantastic opportunity for the region to celebrate contemporary poetry at a plethora of live and in-person events, after two summer seasons of cancelled or stripped back festivals elsewhere. BBC Contains Strong Language 2021 is a partnership between the BBC, Coventry City of Culture Trust, Writing West Midlands and Nine Arches Press, and is supported by Arts Council England, the British Council, Creative Lives and Jerwood Arts. 

The programming this year draws on aspects that have come through from Coventry's City of Culture key themes - such as green cities and international connections - while also being informed and inspired by the city's fascinating history, culture and environment.

This is a festival which reflects Coventry by its involvement with talented and exciting voices in poetry from the city and region and by its creation of many interesting commissions which extend to poets being involved with schools and community groups in order to make poetry happen in all manner of interesting and unusual spaces.

Poets are also running workshops and creating brand new work to highlight the multiplicity of stories that Coventry holds. The festival brings all these stories together - whether about historic lives or hidden rivers - and out onto the streets, stages and pages for all the family to enjoy. 

Sixteen local poets hailing from Coventry and the Midlands are included in the programme and event locations vary from London Road Cemetery to Charterhouse Park, from FarGo and The Belgrade Theatre to the Coventry Caribbean Centre.

Learn more via Coventry 2021 City of Culture’s website or via social media: Twitter @bbccslfest | Instagram @bbccslfest | #ContainsStrongLanguage