Belgrade Deputy Artistic Director Justine Themen will co-create a citywide celebration

Following this morning’s announcement that Coventry’s year as City of Culture will now run from May 2021 until May 2022 in light of the current challenges faced by the cultural sector, we’re delighted to announce that our Deputy Artistic Director and Co-Artistic Director for 2021 Justine Themen will co-lead one of the first major projects on the programme.

Together with world-renowned theatre and event director Nigel Jamieson, Justine will co-create a citywide celebration in 2021, collaborating with international artists and communities from across the city. This large-scale movement will unite young people, families, schools, faith organisations, choirs, sports clubs, community groups and more to explore the values at the heart of the city and their hopes for the future.

In order to create the event, residents will have the chance to take part in hundreds of workshops, learning skills in music, performance and dance and building structures across the city. The project will culminate in a spectacle on a scale the city has never seen before, which will tell a powerful and diverse story about the spirit and energy of Coventry, celebrating the voices of people from every ward in the city.

Justine Themen has lived and worked in Coventry since 2003, is a leading figure in the Coventry arts scene and played a major role in the success of our bid for City of Culture 2021. Her work focuses on diversifying the stories brought to the stage and reaching audiences that are typically less likely to engage with theatre and cultural programming, which has had a significant impact on the artistic vision for the Belgrade over the last six years. She has a strong track record for co-creating work with communities & young people and for promoting & directing the work of writers of colour.