Coventry artists to host twelve weeks of virtual creative workshops

The workshops will cover everything from creative writing and illustration to dance, animation, photography, filmmaking and more.

Coventrians are being given the chance to get creative over the next 12 weeks by getting involved in a new series of workshops beginning this weekend. 

Sitting Rooms of Culture, which is being supported and funded by Coventry City of Culture Trust and Artspace Coventry, will feature a series of online workshops shared on social media covering a range of artistic skills.

After taking part in the workshops, people are invited to create their own art and share it using the hashtag #SittingRoomsofCulture, which will create an online community for all of the work. 

The project is being led by local community artists Mary Courtney, Kirsty Brewerton, Heather S. Davison and Paul Curtis, who have helped to build the online group to connect local creative people. 

Twelve different local artists will be hosting the workshops over the course of twelve weeks to help the city stay creative during the lockdown and beyond, covering a different skill or practice each week.

The first workshop is set to take place on Saturday, 23 May featuring Cathy Cassidy, the celebrated author and Coventrian, who will lead the Couch Potato Challenge, helping locals try their hand at creative writing. 

Other workshops during the programme will feature musicians, dance teachers, animators, photographers, artists, illustrators and filmmakers, all sharing their expertise and advice with Coventry creatives. 

Mary Courtney, who co-founded the group, explained: “During these difficult times, we need to be encouraging people to explore their creative side and reconnect with their passions from their sitting rooms. 

“The group will help people to develop their skills and provide a space for a growing community of Coventry artists to share their talents and ideas with each other.

Paul Curtis, who helped with setting up the workshops, added: “This is a great opportunity for people to try something new and to use it as a form of escapism during lockdown, to express themselves through art.”

Chenine Bhathena, creative director of Coventry City of Culture Trust, urged people to “give it a go!”

“This new series of practical and fun online classes led by professional artists from the industry will be a great chance to take part in activities, to share work and create or maybe develop new skills,” she said.

“Whether learning to sing, how to create new dance steps, how to develop your crafty side, how to write stories and others, this a chance to try your hand at something new.

“The sessions are designed to be fun, easy to engage with and hopefully will help to create new skills that you can use as part of the events programme in 2021.”