Cultural Policy & Evaluation Summit

Alongside the statue of Lady Godiva on a horse is a man leaping in the air with his arms stretched wide.


The Cultural Policy & Evaluation Summit was designed to bring together local, regional and national cultural leaders to consider the post-pandemic road ahead for cultural mega-events and culture more generally in the context of Coventry UK City of Culture 2021 (UK CoC 2021).


The online summit was held on 24 and 25 June 2021.


The programme included a rich list of themes and speakers that can be found in the Summit agenda.

Both days were recorded and links to each session are available within the Summit’s Summary Report.

Many of the evaluation and research themes described on this website were discussed by key stakeholders within the Summit – often those involved in preparation of reports and papers. The recording therefore complements those descriptions and findings.


Within the summary report, John Knell, the Summit’s rapporteur, described the event as having been like a three-act play:

Act One was about whether Coventry City of Culture 2021 is a different and distinct City of Culture model, and if it is, why might this matter?

Act Two was a rich, disruptive, but ultimately crystal-clear discussion about what it means to deliver a mega cultural event in changed times – in a moment of great disruption – when questions of equality, diversity, inclusion now feel paramount, rather than just urgent. What are the lessons from Coventry for all cultural leaders and organisations trying to deliver irreversible change?

Act Three was about what the road ahead needs to look like if we are to meet the challenges expressed in Act Two. What does this mean for our purposes, our practices, our evaluation methods, and for individual acts of creative transgression?

John Knell – Cultural Policy & Evaluation Summit Report


This event was hosted by the University of Warwick and Coventry University.

It was part of the AHRC funded Cities of Culture Network, as well as the monitoring and evaluation team‘s programme of Coventry UK City of Culture 2021 related events.

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