Coventry Cultural Challenge: Elden Kings

Does economic status have an impact on belonging?

The Coventry Cultural Challenge was a two-day event where teams were given access to the latest Coventry cultural data and asked to develop an idea/proposal that had the potential to ‘make life better in Coventry’. At the end of the weekend, each team presented their ideas to a jury of experts.

Presentation by the Elden Kings (Recorded by: Maria Polodeanu, Reel Master Production)


The team examined feelings of belonging to both Coventry and residents’ local areas and cross-referenced it with stability of income levels.

Those with stable incomes were working, whereas non-stable incomes included those unemployed, long-term sick, retired, in education, volunteering or in caring roles.

Those people with unstable incomes had stronger levels of belonging to their local area than those with stable incomes. The gap was much smaller for the two groups’ sense of belonging to Coventry.

The sense of belonging was higher for those within the unstable income group that had participated in cultural events. Participation strengthened external contacts, increased confidence by reducing anxiety.

Team Members


Kexing Li, with the Elden Kings team that worked remotely (Photograph: Maria Polodeanu, Reel Master Production)

The Coventry Cultural Challenge was part of the AHRC funded Place-Based Knowledge Exchange project; organised by members of the UK City of Culture 2021 monitoring and evaluation team.


This website reflects a variety of UK CoC 2021 activities, funded by different funding bodies. It has been created as part of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funded project City Change Through Culture: Securing the Place Legacy of Coventry City of Culture 2021 (Grant Reference AH/W008769/1).

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