A previous version of this news story contained an image that used an artists’ work without credit. Coventry City of Culture Trust removed this image as soon as it was made aware of the mistake.

The people of Coventry are being given the chance to get creative over the next 12 weeks by getting involved in a new series of workshops that begin this weekend.

Sitting Rooms of Culture, which is being supported by Coventry City of Culture Trust and Artspace Coventry and funded by Arts Council England as part of the Cultural Destinations project, 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 and Heather S Davison, who have helped to build the online group to connect local creative people.

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

The first workshop is set to take place on Saturday, May 23, 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.

A full list of sechedueld workshops can be found here.

  • Here is the full schedule of workshops:
    Saturday 23rd May – Cathy Cassidy – The Couch Potato writing challenge. (More info below)
  • Saturday 6th June –   Dana Alexandra Chis – Fun Foods animation workshop.
  • Saturday 13th June – Sherrie Edgar – Making video art films workshop.
  • Saturday 20th June – Olivier Franck – Lockdown movements dance workshop.
  • Saturday 27th June –  Aimi J Donnelly – How to take great artistic photos with your phone.
  • Saturday 4th July – Carlo Tramontano – Comics with Carlo – a masterclass.
  • Saturday 11th July – Mary Courtney – Sitting rooms sketches workshop.
  • Saturday 18th July – Kirsty Brewerton – Pendemic postcards – A workshop to keep you connected.
  • Saturday 25th July – Dom Breadmore – Postdigital making with smartphones and tablets
  • Saturday 1st August – Mahendra Patel – The sitting rooms are alive with the sound of music: A music masterclass
  • Saturday 8th August – Andrea Mbarushimana – Step by Step nature poetry, writing a walking poem.
  • Saturday 15th August – Beth Applebey -Making Jewellery into treasure.

So make sure you have your eyes on Sitting Rooms of Culture every Saturday!

Facebook @Sitting Rooms of Culture Group Page

Instagram @sitting rooms of culture

Twitter @CultureRooms


Artist Bio

Hello… I’m Cathy Cassidy, an exiled Coventry kid, and I write books for children and teens. I was really excited to find the Sitting Rooms of Culture page on Facebook, and blown away by the creative posts uploaded there every day. I was thrilled to be asked to launch a writing challenge for Coventry’s would-be wordsmiths of all ages… and so the Coventry Couch Potato Challenge was born.

We’re all couch potatoes now, but we can use our time to get creative with words, feelings and ideas and write something really awesome.


Watch Sitting Rooms of Culture’s interview with Cathy Cassidy on Facebook.

Write a short story or poem inspired by your experience of living in COVID-19 lockdown. It should be 1,000 words or less. All ages welcome. If under 18, tell us your age. If under 12, ask a parent/guardian to add a sentence giving permission to enter. You can submit up to 3 pieces.

Closing date has been extended to 6 June. Submit to: [email protected]

Cathy’s favourite entries will be collated in a book!