Get involved

Cultutrefest with paint flowing, man playing violin, book and paintbrushes.


The application process to take part in CultureFest has now closed, but you can see how we programmed the festival below.


We are delighted that you want to feature your organisations' events and/or activities in CultureFest!

Like any good festival, CultureFest will be curated and feature work that addresses strategic themes, informed by Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games’ Cultural Programme, and demonstrates exceptional quality.

We've designed a CultureFest Toolkit (below) to support people and organisations who are considering applying to take part. If you are unable to find the information you require, please email and we will get back to you within five working days.

Inclusivity is one of five values in the Birmingham 2022 Social Values Charter and we want the Games to be accessible to all. We can provide access support with CultureFest proposals. Please contact Johnathan Branson on to let us know if there are any adjustments we can make to ensure this process is as accessible as possible to you. Large print and audio versions of the CultureFest toolkit will be available on 1 November 2022.

Take Part: Toolkit

A toolkit for people and/or organisations who would like to present events, exhibitions, performances, workshops, and activities as part of Warwick District Council’s CultureFest.
The toolkit is available as a webpage (below), downloadable PDF, large print Word document and as an audio file (mp3): 

Quick links

Background  |  Aims and Objectives  |  Selection Criteria  |  Curatorial Themes  |  Timings  |  Target Audiences  |  Locations  |  How to Apply  |  Application Form  |  Timescales  |  Selection Process  |  Successful Applicants  |  Unsuccessful Applicants  |  Funding  |  What's in it for you?  |  Spaces and Places  |  Marketing Support  |  Audience Development  |  Connecting you to creatives  |  Critical Friends  |  Ticketing 

1. Background

Warwick district is excited to host the Lawn Bowls, Para-Lawn Bowls and the Road Cycling Races (start and finish) as part of Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games in July and August 2022.

In response to this once in a lifetime opportunity, Warwick District Council, with the support of its partners, will showcase and celebrate some of the incredible arts and heritage venues, artists, and creatives in the area in a month-long CultureFest, with events and activities taking place across Leamington, Warwick, Kenilworth and Whitnash from Saturday 16 July to Sunday 21 August 2022.

CultureFest has been developed by Warwick District Council (WDC) in partnership with Warwick District Creative Compact (WDCC).

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2. Aims and Objectives

CultureFest aims to encourage the people who live, work, and visit the area to:

  • Discover or rediscover world-class venues and artists across Leamington Spa, Warwick, Kenilworth and Whitnash.
  • Find new stories and experiences by young people and emerging talent.
  • Have fun and enjoy shared experiences with friends and family.

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3. Selection Criteria

Like any good festival, CultureFest will be curated and feature work that addresses strategic priorities and helps to deliver aims and objectives, which are outlined in this document. Warwick District Creative Compact, with the support of Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Cultural Programme Producers are responsible for selecting programme based on the person and/or organisation’s ability to demonstrate meeting the selection criteria. Work submitted to take part in CultureFest must meet the following criteria:

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3.1 Curatorial Themes

Your activity must address at least one of CultureFest’s curatorial themes, which are closely aligned with Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games’ Cultural Programme themes:

  • Our Place in the Commonwealth
    Celebrating Birmingham as the Commonwealth Games host and profiling the many communities of the city, district, and region with roots in other Commonwealth nations must go hand-in-hand with creating the space for honest conversations about the existence of the Commonwealth and its origins. This should include any perspective grounded in fact, allowing historic identities and traditional narratives to be questioned or overturned. We recognise the breadth of opinions, from overwhelming pride and positivity, to ambivalence and misunderstanding, to deep-seated misgivings about its origins in colonialism and a legacy underpinning present-day intolerance and inequality. We will seek to articulate a common ground across the festival programme, with projects built on lasting exchange, between communities of the district, region and Commonwealth.
  • The Present Moment
    It is almost impossible to predict what will be consuming us when the festival begins in July 2022. However, it seems likely that the ongoing climate crisis and our recovery from a global pandemic will loom large. The programme should speak to the present moment, addressing the timely and urgent issues of the world we live in, catalysing all generations to make change. The present moment also leads to a reflection on the extraordinary moment of the Games, in the coming together of over 6,500 athletes, most of whom are young people, in this place and time, representing the Commonwealth. It is a moment in which the positive disruption of our everyday experience of the city and region, can reveal and enable the collective and often unrealised power of youth and youthfulness. This curatorial line may particularly lead to work by and for children and young people, and our collective activist spirit.
  • Stories of Warwick District
    This is a moment to shine a light on the rich, untold and living history of Warwick district and to hear the stories that shape our identity and perspectives. These are stories that resonate with people, true and reimagined, that connect us to our place in the world, that come from here but are universal. We believe the expression of narrative can span all art forms and be delivered equally well through linear storytelling and non-linear experiences.

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3.2 Timings

Activity must take part in Warwick district between Saturday 16 July and Sunday 21 August 2022. We are open to programme taking place at any time of the day or night. Please consider what days and times of day you target audiences are most likely to engage with your programme (e.g. families are more likely to be available outside of school hours and during weekends).

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3.3 Target Audiences

Your activity must attract and engage the following target audiences:

  • Children and young people
  • Families
  • People and communities that established cultural institutions do not engage

We aim to feature work that is accessible to the broadest possible audience and are particularly interested in work that engages audiences who identify as having a disability.

There are no restrictions on the anticipated number of people your activity will engage. We are interested in presenting a range of large and small-scale work.

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3.4. Locations

Your activity must take place in Warwick District: We welcome activity in:

  • Royal Leamington Spa
  • Warwick
  • Kenilworth
  • Whitnash

You and/or your organisation do not have to be based in Warwick district, but your work must be presented in the area and engage the people who live, work, and visit our four towns.

We are particularly interested in work that will ‘activate’ spaces and places and challenges people’s perceptions of these areas.

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4. How to Apply

If you would like to take part in CultureFest you are required to complete a short application form.

4.1 Application Form

You can apply by completing a short online form OR by downloading, completing, a returing a Word version of the online form:

Complete online CultureFest application form

Download a Word version of the CultureFest Appliction Form

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4.2 Timescales

  • October 2021: CultureFest Programme Toolkit available<
  • November 2021 – March 2022: Application process open
  • April - August 2022: Information on selected events promoted
  • July – August 2022: CultureFest

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4.3 Selection Process

Applications will be reviewed by Members of Warwick District Creative Compact and Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Producers. Applications will be scored against the selection criteria as outlined above.

Applications will be reviewed each month and applicant will be notified either way 1 week after the reviewing panel has met. The panel will meet on the following dates:

  • Monday 6 December 2021
  • Monday 10 January 2022
  • Monday 7 February 2022
  • Monday 7 March 2022
  • Wednesday 13 April 2022 (date change due to Easter)
  • Monday 16 May 2022 
  • Monday 20 June 2022 
  • July 2022 (tbc)

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4.4 Successful Applicants

Successful applicants will be invited to take part in an online 1-2-1 call with the Festival Coordinator, where you can ask further details about CultureFest and discuss the support you require.

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4.5 Unsuccessful Applicants

If you do not meet the selection criteria or are not chosen to take part in CultureFest we can still help.

We will notify you by email if you are unsuccessful in your application. Within this email will be a link to a short form asking for information about your organisation so that we can add it to our ‘venues and organisations list’ on CultureFest, which will go live in March 2022. The list is designed to signpost audiences to your organisation. Your individual events, however, will not feature on the ‘What’s on’ page or form part of the CultureFest programme.

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5. Funding

CultureFest does not have funds to commission programme. The CultureFest team, however, can support you with funding applications from other funders and, where appropriate, provide in-kind support (see below).

We are always on the look-out for new funding streams and include them in our monthly Arts Newsletter, which you can sign-up for the newsletter.

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6. What's in it for you?

6.1 Spaces and Places

As part of the programme development, we are identifying spaces and places that can host work, so let us know if you require our help in securing a space. If you already have a space or place confirmed, then that’s great too!

As a local authority, we also have access to parks and open spaces, as well as buildings around the district, and are keen to hear how you could help activate them as part of the programme.

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6.2 Marketing Support

We will run a targeted marketing campaign during the lead up to, following, and post CultureFest – and will promote the people and organisations who feature in the programme across our marketing and communication channels, including Warwick District’s main channels, the Royal Spa Centre, and Leamington Spa Art Gallery and Museum’s channels. Your event and/or activity will also be listed on the 'What's On' section of this website, due to go live in March 2022.

6.2.1 Channels and Distribution


Combined Reach of WDC Accounts










27,100 subscribers on mailing lists


160,000 hits per month

6.2.2 Marketing Assets

If you are selected to take part in CultureFest, you will be provided with a range of digital marketed assets, including logos and branded templates to help promote your work. We will also provide you with brand guidelines to help you use CultureFest assets.


CultureFest branding


CultureFest branding

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Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games anticipate that 1.7 million people will buy tickets to sports events and 2.2 million people will attend and/or participate in associated cultural activity. Warwick District Council is keen to attract as many of these visitors and audiences to the district as possible and signpost them to organisations, venues, events, and activities that make up the area’s rich and vibrant arts, heritage, and cultural scene. This huge influx of visitors provides an excellent opportunity to raise the profile of participating organisations and help to increase and diversify audiences.

Furthermore, we hope to be able to offer regular sessions on audience development over the coming months, so keep an eye out for further updates

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6.4 Connect you to other creatives and specialists

We will be running and supporting several networking events in the lead up to and following CultureFest, designed to connect creatives in the area.

Spark 2022, a free, one-day symposium for the creative sector, will be taking place on Friday 11 February at the Royal Spa Centre. Spark aims to turn creative talk into creative action, and galvanise our creative business community around a common purpose; recovery, promotion, and growth of the sector. Visit Spark 2022 for further information.

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6.5 Critical Friends

Need help developing your work or identifying suitable funding streams? Warwick District Council’s Arts Officer, Carole Sleight, will be running 40-minute Art Surgeries every Monday and Tuesday to help advise and support local artists and organisations. You can book your slot here.

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6.6 Ticketing

Want to sell tickets to your event but don’t have capacity to manage the process? We can sell your tickets via Royal Spa Centre’s Box Office. Get in touch to find out more.

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