Image: Warwick Media Library

The importance of Warwick Arts Centre to life at Warwick

About a month before I started university, I went to an open mic poetry night with a couple of friends. As a typical to-be fresher, I remember being nervous about what to expect from university life; I’d visited Warwick before, several times, but had no idea what life would be like as a student. I remember telling this to one of the poets at the event. He was an old man, looking about 60, and had done his PhD at Warwick in an area of history I don’t quite remember the specifics of. He gave me one particular piece of advice about Warwick: he proudly told me that “the Arts Centre, in my opinion, is one of the best in the Europe. When you get to Warwick, go into the office of the Arts Centre and there is a sheet on the wall. Sign your name up to be a steward. It’s one of the best things you can do.”

As a typical to-be fresher, I remember being nervous about what to expect from university life

I must have first visited Warwick Arts Centre on a primary school trip. Having been born and raised in Leamington, just a short drive from the Arts Centre, I’ve had access to high quality performances and entertainment my entire life; yet the only visits I made there were the annual school trips to see a Christmas play. I didn’t really notice the full benefits of the Arts Centre until I became a student here.

I didn’t really notice the full benefits of the Arts Centre until I became a student here

Whilst I didn’t end up signing up as a steward this year, that hasn’t prevented me from appreciating the benefits of having the biggest arts centre outside of London on our doorstep. The Arts Centre has allowed the rich drama scene at Warwick to flourish, from providing a platform for students to stage their own adaptations of plays as well as enabling student playwrights a chance to bring their work to life, the Arts Centre breeds a culture of creativity and spirit at Warwick. Situated in the heart of campus, it brings life to the student experience, especially with many of its events, showings, and performances providing tickets at a reduced price for students.

Situated in the heart of campus, it brings life to the student experience

And it’s not only students that the Arts Centre is providing for. Attracting an estimated 300,000 visitors every year, Warwick Arts Centre has become an entertainment hotspot for locals as well as audiences from across the country. Whilst providing an estimated total value of £27.7m to the local economy, Warwick Arts Centre has culturally enriched the local community and there’s no doubt it will continue to do so in the years to come.

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