Learning Highlights 2022 (for use with Access tools)

In 2022, we worked with 80 city partners and 13,000 people took part in learning activities with us.

Alongside brilliant partners, we use art and creativity to develop skills, contribute to wellbeing and respond to local priorities.

Our focus is on building relationships and creating work together.

We’d like to share our work and warmly invite you to respond and connect.

The Place We Imagine – an exhibition by and for children

Over the summer our galleries were transformed into a playground. City school children worked with local artists and Assemble, the art, design and architecture collective to create playable artworks.

‘As soon as my class realised their work was exhibited, they were so excited. The look on their faces in the gallery was amazing.’ Teacher, Melbury Primary School

We welcomed 40,000 visitors and 40 school and community visits.

‘It’s wonderful to see them playing together. I’ve never seen so much collaborative play. It makes them collaborate.’ Family visitor

A group of school pupils playing together with a giant green inflatable ball
A group of school pupils sliding down a red curved slide
A nursery aged child leaping off a soft animal sculpture

Schools of Tomorrow – creativity in the classroom and beyond

Schools of Tomorrow is a partnership that brings teachers, pupils and artists together to nurture creativity, support skills for learning and respond to priorities in 8 city schools.

Nottingham Nursery School are exploring how young children can shape their own learning. With their families, children lead creative experiments and make discoveries in the world – and on their own doorsteps!

‘Above all the traic noise and hustle, you could hear a child’s laughter. There was something so powerful in that moment.’ Headteacher, Nottingham Nursery School after encountering a doorstep workshop

Southwold Primary School are developing ways to support children’s independence, innovation and decision making. Children take on tasks, takeover spaces and develop immersive environments.

‘Our artist has challenged our thinking. Driven pupil leadership and voice, with pupils feeling wholeheartedly part of the school’ Headteacher, Southwold Primary School

A nursery child and an artist seated together on a doorstep with a book and paints.
Four children in oversized shirts with paints and rollers painting a wall

Our team of artists, Gillian Brent, Laura Eldret, Peter Rumney, Sian W Taylor and Charlotte Tupper are resident at Edna G Olds L.E.A.D. Academy, Huntingdon L.E.A.D. Academy, Jubilee L.E.A.D. Academy, Melbury Primary School, Nottingham Nursery School, Robin Hood Primary School, Southwold Primary School and The Milford Academy.

Schools – developing skills and an enriched curriculum

We offer a dynamic programme of workshops with artists and free resources to support connections to art and ideas.

We welcomed over 2,500 students to create and learn with us.

‘The free resources enabled us to engage children in an inclusive and high-quality experience that provoked thinking beyond the obvious.’ Teacher, Rosslyn Park Primary School

Two students in the gallery looking at a neon artwork and taking a photograph with a mobile phone
A simple map of Nottingham with 22 city school partners plotted

Schools - valuing and developing teachers

In 2022, we expanded our offer to teachers and early career teachers by working with universities, schools and trusts.

With education partners we develop teacher practice through shared projects and workshops - 400 teachers and trainees took part in 2022

‘It’s one of the highlights of our year: an opportunity for playfulness, creativity and connection. There’s a respect and appreciation we all feel for our partnership.’ Senior Lecturer, Education, Nottingham Trent University discussing a CPD partnership for trainee English teachers.

Two teachers in the gallery holding a large blue piece of fabric above their heads

Loudspeaker - women use creativity to see themselves anew

Loudspeaker develops women’s skills and conidences on their journeys towards work.

Over the last 3 years 161 women took part in Loudspeaker.

39% had an employment related result (employment, training & job search)
82% had a support needs outcome (mental health, domestic violence, housing, substance misuse & offending)

‘Being here has improved my mental health. I know that if I need to talk, there are people that will listen and take notice.’ Loudspeaker participant

Women supported other women as peer mentors. People with lived experience shaped the programme and gained work experiences.

‘It just made me feel so much better about myself. That I had something to offer people.’ Loudspeaker Peer Mentor

Four women walking through a grass and woodlands
Three women working together on a large scale charcoal drawing
A large group of women seated outdoors in the sunshine

Loudspeaker is part of the national Building Better Opportunities programme through the Opportunity and Change project which is funded by The National Lottery Community Fund and the European Social Fund.

Career pathways for young people

Through paid work experiences, commissions and placements young people develop skills and portfolios. This year they’ve created events, guides and podcasts.

‘Being trusted to get on and deliver allowed me to gain conidence in myself and feel valued in my role.’ Creative Pathways intern

Creative Pathways is a paid internship programme with the city’s cultural sector led by the University of Nottingham

‘We learned so much from the event. We always were helped but also given the freedom to express our own ideas.’ WAHAD member

Nottingham Trent University students took part in 6-month placements to produce a publication, exhibition and events.

‘It has really boosted my skills and will unquestionably beneit me with my future career.’ NTU placement student

A young person with a camera filming an interview with another young person
A large group performing Capoeira

Future of Futures – a platform for young people’s creativity and voices

Over the last two years young people reimagined the city with us. They programmed events and developed work to share visions of the future with us.

Gamechangers - Working with staff and students at Confetti, young people used videogame art and software to build a digital role play world

Outburst Oracle Cards - Young people at Base 51 created a set of oracle cards to share hopes and experiences from an LGBTQ+ perspective.

A Sensory Museum - Young people at Space Inclusive created and displayed sensory artworks to create a museum of the future.

A still from the videogame showing Nottingham Contemporary overgrown with hand drawn tree roots and branches
A group of young people looking an artwork of a set of cards
A group of people installing hanging artworks in a shed

Sharing spaces and ways of working

With community partners we’re sharing resources and growing projects together to help us learn and change.

Spring Meadows Day Centre - Spring Meadows is a centre for adults with learning disabilities. With service users and staff, we co-developed tools to encourage creativity and experimentation.

‘All the citizens involved in the project have thoroughly enjoyed the sessions. Everyone is really enthused and speaks about their time with you.’ Spring Meadows, staff member

ArtSpeak - Provides people aged 60+ with opportunities to take part in arts and socialise. We’ve been delighted to host weekly dance improvisation sessions.

‘Being over 60 should not exclude you from exciting contemporary dance experiences. To use Nottingham Contemporary adds a further message that we older people are worth it!’ Cool Company dance participant

Imara - Imara supports young people affected by sexual abuse. Young people at the gallery and with Imara created artworks together. The group use our spaces and we’re developing more ways to work together.

‘It’s been great to see relationships form between 1525 and young people from Imara.’ Imara Co-ordinator

A group of people tapping a giant green inflatable ball

Part of the city

We find and build ways to be part of the city, helping to make Nottingham a more inclusive and creative place.

Nottingham Refugee Week - With community partners we develop a city-wide programme of culture to welcome and celebrate Nottingham’s newly arrived communities.

‘Nottingham Contemporary demonstrates the vital role of the arts in creating a climate of sanctuary in our city.’ Chair, Nottingham Refugee Week

Reclaim the Night - Women worked with an artist to make protest banners and women’s experiences visible. Together, we are part of the annual march across the city.

‘There’s such an amazing feeling in the room with women and their families collaborating and supporting each other.’ Associate Artist, Nottingham Contemporary

People serving refreshments from a stall outdoors
Two women holding a large collaged banner with the words Woman, Life, Freedom in the outdoors at night

Free activities for families

Each school holiday families play and make together in our immersive environments.

This year we welcomed 6,000 family participants back.

‘We love what you do. It’s such a great way to spend the day together.’ Family participant

‘I absolutely loved watching the development of their ideas into something I would never have arrived at in a million years!’ Family participant

During school holidays, Rainbow Parents Carers Forum, a support group for families with children with special educational needs, have exclusive use of the galleries for workshops with artists.

‘An invaluable partnership that opens up their world and let’s young people be themselves and be creative.’Staff member, Rainbow Parent Carers Forum

A boy playing with a hula hoop on his outstretched arm wearing ear defending headphones
An adult and child sliding down a red slide together

Working together

We’re working to improve what we do by developing more ways for people to create and shape programmes with us.

1525 Collective - 1525 are a Young People’s collective. They meet at the gallery each week to socialise, develop creative work and programme events for wider groups of young people.

‘We put on our own exhibitions and events and I’ve been involved in exhibition openings and interview panels at the gallery. It’s beefed up my CV with customer service, public speaking and decision-making experiences.’ 1525 Collective member

Ubuntu - Ubuntu are a community research group. We’ve been working together to invite reflections and build new ways for local people to lead activity.

‘We need more spaces where people from the community run things for the community. We want to use our skills to bring people together.’ Ubuntu member

A group of young people with their backs to camera in artist studios
A group of adults and children seated in the gallery around a brightly coloured cloth

Coming up in 2023

Between January and March there’s a new warm hub for families with free films, drinks and snacks. Nottingham City Transport are providing free bus tickets too.

We’ll have more teacher development opportunities. We’re looking forward to hosting and being part of the National Literacy Trust’s Secondary Conference in the summer.

We’ve loved working with Nature in Mind on creative workshops in the outdoors. Look out for more creative walks to support health and wellbeing soon.

We’re looking forward to working with young people at Imara, Juno Voices and Green Action - Youth Climate Assembly.

We’re celebrating Schools of Tomorrow with children and teachers in April. To mark the end of our long- running Loudspeaker programme, we’re sharing an artwork and insights from the amazing women who were Peer Mentors in March.

An adult and two children waving, seated on a beanbag
A group of people outdoors putting plants in small containers

Thank you!

Thanks to everyone who has been part of our learning programmes in 2022 and to our friends and partners from education, arts, health and the community and voluntary sector.

Thanks to our principal funders Arts Council England and Nottingham City Council and our partners and funders Nottingham Trent University and the University of Nottingham.

And to the trusts and foundations who generously support our work – Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Weston Culture Fund, Foyle Foundation and The National Lottery Community Fund and the European Social Fund.

The Place We Imagine was made possible by support from The Ampersand Foundation and Outset Partners.

We would love to work with you in 2023, please get in touch with Amanda - 0115 948 9750 / learn@nottinghamcontemporary.org

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