Skip to main content Skip to site map (in footer)

City Arts (Nottingham) Ltd

City Arts creates arts opportunities and experiences that bring people together, stimulate change and create stronger, healthier communities. Their aim is for everyone to enjoy the benefits of participation in great art and have been pioneering innovative approaches for over 30 years.

Based in Nottingham, City Arts takes a creative and collaborative approach to working with communities, using cross artform programmes. They concentrate on working with communities and groups that are least engaged. Areas of specialism include high quality outdoor arts production, work with recent arrival artists and communities, professional development for artists, and research-based arts and health work.

Funding awards

  • 2012-2013: £53,100
  • 2013-2014: £54,321
  • 2014-2015: £55,734

Video feed

Carnival Parades in Nottingham City Centre

Here's a great little video created by Rosemary Alexander-Jones. It documents some of the preparations and processions for last years Night of Festivals in Nottingham, from the perspective somebody at the centre of it all. For the Nottingham leg of the touring festival, City Arts helped bring together international artists and companies with local people. We worked closely with Carnival specialists Mandinga Arts and Paraiso School of Samba, hosting dance workshops and samba drumming master-classes. If you missed out, or would like to see it again, the ArtReach festival will be in Slough on the 30 & 31 May 2014, and in Leicester on 16 & 17 August 2014. Video music: "Camp" by Podington Bear

Giant Puppets & Lanterns at Nottingham Light Night

There was a fantastic atmosphere in Nottingham City Centre last Friday (the 28th of February) as people and organisations across the city came together to put on activities and entertainment for the annual Light Night festival. City Arts always have great time at Light Night and this year was no exception. We teamed up with the Renewal Trust and the SEND project to lead two illuminated processions into Sneinton Market, a display of unity between communities in Sneinton and St Ann's. In the run up to the procession we worked with families and young people at the Chase Neighbourhood Centre in St Anns and the Greenway Centre in Sneinton to create beautiful willow lanterns. On the night of the 28th a procession set of from each of these locations, joined by live musicians and our giant puppets. More people joined us along the way and the two processions converged on a vibrant Sneinton Market, delighting the assembled crowd. The public took photos with our puppets and Stephen Jon was glowing in our carnival king costume. Thanks to everybody that took part in the processions and came along to see them.

Sea themed carnival troupe in Nottingham - City Arts @ Caribbean Carnival 2013

Our troupe, 'Neptune's Ocean Trash Can' in the 2013 Nottingham Caribbean Carnival. A huge thank-you to everyone who joined in and supported us for the Caribbean Carnival 2013. We were delighted how it all came together, and how many different people joined us on the road as well as worked with us in the lead up to the big day. We were supported by Nottinghamshire County Council to run Carnival Club in Gedling once again, as well as partnerships with London School of Samba, Paraiso via ArtReach Night of Festivals, the MLC Academy and Nottingham Carnival itself. Our crowd funding campaign also generated support, and thank-you to those individuals who personally invested in our carnival. The theme, Neptune's Ocean Trash Can, brought you the story of the seas. We wanted to highlight how much waste, pollution and Plastics ends up in the world's oceans every day. With this in mind, our troupe was created out of the leftovers - old plastic bags, water bottles, bits of packaging, costumes from old projects, and much more. The group of fantastic artists from Nottingham used these ideas and created dance, music, costume, and much more. They, quite literally, pushed the boat out with the ideas and carnival fun they brought. All of this was brought to life by the people who joined in. The many dancers, drummers, skeletons, jellyfish, pirates, king, scraggies and horses are what really brought the energy to the Carnival.

Show 15 more videos

Young people's music and dance showcase in Mansfield

This video shows the rehearsals for, performance of and response to The Elements, a wonderful showcase of work by the young participants of City Arts' Resonation programme. It features interviews with the artists who led the projects and the young people who took part. This spectacular performance took place at the Mansfield Palace Theatre in Febuary 2013. Resonation was developed during 2012-2013 with a grant from Youth Music. The programme focused on engaging young people from ex-mining communities in north Nottinghamshire. During this project we worked in partnership with MyPlace in Mansfield and the Samworth Church Academy in Forest Town. The project used music to increase the confidence, improve the life skills and support the personal development of young people with learning disabilities. Music sessions were held to train the young people to play City Arts' Giant Chime instruments. These unique instruments offered the young people participating an exciting and effective way to express themselves creatively, supported by professional artists and their peers.

Ghanaian Funeral Celebrations at Clumber Park

Slightly shakey view from the audience of the Grand Finale event celebrating Paa Joe's lion coffin in the beautiful surroundings of National Trust site, Clumber Park. We had a great day of mask and chime making workshops followed by this fantastic celebration. The grand finale was inspired by a traditional Ga funeral in which a coffin is traveled around a village in a bid to confuse the spirit so it cannot return and haunt its friends and relatives. It is believed the spirit must cross a stretch of water to shake off its demons and reach the land of the afterlife. Props to Artdocs and everyone else involved.

City Arts 2013 Carnival Troupe - Crowd Funding Campaign Video City Arts Troupe is the annual carnival group that City Arts creates for Nottingham Carnival. We work with children, young people and adults, bringing them together with dancers, carnival designers, musicians and street performers. Every year we choose a theme to inspire us, both for costume and music. For example, last year we looked at carnival in Haiti, and created characters and music inspired by Haitian carnival. This year our theme is partly inspired by the world's oceans, and partly by the need to recycle and reuse. We are planning for a large part of our Carnival Costumes to be created from Recycled materials. Your support will help us to work with young people from the Gedling area of Nottingham. The money you donate will allow us to develop the following three elements for the project: The Scraggies-- The Scraggies are a street theatre group, led by mask maker Stephen Jon. We would like to invite Stephen to work with our young people and bring some of his exciting masks and performance ideas into our carnival. Stephen is very experienced in working with young people and will be an exciting and creative energy to the project. The Boat-- Working with graffiti artist Nathan Bainbridge, we will make a boat float! Not one that floats on water, but a carnival float that can lead our troupe with pride. Nathan will gather ideas from our young people about what it looks like, and work to build something extraordinary! London School of Samba-- We have been invited to be part of a nationwide project with the London School of Samba. They would like to share their skills and experience with artists in Nottingham, who can then in turn develop their own ideas for future carnivals. This is an exciting opportunity to work with the UK's original samba school, bring in new ideas, and make something special for Carnival. All of these projects will come together at Nottingham Carnival on the 18th August, and with your help we can work with more people to bring colour and energy into their summer, as well as putting something great onto the streets.

Therapeutic effects of moulding clay

Clay Transformations was an innovative research project based at the University of Nottingham which investigated the therapeutic effects of using clay in work with teenagers dealing with feelings of anger, anxiety and depression. The project team was a cross disciplinary mix of academics, psychologists, psychotherapists and local artists, teamed up with professionals in the NHS, third sector and colleagues at Nottingham Contemporary and City Arts. The one-year project (2011-2012) focused on research that will support young people who access local mental health services often leading to psychosocial issues, exclusion and challenges regarding school environments. The researchers tested how working with clay might have a positive impact upon young people, and particularly how clay sculpting might help young people to express their thoughts and emotions. Anecdotally, we know clay appears to offer potential therapeutic effects and that through moulding, squashing, bending and breaking the clay it can have cathartic effects. The project developed tools to examine the use of clay in therapeutic contexts with particular focus on how clay enables participants to overcome social inhibition. With its qualities of cold resistance and suitability for creative play, clay could be an exciting alternative therapy for young people suffering from a range of mental health vulnerabilities, including ADHD and autism. The outcomes of this project and measures of inhibition were not conclusive, however there is future work planned with Nottingham University to undertake further research into this area of work. This project was funded by Nottingham University.

Experimental Choir Performance in Nottingham - City Arts @ WEYA

Working with award winning Dutch composer Merlijn Twaalfhoven (La Vie Sur Tere) and the Nottingham Royal Centre, City Arts produced a mass participation singing piece that was performed during the WEYA festival. Local choirs (including the Iona Singers, Streetwise Opera, Atmosphere Glee Choir and the Culture Box Choir), four local schools and individuals participated in a number of rehearsals in the run-up to WEYA. Each group worked with professional soloists. The resulting final performance was a bold and challenging multi-layered sound-scape created in the Royal Centre, with the different choirs positioned around the auditorium singing elements of the piece. This short film was produced by Ben Wiggley's the BBC/Arts Council England online arts The Space.

International Dance & Performance Art in Nottingham - City Arts @ WEYA

City Arts devised the 'More than one anchor' programme to build on the work of Artists in Exile, our programme of support for refugee and new arrival artists and Solo Art, Solo Heart, the Artists in Exile international performance showcase. We commissioned artists Choman Hardi, Gaylan Nazhad and Shane Shambhu, to work with community groups from across Nottingham, exploring themes and ideas around identity and sense of belonging. During August, creative writing workshops were facilitated by Choman and photography sessions by Gaylan, with movement and performance explored in sessions led by Shane. From these sessions, three poems where chosen to be used as inspiration for a final performance piece and a stunning series of black and white photographic portraits were produced. Shane then delivered a series of performance workshops with participants and visiting Kurdish-born artist, Sara Omar. The final piece, directed by Shane, was performed at Nottingham Contemporary alongside two pieces of Shane's own work (Pogunilla & Dr Jagad and Mr Haridas). This film, documenting the final event, was made by Ben Wigley.

Massive Silk Artwork in Nottingham - City Arts @ WEYA 2012

For World Event Young Artists City Arts worked with established textile maker Ali Pretty (Kinetica) and poet Panya Banjoko to deliver a textiles project with Nottingham community groups and families. In venues across the City we worked with the Meadows Conversation Group, Sherwood Textile Workshop, Double Impact, Zombie Group (After School Club at The Chase in St Ann's), Language Cafe / Culture Box and Future Foundations, a youth volunteering scheme. The artists also mentored student placements & early career artists who assisted in delivering the project. Inspired by the WEYA themes of global cultures and creative exchange, a 45-meter length of silk was produced using batik, with text and imagery created by local families and the names and place of birth of all the visiting artists. This was painted live in the Old Market Square attracting an audience of over 2500 people. Six mobile structures, decorated silk discs mounted on stalks, were produced by the community groups. This film was made by Ben Wigley.

Nottingham Poetry Workshop - City Arts @ WEYA

"More than one anchor" is one of four programmes that were put together by City Arts for World Event Young Artists 2012. This particular strand of work was developed by internationally acclaimed artists Choman Hardi, Gaylan Nazhad and Shane Shambhu, in conjunction with community groups from across Nottingham. This short film has been made for us by Ioney Smallhorne, Director of IS Creative Media. The film follows participant's journeys during a writing residency at Nottingham Central Library. The group explored poetry with Choman Hardi during the week of 6th August, leading up to WEYA in September. 19 participants each produced around 6 poems a day and worked towards creating 3 group poems that formed the story for a final performance piece during WEYA on 11th September at Nottingham Contemporary. The performance also included photography with community groups by Gaylan Nazhad and was artistically directed by Shane Shambhu, who worked with performers in producing the final showcase. City Arts would like to thank all of the artists and participants that have contributed to this programme of work, without which the work would not have been possible. The Mouthy Poets, Deborah Stevenson, Jim Hall, Jeren Artykova, Jessica Yeung, Maresa Mackeith, Ingrid Mclaren and Ioney Smallhorne Writing and photography workshops: Sooree Pillay, Lan, Mina Fatemi, Emma Constable, Alex Cooke, Beverley Stirling, Ellen Storey, Phil Molloy, Richard Goodson, Ahinee Mensah, Miah Jumbo and Shakawan Hama Juliet Line and groups The Language Café and Conversation Group who meet regularly at Nottingham Central Library.

Giant Chimes Performance in the City Arts Dome

Sabar Soundsystem perform on Saturday 14th September. For World Event Young Artists 2012. In Nottingham's Market Square.

Giant Outdoor Chime Instruments - City Arts

Our set of six 3 metre high chimes were created exclusively for City Arts and funded by the Foundation for Sport and the Arts. These chimes -- which spread over an 18 metre space - were invented and designed by Nottingham based Dragon's Den winner Michael Davis of Bass Tone Slap, with advice from academics at the Faculty of Engineering at Nottingham University. The chimes can be hired for community projects, events and festivals - played by young people, members of the wider community, who are supported by professional musicians.

Nottingham Light Night 2010 - Winter Carnival with Puppets

Since 2008, City Arts has been at the forefront of the February Light Night spectaculars in Nottingham, funded by the City Council. Working with schools, young people and musicians, we have created incredible illuminated processions through the City centre. In 2011, City Arts brought giant puppets from across the UK to create an incredible spectacular lit event in the Brewhouse Yard Garden, which was covered by BBC Television.

Imagination - Street Arts, Carnival and Dance from City Arts

City Arts and Nottingham City Council is working in partnership with Kinetika, a carnival arts organisation, on ImagiNation. It is a street and carnival spectacular - performed first at the Wollaton Hall Children's Festival in Nottingham and then the celebrations for the Olympic Handover in Coventry.

Giant Instruments at Derby Feste 2011 - City Arts

Chimes performance and participation at Derby Feste 2011.

Music and Dance at Nottingham Mela 2010 - City Arts

Celebration of Asian music, dance, art and culture. City Arts hosts a collaboration between BassToneSlap and Manushi Dance.

Nottingham's The Big Walk 2010 - City Arts

City Arts takes puppets Atom and Starchild out on a walk around Nottingham.

Arts Council England is not responsible for the social media content on this organisation's page

Contact details

City Arts Nottingham Ltd
11-13 Hockley

52.953541, -1.13924

  • 52.953541 -1.13924

View all National portfolio organisation and Major partner museums on our interactive map

Seen something out of date?
Tell us