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7 Things For Young Creatives To Do In Nottingham

20 December 16 words: Elizabeth O’Riordan

Nottingham is a city that’s bubbling over with creativity. We were crowned UNESCO City of Literature in December 2015, we’re home to famous actors and actresses including BAFTA Award winning actress, Vicky McClure, and we’ve got shedloads of musicians popping out the woodwork at all times. If that’s got you feeling right inspired, youth, get stuck in to some of Nottingham’s creative offerings that’ll provide you with the time and space to create, with some professional encouragement along the way. Have a goose at these here suggestions...

Young Creative Awards
Nottingham hosts the Young Creative Awards each year to give youngsters in Nottingham the chance to showcase their talents. Sponsored by a variety of businesses and organisations, the awards are free to enter for anyone aged 13-24 years old.

This year’s competition opens on Monday 8 January, and you can enter work into a whole heap of categories, including architecture and design, visual arts, photography, music, graphic design, film, fashion and textiles, dance, creative writing and animation and digital media. Not only is entering a chance to get your work noticed and attend a very posh awards ceremony, but there are also cash prizes up for grabs invaluable connections to make. Take a peek at the Young Creative Awards website for all the entry criteria and inspiration to get started.

NGY myplace
A charity youth organisation full of fitness, counselling and health studios, NGY myplace might not be the first place that pops into mind when you’re looking for somewhere to get creative. But, contrary to your first impressions, it’s a supportive and free place for young people to explore different creative skills. The state-of-the-art centre on Castle Gate is jam-packed with all sorts of facilities for film, broadcasting and music creation. There are folk skilled in the art of everything from music videos to documentaries, as well as opportunities to learn all the tricks behind a radio show or produce your own music. Pop your head in and see what’s cracking off.

We all know Nottingham Contemporary as the city centre art gallery with some of the maddest exhibitions about town. But what you might not know, is that it’s a bustling hub for young creatives, and it’s so easy to get involved. The gallery has an entire section on their website dedicated to young people, with information about their Collabor-8 group. The programmed is open to anyone between aged 15-25 and young people welcome to come along for free and get involved with the monthly Friday workshop and socials at the end of every exhibition. To get involved with Collabor-8, drop youth programmer Raluca an email on [email protected]


Nottingham Young Writers
Nottingham Young Writers is a monthly group that meet at the Central Library, organised by Writing East Midlands. On a Saturday afternoon from 1pm, Niki Valentine, screenwriter and author of The Haunted and Possessed leads the writing sessions for youngsters aged 11-14 with an interest in becoming one of the city's next great writers, or who just fancy doing something different with their weekend. Head to the Writing East Midlands website and look under the young writers section. It might be worth signing up for their mailing list even if you’re over fourteen, since Writing East Midlands are often active in new projects and literary festivals for all ages.

Illuminate Youth Panel
If you’re well up for getting involved in your local arty and historical community, the Illuminate Youth Panel is the place you need to hit up next. Working closely with Nottingham Castle, this set of 15-24 year olds work together with museum staff and artists to create projects and exhibitions with the aim of making Nottingham museums more accessible. You don’t need miles of experience, but you do need to be proper interested in the arts, museums and history. You also need to be committed to attending the weekly meetings at Brewhouse Yard to discuss whatever is on the agenda.

Community Recording Studio
This one’s a biggun. Based in St Ann’s, Community Recording Studios run a number of projects with young people, including film, video and music skills. You can also access professional recording equipment and make some key industry contacts that’ll see you right in the creative community. CRS aim to help young people develop skills and participate in society, so a lot of time and effort goes into contributing to the community and bringing awareness to creative young people.If you’re still not convinced, head over to their Facebook page and read some of the reviews from other young people. They’ll convince you that CRS is worth its weight in gold.

Rough Trade
Since it opened in 2014, Rough Trade has been a gem for buying CDs, books and records. But the record store has also worked hard to build a creative stomping ground for anyone who wants to get involved. Not all of us are talented in music, writing or art, but that doesn’t mean we can’t all have a go and contribute to the rich cultural scene all around the city. Rough Trade hosts a variety of events including live music, craft fairs and markets and open mic nights for poetry, dance and comedy. You can get involved in any of these as an audience member, or take a leap of faith and take something along to perform. Keep your eyes peeled for the next

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