Over 40% of the City of Nottingham’s population is aged 15-29. But despite having one of the largest university populations in the country (1 in 8 is a university student), progression to higher education amongst local residents is much lower than the national average. Around a third of Nottingham’s children and young people live in workless households and educational achievement at GCSE level is amongst the lowest in the country.
Understanding of the role the arts play in their lives, the barriers to involvement, how best to overcome them.
Circuit is helping the gallery to learn much more about young people, their lives and identities, including how they feel others see them. It is giving both Nottingham Contemporary and the young people participating an enhanced understanding of the role the arts play in their lives, the barriers to involvement, how best to overcome them, and how participating in the arts feeds into both personal and career development.
Partnerships with the youth sector, formal education and informal peer led groups are opening up the programme to those who have least engagement with the arts. Monthly social and music nights attract a diverse audience and provide a platform for different groups to shape and host events. Young people from Circuit are gaining paid work experience at the gallery, and one has already found a permanent position. Circuit is being delivered by new young staff who work within and across the learning and marketing teams, supported by management, who value the role young people can play in shaping an organization.
The program is the only chance I’ve had, outside of education, to network with other likeminded people and put my creative skills to use.
“My journey with Circuit is one that I don’t want to end any time soon! This is largely due to the fact that I get to meet other creative individuals on a fortnightly basis, to discuss getting other young arty types involved with us in fun things at our local gallery. I have learnt so much through this program such as technical and communication skills as well as gaining many new friends. The program is the only chance I’ve had, outside of education, to network with other likeminded people and put my creative skills to use.”