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Nottingham Contemporary is an international art centre with a strong sense of local purpose.


We believe that contemporary artists offer extraordinary perspectives on contemporary society.

  • We are committed to excellence, experimentation, ambition and innovation – in contemporary art and within our own organisation.
  • We promote the research, exchange and dissemination of ideas inspired by today’s art practices across disciplines and cultures, working with a wide range of partners.
  • We offer local people a stimulating cultural and social hub, while attracting national and international visitors to the city.
  • We work to attract new, diverse audiences to contemporary art through innovative educational activities, our communications and our events.
  • We support the creative and critical empowerment of artists and audiences. Both play an active role in our organisation.

Our organisation

Nottingham Contemporary is one of Britain’s largest and leading centres for contemporary art. The Observer has called its programme “constantly inventive.” We are a registered arts and educational charity, with free admission to the public. We present four contemporary visual arts exhibitions a year.

We opened in November 2009 in a new, purpose built £20m, 3,000 sq metre building, designed by architects Caruso St. John, on the edge of the historic Lace Market, in Nottingham’s Creative Quarter.

Nottingham Contemporary is governed by a Board of non-executive Directors. We currently employ around the full-time equivalent of 36 staff, some on a part-time basis.

Our principal revenue funding partners are Arts Council England and Nottingham City Council. Our public programme of Talks and Events is funded by Nottingham Trent University and The University of Nottingham. In addition, we have many other funders for our artistic and educational activities. We also have corporate sponsor, and corporate and individual benefactors and supporters.

Our Artistic Programme

Nottingham Contemporary’s principal art form is contemporary visual arts, presented in 770 square metres of exhibition space. Ambitious group shows such as Star City, Aquatopia, Kafou: Haiti, Art and Voudou or Rights of Nature have been produced here. Pairs of solo exhibitions have included Francis Upritchard and Alfred Kubin and Marvin Gaye Chetwynd and Tala Madani. Our exhibitions have toured to, or been developed in partnership with, CAAC Seville, De Appel, Amsterdam, CAPC Bordeaux, Tate Liverpool and Tate St Ives, among many others.

Our Learning Programme

We believe that contemporary art offers life-changing learning opportunities for all ages. Around 25,000 people a year take part in our activities for schools, families, young people and community groups. We work with 20 City of Nottingham schools every year in an artist-led programme across the curriculum, with strong links to literacy. Our community work includes a partnership with the Refugee Forum, and with Changing Lives on our Loudspeaker project for women at risk. Our young peoples group Collabor-8 Collective is working on a major festival, Affinity, as part of the Circuit initiative.

Our Public Programme

Our acclaimed cross-disciplinary free Public Programme of lectures, talks, symposia, film screenings and performances is funded through a partnership with Nottingham Trent University and The University of Nottingham. It informs and expands on ideas raised by the exhibitions across any areas of thought and experience. Events are streamed live and research is archived on our website. We have additional research partnerships with both universities.

Our audience

Nottingham Contemporary has significantly increased the audience for contemporary art in our city. We attract around 200,000 visitors a year, around 64% from our local area, around 15% national and 6% international. Our audience is relatively young – around 50% are under 35. Around half of our audience visits with children in the summer. We work hard to attract new and unexpected audiences to contemporary art exhibitions and our other activities. Our online presence is strong, with around 250,000 unique annual visits to our website and 90,000 digital subscribers across platforms. Our social media channels are here.

Other art forms

As part of our audience development strategy, and to integrate the gallery into the wider life of our city, we actively host the work of other local organisations in our 300 sq metre performance space. Partners have included Dance4, NEAT, Hockley Hustle, New Contemporaries, WEYA and City of Football.

Our Shop, Café and Social Spaces

Café.Bar.Contemporary is a popular social space with a free live music programme of upcoming local bands on Saturdays. Shop.Contemporary sells the work of many small creative companies, and hosts Craft.Design.Contemporary, for upcoming regional designers and makers at Christmas.


Nottingham Contemporary encourages comment, debate and information sharing online and across its social media channels. We reserve the right to remove posts that we consider abusive, offensive, inappropriate, malicious or intimidating, or that might constitute harassment or bullying.