Young People Archive

Over the years our young people have been involved with some major projects within our gallery and around the city.


In 2020, 1525 Collective responded quickly to Covid-19’s effect on their group and wider communities at the beginning of the pandemic. Together, they produced an online open resource google document to direct local residents to helpful links, resources, and information. Alongside this, a weekly hybrid activity was created by the collective for others to work on in their own time and space, shared online to public via social media, and shared in collective online ZOOM meetings. These change-making projects allow young people to socially engage and respond in sudden challenging times.


Nottingham Contemporary was shortlisted for Art Fund’s Museum of the Year in 2019 with an emphasis on the strength of our education and learning approaches. 1525 Collective was interviewed by BBC News at 10 and featured on the front cover of Nottingham Evening Post.

We created a project to explore identity and urban journeys with the Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Refugee Forum youth group. Work included a programme of activities, visits and walks to local artists and arts venues which resulted in the development of a zine in the final week. Later on, in the year, we ran ‘COOK & DRAW’ - a 3 day summer school, teaching participants drawing techniques and cooking skills.


In 2018, together with 1525 Collective we defined our approach to programming: to build confidence, self-esteem and transferable skills experimental through a programme that is critically engaged, holistic, skills-based, and mutually supportive. Sessions include journalism, photography, poetry, voguing, and meditation workshops, as well as 4-week curating course led by our curators and director.

The collective were consultants for Arts Council England’s next 10-year strategy and developed a partnership with British Council & Nottingham Trent University to involve local young artists in a Venice Biennale Fellowship programme.

Since 2018, 1525 Collective have produced research projects displayed in our project space, Gallery 0. So far, we have explored topics from queer club culture and youth voices in politics around the world.


In 2017, 'Creative Connections' gave the opportunity for young people from The Farnborough Academy in Nottingham to work with photographer Katherine Green to create new photographic responses to the National Portrait Gallery’s Collection and their local area.


In 2016, we worked in collaboration with young refugees and artist Hetain Patel to create a multi-screen video piece which shared young people’s stories of coming to the UK, and was shown at the launch event for Refugee Week 2016.

We have also worked with Crocus Fields, a respite service for young people with learning differences, most of whom are non-verbal. Artist, Sam Metz, worked with the young artists from Crocus Fields to develop their skills and responses to artworks in our galleries.


In 2015, Collabor8 organised Affinity Festival. After a year’s planning, programming and hard work and dedication, the festival became a huge success, reaching 4,000 young people aged 15-25 over two days. Other events include Collabor8’s regular party events, Frequency, which included music, gaming, creative workshops, vintage photography booths and more. Collabor8 also programmed regular after-hours film nights inspired by our exhibitions, among many other events.


Since 2010, we have always offered valuable creative learning experiences for young people. Before 1525 Collective, our collective was called Collabor8. The Collabor8 collective grew from of a national programme called Circuit led by Tate and funded by Paul Hamlyn Foundation, which took place 2013-2017 and aimed to connect 15–25 year olds to the arts. Through this project, nearly 10,000 young people in the programme were involved in programming, courses, events and workshops

See our archive of past events here.

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