Here We Are, Ongoing
We are lucky to have the Forest Recreation Ground on our doorstep, and with our building having been closed due to covid-19 since March, our Community and Learning team launched Here We Are in September 2020.
Here We Are was a six-week series of outdoor workshops using the natural environment and arts activities to reconnect with young people after the first lockdown.
Our team and their youth groups stayed in touch online during lockdown, but everyone was excited to take part in workshops together again outside. The activities included lots of movement, collaboration, and multi-sensory explorations inspired by the autumn colours of the Forest Recreation Ground community gardens.
The young people involved told us how important this experience was for their wellbeing, self-esteem and creativity.
"Connected again after not being properly connected during lockdown"
"Relaxed and happy"
"Calm, a release from the house"
Our team brought these brilliant young people together to help them reconnect with nature and each other. They have continued to support them through YARD and Art Clubs. We are currently planning further Here We Are projects in the Forest Recreation Community Gardens, so look out for updates on our social media soon.
Communities Linked, Ongoing
Our team collaborated with Communities Inc for a series of online conversations in February 2021 to explore what being actively anti-racist means to local people, and how we can unite across communities to combat racism together. These conversations came from a place of truth and hope, looking at how we take action through mutual support.
Working with professional musicians Mr Shay and JayaHadADream, these sessions included spoken word and poetry to help inspire our thinking and created dialogue to encourage interactive, friendly and forward-thinking discussions.
These community conversations have helped inform the creation of a short film. We're currently working with the artists to produce and distribute this film which will represent our visions for an actively anti-racist city. Keep your eyes on our social media for updates about the film.
Refugee Week, 12 - 20 June 2021
Every year, we host a range of special events during Refugee Week in June to celebrate the positive contributions to society that refugees make and challenge the stereotypes and barriers that exist between communities through the arts, debates and cultural exchange.
This year, we are hosting Sun Up, Rain Falls, River Rises - a collection of three short stories and soundscapes created by Phosphoros Theatre. These audio narratives will take you to three different countries as you listen to the memories share by the writers.
Three new music compositions by Mira Siegel respond to and complete each narrative. Using posters with artwork by Pickle Illustration, we will utilise QR codes to ensure audiences can enjoy the pieces whilst maintaining social distancing measures.
You can find this sound walk installation at Forest Recreation Ground (Gregory Blvd, Forest Fields, NG7 6HB) or listen online here.
Walk The Talk, 18 June 2021
Walk the Talk events are themed community walks, looking at social issues whilst walking through urban or natural landscapes across Nottingham.
During Refugee Week, and in the spirit of this year's theme 'We Cannot Walk Alone', we are offering a guided walk following the sound-walk installation Sun Up, Rain Falls, River Rises.
This guided walk will start at NAE and we will walk together to the Forest Recreation Ground. We will march together stopping along the way to listen to the narratives of the installation collectively. The walk will finalise in a small gathering at the Community Gardens for a cup of tea, some nibbles, and a discussion.
Black Lives Matter Project, ongoing
This project emerged out of the BLM protests around the world, and as a direct response to the collective need to shift current practices around anti-racism in and outside of New Art Exchange. The protest in Nottingham in June 2020 also brought more attention to the local context of institutionalised racism.
The project is currently being developed as a collaborative effort across teams at NAE. An eagerness to change strategies and methodologies is driving this process, which aims to reflect on and tackle the urgent question of what it is to actively practice anti-racism today.
Whilst the project is yet to be finalised, it intends to lead to the creation of a discursive and interactive space in the Main Gallery – not simply another exhibition, for visitors to take up space, contribute and question anti-racism. This is a work in process which we hope will anticipate and support NAE's development as a leading anti-racist organisation, creating research and learning that will inform future strategies, policies, and project strands with a stronger local resonance.