Coming soon to Nottingham – 250 young artists from across the world! Choose from visual art, performances, literature, digital art, moving image and more.

This is the UK Young Artists City Takeover, happening across our city, from the 7th until the 13th February 2019. Artists have been selected from a record number of applications, and come from China, South Korea as well as Europe and the UK. Visitors can expect to be immersed in an array of extraordinary, innovative and contemporary work. And it is all free! You will need to book for some of the events, but it’s still free.

This is an important event for Nottingham, one of the largest biennials of national and international artists in the world, a registered charity that champions the next generation of creativity. An important element is the collaboration between artists, creating spaces for dancers and sculptors, photographers and musicians to connect. Painters, dramatists, writers, and digital artists get the chance to forge collaborations with poets, ceramicists and filmmakers, at workshops and social meetings. Nottingham has a rich cultural heritage and a tradition of artist led projects including the influential Midland Group (1943 to 1987), and more recently the New Midland Group which aims to develop the promotion of visual arts and artists. UKYA City Takeover will continue this tradition of bringing international artists to Nottingham and draw focus to the dynamic arts scene in the city.

The event is being run with the help of an enthusiastic band of volunteers, who will be helping with installation, technical skills, stewarding, invigilating exhibitions, and creating a social media frenzy!

To quote Michelle Bowen, Director, UK Young Artists:

UKYA City Takeover: Nottingham 19, our most ambitious project to date, takes place on the eve of the UK leaving the European Union. It presents a powerful survey show by a generation of politically and socially engaged artists, from all nationalities, seeking in uncertain times to respond to and also reimagine the future

Amongst all this culture, there is a good selection of spoken word and literary events.

Fancy a performance on a moving bus? The 900 Club’ on 8th February (and again on the 10th) is a spoken word theatre show: a narrative character piece that “blends minimalistic theatre and Scottish performance poetry.” Four friends take the Megabus from Glasgow to Edinburgh for a camping trip in memory of a friend who died 5 years before. Join them on their bus journey and eavesdrop on their sometimes heart-warming, often awkward reunion.

Then on Saturday 9th February is the first poetry event, with a Poetry Double Bill from Roma Havers and Connor Macleod.

There are not just one, but two poetry jams, on the 10th and 12th February. The first of these features the Kent Poetry Team, winners of UKYA’s UniSlam in 2018, with solo and group poems. And the second brings poetry and music from some of the UK’s most exciting emerging writers; Roundhouse resident artist, Katie Gill; UniSlam finalists, Ife Grillo and Courtney Conrad; and Nottingham-based confessional rapper, Jordon the Ego.

Mother Tongue Readings at Five Leaves Bookshop on 11th February has international writers and poets performing their work in a mix of English and their mother tongue. This session also includes the installation Poetry Partea by Sonia Marpez, in which you can take home your own poetry tea bag.

For those wanting to get creative themselves, JohnBerkavitch will be running a workshop on 11th February, exploring various approaches for developing semi-autobiographical writing for performance. John is a former UK Slam Poetry Champion, as well as storyteller, breakdancer, and digital artist.

So, get booking, and make the most of this chance to experience some of the most creative young talent around.

More details of all the events can be found at

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