Nottingham Residents Invited to Take Part in World-First Citizen Assembly Initiative at New Art Exchange

Photos: Tom Morley
Saturday 06 April 2024
reading time: min, words

New Art Exchange (NAE) is setting a global precedent for community-led arts delivery with the launch of the VOICE Assembly, a permanent citizen assembly to be included within the diverse arts organisation's leadership structure. The initiative invites forty local residents to represent the wider community and directly shape NAE’s neighbourhood strategy and investments. NAE is developing a blueprint for cultural institutions worldwide, championing citizen-led decision-making in arts and culture.

Co Curated By A Citizen Panel, One Of NAE’S Initiatives, The NAE Open, Features An Array Of Artworks From Local And Global Ethnic Majority Artists Addressing Societal Themes, Fostering A Space For Conversation And Artist Development

New Art Exchange (NAE), Nottingham's pioneering creative space, has unveiled the 'VOICE Assembly,' a permanent group of local residents chosen by lottery which will form part of its leadership framework. This transformative move positions NAE as the first cultural institution in the world to include direct local leadership at the heart of its strategic decisions.

Forty residents from Hyson Green and its diverse surroundings will make up the 'VOICE Assembly', ensuring a fair and unbiased representation in shaping NAE’s neighbourhood’s strategy and initiatives. This permanent inclusion of local voices not only aims to facilitate positive change but is an innovative approach to a more inclusive cultural offering.

Over the next week, residents will receive an invitation and those interested in taking part will be asked to register, with the final participants being selected by lottery. The VOICE Assembly will run its first meeting across 3 sessions on Thursday 23, Friday 24 and Saturday 25 May, with participants receiving £300 to thank them for their time and efforts. 

Over the last 18 months, NAE has used community-led panels to shape pivotal programming decisions, totalling £190,000 in investment towards arts and local development. The outcomes from these panels include who the artists, communities, and partners NAE would commission to develop and deliver work within the neighbourhood, setting a new benchmark for citizen-led decision-making in the arts.

Saad Eddine Said, CEO and Artistic Director of New Arts Exchange says; “We believe in the power and necessity for local residents to lead and make a real difference. This is why we're thrilled to introduce the VOICE Assembly as a permanent pillar of our leadership here at New Art Exchange. It's about putting our neighbourhood at the heart of our decision-making, truly shaping our vision and strategy for the art and culture we all live with and love. As the first initiative of its kind, we're eager to share this journey with others around the world and hope that community-led decision-making becomes a permanent fixture in the leadership structures of cultural institutions.”

Darren Henley, Chief Executive at Arts Council England says: “It’s exciting to see our National Portfolio Organisations thinking up innovative ways of working with their communities. The VOICE assembly will help New Art Exchange shape the kind of creative activities and cultural experiences people living in Hyson Green want to see and take part in. I look forward to seeing how the assembly develops, helping New Art Exchange to serve their existing and future audiences even better.”

For more information on New Arts Exchange and the VOICE assembly, please visit

We have a favour to ask

LeftLion is Nottingham’s meeting point for information about what’s going on in our city, from the established organisations to the grassroots. We want to keep what we do free to all to access, but increasingly we are relying on revenue from our readers to continue. Can you spare a few quid each month to support us?

Support LeftLion

Please note, we migrated all recently used accounts to the new site, but you will need to request a password reset

Sign in using

Or using your

Forgot password?

Register an account

Password must be at least 8 characters long, have 1 uppercase, 1 lowercase, 1 number and 1 special character.

Forgotten your password?

Reset your password?

Password must be at least 8 characters long, have 1 uppercase, 1 lowercase, 1 number and 1 special character.