Friends, partners, dignitaries, specials guests and participants past and present joined the City Arts team to launch the organisation’s fortieth anniversary year. At the same time, we launched the new ‘art garden’ – an open space for creative activity – in the backyard of our building.

We treated guests to ‘ruby’ themed drinks and food whilst they enjoyed an exhibition of work by Mike Sinclair and Carol Crowe. Mike used the screenprint facilities at Nottingham Community Arts & Craft Centre (the original City Arts!) in the early 1980s, producing posters for his various bands and Nottingham’s iconic Rock & Reggae festival. Carol used to work at the centre and is a former board member.  Long-time City Arts collaborator Chris Lewis-Jones brought his accordion to provide a soundtrack for the event. Artist Mik Godley used his iPad to draw portraits of the guests.

City Arts chair Tim Challans opened with a speech thanking attendees, explaining what we do and hinting at our plans for the next 40 years:

“If we want cultural democracy, elitism should make way for creativity. And that is what City Arts does – it uses a wide range of skills to support people of all abilities to create art. Without compromising standards and quality City Arts offers a friendly environment, inside and outside this building for anybody to enhance their lives through creative activity.

Above our window is the slogan ‘art is for everyone, art brings us together, art can change lives’ – that is what we believe and that is what we practice and I hope that, with help from you, our friends we can continue to do so for another 40 years.”

Thank you to all who attended.  It was great to meet people that have been involved with the organisation throughout its history. It was fantastic to have the Lord Mayor, Sherrif and Nottingham and Deputy to the Lord Lieutenant present. The celebrations continue throughout the year – read more about it here and keep checking our programme for more fantastic events.

If you’ve been involved with City Arts or Nottingham Community Arts at any point in the last 40 years and would like to share your memories, get in touch with Joe at joe@city-arts.org.uk or Tweet/Instagram using the hashtag #CityArtsAt40.

Photos by Mary Strickson, one of our Young Producers.