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Strategic partner Nottingham Contemporary launch RESPONSE publications created by NTU students

Nottingham Trent University (NTU) and strategic partner Nottingham Contemporary collaborate to provide students with an opportunity to explore creative talent.

Students holding copies of the RESPONSE publication
Photo by Georgia Stone

As part of the long standing strategic partnership between the two institutions, NTU students from across Arts and Humanities, Social Sciences and Art and Design were invited to take part in the RESPONSE placement scheme at Nottingham Contemporary.

Students were invited to write expressions of interest and submit their CV's to take part in the scheme, with Nottingham Contemporary staff on hand to provide advice and feedback to all applicants to help them improve their shortlisting chances for future opportunities.

From those who applied, two groups of twenty were chosen to take part, and introduced to the staff, building and programme at Nottingham Contemporary. Students were encouraged to immerse themselves within their surroundings and were often surprised by the sheer volume and breadth of work the Nottingham Contemporary undertook, as well as the broad range of roles and career opportunities.

The goal of the placement was for students to research, write, illustrate, photograph, edit, design, print, launch and distribute an issue of RESPONSE, a unique and original publication. They were provided with suggestions from Nottingham Contemporary staff for planning, as well as a framework for decision making, however overall editorial decisions were the sole responsibility of the students.

Through the project, students were actively encouraged to push themselves beyond their comfort zones, using it as a key opportunity to learn new skills and share knowledge. Students formed working groups to develop texts, images and design, as well as plan a launch event. The experience provided students the opportunity to build confidence, communication and teamworking skills, with students from across various subjects undertaking peer mentoring, sharing skills, approaches and networks.

The content produced for the two issues of 'This is Our Response' covers a wide range of topics, and combines reflection with research, interviews, original poetry and art. Each issue was inspired by how Nottingham Contemporary exhibitions and activities reach out to local, national and international audiences. This often results in a connection between Nottingham Contemporary's programmes and current social, political and global agendas.

One of the students involved, Theodora said '(The placement) really helped me further enhance my communication skills and share my viewpoints as part of a team. Moreover, gain illustration experience which is something that really interests me for freelancing opportunities. It also helped me gain more insight from Nottingham Contemporary, and see behind the scenes of a big exhibition space'.

Katy Culbard, Placement Manager at Nottingham Contemporary said 'Facilitating RESPONSE placements is an honour and pleasure for me, and very inspiring to see students taking risks, trying new approaches and learning from each other, and being part of a professional, creative editorial team to produce fascinating books'.

The placement accumulated in a successful launch event held at Nottingham Contemporary in May, featuring live music and poetry performances from some of the students involved. All students received printed copies of the publication to keep, as well as a statement of achievement highlighting their individual contribution to the project.

You can read more about NTU's strategic partners within our cultural sector on our website.

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