Internationally recognised and at the heart of Norwich’s cultural community, Norwich Arts Centre is contemporary performance and music venue that delivers a daily programme of live music, theatre, dance, live art, visual art, literature and comedy.
We pride ourselves on our friendly and committed staff team and our beautiful historic building. We are nestled within the Norwich Lanes and are very proud to be a part of such a vibrant and independent scene.
We offer a diverse programme and provide a platform for new and emerging music with some top memorable gigs from First Aid Kit, Django Django, Savages, Kate Tempest and Young Fathers to name just a few over recent years. In recognition of this we received the prestigious NME Britain’s Best Small Venue award in 2014.
In June 2017 we were one of 47 venues across the UK to be awarded a BBC Music Day blue plaque in honour of our musical heritage.
Just under a year before our 40th anniversary, in October 2018, Norwich Arts Centre was awarded a much needed £499,000 grant by Arts Council England for an exciting new regeneration project to transform the venue’s accessibility and carbon footprint. We have spent two years making some huge improvements!
We have worked hard to ensure our building is as environmentally friendly as possible with LED lighting throughout, touch taps and dryers and electric shutters in the hall for daylight. We stopped buying single-use bottles of water and instead, provide NAC bio bottles and re-fill points to all artists. We’ve calculated that they have prevented us buying around 8000 single-use plastic bottles a year. We have also started development of our back garden to create a wellbeing space for staff, community groups and wildlife.
We have received the Charter Panel approved accreditation at Gold Level and this month we have joined organisations around the world to declare a climate emergency. We will continue to put environmental sustainability at the heart of our operation and programming.
We have also made huge improvements to our accessibility with touch pad entry systems, hearing loops, new refurbished access toilet and new gender neutral toilets. We are committed to making the venue accessible to everyone so they can enjoy the whole programme. We always try to accommodate access needs to the best of our ability and last year we received a Bronze Award from Attitude Is Everything, who improves Deaf and disabled people’s access to live music. We are continuing our improvements to get Gold!
We are a Theatre of Sanctuary and have close connections to New Routes so we can offer a safe space for local refugees to attend live events for free.
We work with Norwich Pride and LGBTQ+ communities to programme performances to showcase local and national LGBTQIA+ talent and are a Norwich Pride Ally.
We work closely with Young Norfolk Arts Trust to provide a platform for young artists, poets and musicians to perform and have just launched our own Young Peoples Programme, Young Visionaries.
We relentlessly strive to bring a rich and culturally diverse programme of music and performance to the city. We are valued venue for the local community; a place where connections are made, where friendships flourish and love stories begin!
We’re looking forward to the future with renewed energy since re-opening after lockdown and have a packed programme of events. We have been working to develop our branded events around live electronics with HARK, new noise with PONY UP, soul & worldbeat with Round Midnight and contemporary classical with Tone.
Highlights coming up are HARK presents Max Cooper electronic live AV show on Thursday 21 April that will showcase the venue auditorium in a whole new light using 180 degree projections across the walls and pillars.
Round Midnight presents Vels Trio, an up and coming Brighton based experimental jazz group on Sunday 15 May.
Tone presents Roger Eno, British composer and pianist who will be performing his debut solo album The Turning Year on Wednesday 8 June.
Highlight from our new noise programme has to be PONY UP presents Wet Leg on Sunday 24 April who have taken the music industry by storm this year and have sold out performances across the world!
You can see our full list of events on our website https://norwichartscentre.co.uk
Thanks to Kelly Robb for the information provided. Kelly is a Marketing & Communications Manager at the Norwich Arts Centre.
Photo: Courtesy NAC, Leafcutter John – The Comet is Coming (28 November 2019)