Arts directory

If you love any aspect of the arts from writing to painting or singing to photography, there are lots of friendly groups and clubs across the region to get involved in. We’ve brought them all together in one place to help you find one near you.

You can also explore the arts venues in our district.

Find out more about arts events and festivals in Newark and Sherwood.

Music and choirs

There are lots of opportunities for you to enjoy and get involved with live music and singing locally.

Bilsthorpe community choir

Bilsthorpe Community Choir is open to all local people. It’s all about promoting community cohesion, wellbeing and fun social interaction through the enjoyment of singing. No experience is necessary, just a willingness to join in. The choir meet up every other Thursday evening at The Green Centre, Valley Approach, Bilsthorpe. Contact Reverend Anna Alls on annaalls96@gmail.com to find out more.

Dukeries singers

This mixed voice choir sings weekly at the Dukeries Complex, Whinney Lane, New Ollerton with concert performances eight to ten times a year. For more information contact the concert secretary on 01623 822070.

Just Sing

Just Sing is Newark's community choir with over 60 members singing for fun. The choir is friendly and open to everyone. There is no audition or a need to read music. Admission is by donation on alternate Saturday mornings 10am to midday at the Congregational Church Hall, off Hatton Gardens, Newark. 

To find out more about the Just Sing choir visit their website or email choir director Peter Higgins info@justsing.euWatch a documentary about the choir on You Tube.  

Newark amateur operatic society (NAOS)

NAOS has been in existence for over 75 years, producing successful shows which are well received by audiences. Call 07835 291295 or e-mail info@newarkoperaticsociety.co.uk or follow NAOS on facebook

Newark and Sherwood concert band

Newark and Sherwood concert band currently has over 50 members. They rehearse on Tuesday each week at Castle House, NG24 1BY. Find out more and contact them via the Newark and Sherwood band website.

Newark community band

Newark community band is a newly formed band playing popular modern songs. They help at local events and charity fundraisers. The band practice once a month under the leadership of Andrew Coe. If you play brass, woodwind or percussion, get in touch with Andrew for more information on drandrewcoe@hotmail.com

Newark music club

Promoting six concerts a year in the season starting in October ending in April/May. Trips to Nottingham Royal Concert Hall are arranged for members. We also organise recorded music evenings on the first Friday of every month at Barnbygate Town Club. Concert also at Kelham Hall and Barnbygate Methodist Church. Contact Mrs D Robertson on 01636 705505.

Newark town band

Newark town’s very own brass band has over 50 years of rich musical history, providing quality entertainment in the field of brass music both within Newark and the surrounding area. Contact Newark town band via their Facebook account.

Nottingham boys choir

For boys age 6 and up to learn, have fun and perform a variety of music form Bach to the Beatles to Bruno Mars! Rehearsals are on Wednesday evenings. For more information visit the Nottingham boys choir website.

Major Oak chorus

This a capella male chorus are members of the British Association of Barbershop Singers. They’re comprised of around 50 ordinary men from all walks of life who are united in a love of music and singing. They perform in the community at events throughout the year, as well as at the annual national competition where they have finished as high as sixth. Find out more on the Major Oak chorus website.

Southwell choral society

Southwell choral society perform a variety of choral works in the historic Minster setting. Rehearsals are held in the Minster school on Monday evenings in term time from 7.30pm -9.15pm. New members are always welcome. Find out more on the Southwell choral society website.

Southwell Minster chorale

The Minster choral is a friendly choir that meets once a week and performs services and occasional concerts in Southwell Minster throughout the year. For more information visit the Southwell Minster website.

Southwell orchestral society

A community orchestra meeting every Wednesday evening in the WI Hall throughout the year from 7.30pm to 9.30pm. Players of any instrument at any standard are always welcome. Find out more on the Southwell orchestral society website.

Village ventures

Bringing live music to rural locations across the district. Find an event near you, or how to become a local promoter and bring more arts events to your community by visiting Live and Local Nottinghamshire.

Theatre and Dance

Active4Today

For Active Fitstep and other dance classes in our leisure centres in Newark, Ollerton, Southwell and Blidworth visit Active4Today.

AJ's school of dance

AJ's School of Dance and Performing Arts pride themselves on offering students (aged 2 years to 80 years!) quality teaching and fun classes. Teachers all have professional credits ranging from West End shows to backing dancers. 

Argent theatre

Performing quality theatre in and around Newark and Southwell area. New members always welcome. Visit the Argent theatre Facebook page for more details, email argentsecretary@live.co.uk or call 01636 679000.

Bethany Sweeney school of ballet

Ballet classes for children age 3 and upwards in Southwell. Visit the Bethany Sweeney school of ballet Facebook page for more detail.

Ceroc (modern jive and salsa)

Four class nights in Nottingham all of which are suitable for complete beginners The nights start with a complete beginners class at 7:45pm where you will learn three beginners moves and how to link them together into a short routine.

This is followed by 30 minutes of dancing to music to get to grips with what you have learned in class and then at 9pm there is a choice of an intermediate class and for those that have been dancing for eight weeks or less there is a separate beginners practice session. Then its social dancing through until 10:45pm. For more information visit the Ceroc Heaven website page.

Dance4

Dance4 is a regional organisation supporting UK artists and groups in the development of dance throughout Nottinghamshire. Visit the Dance4 website for full information or call 0115 9410773.

Egmanton village hall ballroom

Learn Latin and Salsa. Children’s and adult classes and private lessons. Call Jill on 07790 601 877

Elaine Varney school of dance

Based at the Hawtonville Community Centre, Newark. Telephone 01636 688681 or visit the Elaine Varney school of dance Facebook page for more details.

Firecrackers cheer squad

Firecrackers cheer squad are a non-profit competitive cheerleading programme based in Newark, Nottinghamshire. They welcome athletes of any ability aged five years and over. Find out more and contact through the Firecrackers cheer squad Facebook page.

Julz Dance School

Based at Ollerton Primary School and run by Julie Robinson. The school caters for ages three to eleven. Freestyle classes and Zumba are held on Tuesdays and cheerleading and Latin is held on Mondays.

Lowdham Pantomime Group and Lowdham Players

A friendly amateur theatre group with over 50 members based in the village of Lowdham. Visit the Lowdham players website for more details.

MLM dance classes

Learn waltz, quickstep, cha-cha, rumba and foxtrot in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere with AIDTA qualified dance teacher Mike and partner Maggie. Visit the MLM dance website for more details or call 07790 719 870 or email maggiegeorge@gmail.com

Newark dance academy

Ballet and musical theatre classes at Beanblock cafe in Newark. Find out more on the Newark dance academy Facebook page.

Notts Youth Dance Company (NYDCo)

NYDCo offers creative dance classes including acro, contemporary and lyrical for children and young people. The classes are on Saturday mornings at the Joseph Whitaker dance studio during term time only. The emphasis is on fun and the children are invited to join in shows or attend the occasional excursions to workshops and performances. Contact Bec Lister on 07720 839 749 for more information.

Open classes for dedicated dancers

Classes focusing on technique, passion, performance and dedication run on Tuesdays at Magnus C of E School Dance Studio, including ballet at 6pm and jazz at 7.15pm. Classes cost £8 each or £14 for two classes. Call 07885 838701 for more information.

Robin Hood theatre company

Everyone is welcome to join in with the activities of the Robin Hood theatre company, whether this is on the stage, back stage or front of house.

If you love drama and are 11-18 years old then checking out the dedicated youth theatre group at the Robin Hood theatre company is a must.

Southwell dance club

Based at Thurgarton Village Hall. The group meet on Mondays from 7:30pm - 9:30pm and enjoy sequence and ballroom. Call 01636 830733 for more details.

Southwell dance school

Training in classical ballet, modern jazz and tap. Classes take place at Southwell leisure centre and Farnsfield village centre. Southwell dance school also hold a professional show every other year at The Palace Theatre, Newark.

Southwell musical theatre group (SMTG)

SMTG rehearse weekly and hold several scheduled performances throughout the year. The group also run regular masterclasses from west end professionals. For more information and details on annual membership fees email southwellmtgroup@gmail.com

Southwell theatre club

A small friendly theatre club, performing three to four productions a year including a regular slot at Southwell's Poetry Festival. The club’s performing home is Southwell library and rehearsals are on Wednesday evenings. New members of all abilities are always welcome. Visit the Southwell theatre club on Facebook for more information.

Spotlight studios

Dance and drama from age two to adult. Classes on offer range from street dance and hip hop to classical Greek performance. For more details visit the Spotlight Studios Facebook page or email spotlight-studios@hotmail.co.uk.

Stagecoach Southwell

Performing arts school for children aged 4 to 18 years old. Activities include singing, dancing and drama. Visit the Stagecoach Southwell website for more details.

Studio 96

This local dance school based at the Joseph Whitaker sports centre in Rainworth offers weekly training in freestyle, contemporary, commercial, street dance and gymnastics. Classes are suitable for beginners onwards and everyone is welcome. Visit the Studio 96 Facebook page for more details.

Tozer Dance Studios

Dance lessons from three years. Visit the Tozer Studios website for more details or call 01636 814007.

Writing and Poetry

The Fosseway writing group             

This friendly, long-established Newark group aims to provide a welcoming and stimulating environment for anyone who wants to write. Whether you don’t know where to start or are an established writer, the group is a welcoming place to explore and improve your skills.

They group meets at Knight’s Court social room in Baldertongate on the first Thursday of each month from 7 to 9 pm. There’s a varied programme of speakers or workshops as well as social events. Visit the Fosseway writers group webpage for more details.

Not Scary poetry group

The Not Scary poetry group of ordinary folk meets on the first Friday of each month at 6pm (arrival by 5:55pm) to read and talk about poetry in the relaxed and informal setting of Southwell library. Membership is free. To join call Southwell Library for details on 01636 812148 or just drop in on the night.

Drawing and Painting

Abbey Road art and craft group

This group are a mixture of artists and card makers who meet regularly to discuss what each other are working on and arrange regular outings and entertainment. For information about joining contact Barbara Freer on 01623 825518.

Boughton art group

The Boughton art group hold various talks and exhibitions, showcasing the talents of local artists. For information contact Sandra Brown on 01623 870598.

Edwinstowe leisure painters

A friendly group that organise regular classes, demonstrations, competitions, excursions and exhibitions. The group meet at Edwinstowe Village Hall on Monday afternoons from 2pm until 4pm. For more details contact Graham on 01777 870588 or email grahamlaughton50@gmail.com.

Expressive landscape painting in Lowdham

With Liz Goulding at the WI Hall, Main Street, Lowdham, Notts NG14 7AB.

Call 07876233144 www.lizgoulding.co.uk/workshops.

Muskham art group

A local group of art enthusiasts with artistic leanings covering all media from watercolours to oils and acrylics, and on to pastels and pen and ink. For more information visit the Muskham art group website.

Newark art club

Newark art club enables artists to pursue their hobby in the company of fellow enthusiasts. The club has a friendly and informal atmosphere and enjoys a varied programme of events, demonstrations and workshops. Visit the Newark art club website to find out more.

Newark Chinese brush painters

A very friendly group who meet at South Muskham and little Carlton village hall on a Saturday once a month from 10am to 3pm. Beginners and experienced artists welcomed.

Ossington art group

Ossington Art group is a very friendly group who meet each week on Mondays from 10am at Ossington Hut. Members work on their own projects with help from local tutor Graham Laughton. For more information please email Jean Johnson jeajoh410@btinternet.com.

Soft Edges art group

A small friendly art group who meet in Lowdham Methodist Old School Room one day a week. Members encompass a wide range of ages, interests and painting styles. For more  information contact Chris Goulby on 0115 965 3443 email christingoulby@gmail.com or Joyce Rick on 0115 966 3383.

Southwell artists

Southwell Artists represents a group of professional artists working in Southwell using a variety of media - painting, drawing, photography.  Email info@southwellartists.co.uk to find out more.

Southwell art club

A small, friendly group of painters who meet every Friday morning at the WI Hall in Southwell 10am to 12.30pm. The group comprises people who love painting and enjoy occasional demonstrations and one-to-one support workshops from professional artists. For more information call Christine on 01636 813101.

Trent Valley art group

Contact Peter Millward on 0115 931 2422.

Film and Photography

Elston film club

Meeting regularly in Elston Village Hall for popular film showings as part of the rural touring community cinema scheme. During the autumn and winter months Elston film Club screen a monthly community film night in Elston Village Hall. Contact Kit Sullivan for more information via email donkit@btinternet.com

Farnsfield monthly film club

The club meets at the Methodist Church, Chapel Lane, Farnsfield and raises funds for St Michael's Church. Call 01623 884286 for more details.

Lowdham film Fridays

Film Friday is a monthly community film show in Lowdham Village Hall, run in partnership with the venue. Most films have a bookstall plus refreshments, including ice cream, popcorn, home made cakes, hot and cold drinks, and a licensed bar at the evening screenings. An annual weekend Film Festival also takes place each spring. Call the box office on 0115 966 3219 for more information. See the programme on the Lowdham Village Hall website.

Maplebeck film events

Regular film events are held in Maplebeck Village Hall, including special afternoon shows for children. Visit Maplebeck Village website to find full details of up and coming films and to book tickets.

Newark and district photographic society

An amateur photography group promoting photography to local people by providing lectures, competitions and focus group sessions to practise and teach photographic techniques. The group meets on Monday nights at 7.45pm at the Council Chamber at the showground from September to April. Visit the Newark and district photographic society website for details of membership, events and more.

Oxton community cinema - The Projection House

Oxton Village Hall Committee run a very successful rural cinema scheme called The Projection House. They hold regular community film nights at the village hall. More details about up and coming shows can be found on the My Oxton website.

Southwell shutterbugs

A club for photographic enthusiasts, meeting monthly on a Thursday evening, except summer time. Meetings usually cost 50p. For information contact Mike Lucas on 01636 812456.

Crafts, artists and makers

Dukeries woodturning society

The Dukeries woodturning society meet in Ollerton Jubilee Hall each month. Their aim is to keep alive the historic skill of woodturning. They run ‘hands-on’ sessions to help beginners and to improve their own skills. To find out more email enquiries@dukerieswoodturning.org.uk or call Mike on 01777 870844.

Men in sheds

We have two Men in sheds groups within the district in Blidworth and Collingham. Find out more about Men in Sheds.

Newark stained glass group

Newark Stained Glass group meet on the second Saturday of each month at Upton Village Hall. They are a diverse group and welcome all new members! The class runs 10am - 4pm and the fee is £15 which includes all tools and materials. For more information contact Elaine Ellison on 01636 706177.

Old Station artisan craft club

A small group of local people experimenting and working with a variety of materials in a creative way. All abilities are welcome. The group meets every Friday afternoon 2pm to 4pm at The Old Station, High Street, Edwinstowe, NG21 9PL. Cost £5.

Southwell Flower Pod

Join the Flower Pod's award winning florist Tina Aram for flower arranging workshops. All funds raised helps the Flower Pod's work with adults with learning difficulties.

Stitching Station craft club

The Stitching Station is a community group bringing people together from Edwinstowe and the surrounding area who want to share their interest and skills. All ages and abilities are welcome. Activities include knitting, sewing by hand or machine, crochet, felting, embroidery, tatting and anything to do with textiles. The group meets every Wednesday, 10am to 2pm at The Old Station, High Street, Edwinstowe, NG21 9PL. Cost £3

Walesby craft group

The group meet on Wednesdays from 1pm to 3pm at Walesby Village Hall. They welcome crafters of all sorts to come along to learn or teach a new craft. Membership costs £2 each week and includes refreshments. For information please contact Sue on 01623 836582.

Welbeck courtyard

Visit the courtyard at Welbeck for great food, art and shopping. Enjoy artisan food from the award-winning Welbeck Farm Shop, contemporary exhibitions at The Harley Gallery and Welbeck’s historic Portland Collection.

Arts venues in Newark and Sherwood

‌Beloved@theBarn

Beloved@theBarn is a contemporary arts gallery, studio and creative space. Visit the beloved@theBarn website for details of workshops and exhibitions.

Dukeries community workshop

The Dukeries community workshop is available to local adults to learn new skills and crafts. Contact 01623 860545 ext 152  for more information.

Gallery 6 and Secret Garden art cafe

At the rear of Gallery 6 in Newark, you’ll find The Secret Garden art cafe, offering exceedingly good coffee, tea, homemade cakes and savouries. The gallery has some lovely changing exhibitions and you’ll also find as well art classes and workshops in the first floor studio. Find out more on the Gallery 6 website.

HopBarn Southwell

A centre for music and creative performance, with a dedicated space for resident artists. Hop Barn also has a programme of regular music events and performances. Find out more about the HopBarn on their website.

Newark Castle and gardens

For theatre shows and blues music in the grounds to local ale and wine Festivals, Newark Castle and gardens regularly hosts music and arts events.

Newark Palace theatre

Opened in 1920, the art deco Palace Theatre has been centre stage in Newark for 100 years and continues to entertain the town and surrounding area with a fantastic programme of music, comedy, drama and more. Visit the Newark Palace theatre website for details of performances and events, or contact the box office on palace@newark-sherwooddc.gov.uk.

Patchings art centre

With activities including an art school, artists walk and annual Festival, Patchings is a lively place to make and experience art. Find out more on the Patchings art centre website.

Robin Hood theatre

This small public theatre is situated in the countryside close to Newark on Trent in Nottinghamshire. It was built in 1913 and became a public theatre in 1961. Seating 150, the theatre maintains the reputation of producing professional, high standard entertainment. Find out more about performances and adult and youth theatre groups on the Robin Hood theatre website.

Rufford craft centre

This lovely gallery has a changing programme of exhibitions, creative learning centre and seminar room all housed in a former stable block which dating from the 1660s. A second smaller gallery in the Orangery displays a selection of ceramics and a contemporary sculpture trail runs through the park. Visit the Rufford abbey website to find out more.

Sherwood Forest arts and crafts centre

Find a changing programme of exhibitions, craft demonstrations and local artists working in their studios at Sherwood Forest arts and craft centre.

Spotlight gallery

The Spotlight Gallery in Newark Town Hall is an ideal space for temporary exhibitions for local community groups and artists to exhibit their work.  This lovely venue in the heart of Newark overlooks the medieval market place. The regularly changing programme means that there is something of interest for everyone to enjoy. Find out more, including the current programme events, on the Spotlight Gallery webpage.

Studio NG24 - Inspire, create, educate

Newly renovated, this fully-equipped studio is situated in the heart of historic Newark, just off Castlegate in the Old Coach House. This is a wonderful, modern facility in a building steeped in history, the studio space measures approximately 8m x 8m with a full length mirrored wall, ballet barre and hi-tech sound/speaker system. Follow Studio NG24 on Facebook.

Superfly studios

This recording studio in Ollerton is a professionally designed acoustic space, equipped to the highest standard. It houses a collection of classic vintage microphones, preamps and top quality monitoring. Video and audio service include location filming, mixing and voiceover recording. Find out more on the Superfly music studios website.

Thoresby Gallery

Thoresby Gallery was originally established in 1992 to exhibit the Pierrepont Collection – a collection of more than 600 paintings and drawings by Marie-Louise Roosevelt Pierrepont, a prolific painter who married into the Pierrepont family in the early twentieth century. It’s now a rich artistic hub, hosting a variety of exhibitions and events throughout the year. Visit the Thoresby Gallery website for more details.

Local venues, community centres and village halls

Muskham rural community centre

A multifunctional venue for the whole community. Find out more on the Muskham rural community centre website and see the latest events on the Muskham Facebook page.

Lifespring church and centre, New Ollerton

The main hall seats 200 and is fitted with a modern audio/ visual and lighting system. Two smaller rooms offer potential for smaller groups of up to 30 with the option of a projector and surround sound. There’s even a range of decor available to hire. Find out more on the Lifespring centre website.

Forrest Feeds meeting room, Edingley

The room hire rate is £10 an hour for the room, including unlimited wi-fi usage. Unlimited tea and coffee costs extra £5 per hour completely VAT free. Unfortunately there is no disabled access as the room is upstairs.

Discounts can be applied for block bookings of two or more hours at a time. The room is available at any time of the day including evenings and weekend and can comfortably hold 21. Please contact Sam or Alice on 01623 882260 for more information.

Upton village hall

The hall is a pleasant warm and welcoming venue and now has a new moveable modular stage and spotlights! It can accommodate 50 to 60 people for events and functions. Find out more on the Upton village hall facebook page or call 01636 812416.

Find details of other community centres and village halls in the district.