Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art welcomes families into the gallery. We offer a range of events designed for all members of the family, parents, carers and children.  These include activities during school holidays, activity sheets for the exhibitions and drop-in family fun days with other cultural organisations across Sunderland.

Whilst the gallery is in transition to University of Sunderland, we will deliver family activities in the National Glass Centre and offsite around the city.





Do you have baby changing facilities?

Baby changing facilities are available on the upper floor of National Glass Centre.

How can I find out about family activities?

We publicise our family events through print and on our website, Facebook page and Twitter.  If you would like to receive e-mails about upcoming events for families, please sign up to our mailing list here.

Are the exhibitions suitable for children?

The majority of the artwork in our galleries is for all ages to enjoy.  Occasionally there may be work which is unsuitable for young children; if this is the case we will put a sign in the gallery advising parents and carers to check the work first.

What else is there for families to do?

We are located within the National Glass Centre, so why not explore National Glass Centre’s galleries, learning spaces and regular glass-blowing demonstrations too!

Is there a café onsite?

Yes – The Glass Yard at National Glass Centre serves breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea. Choose from a range of delicious home cooked signature dishes and daily specials, complemented by guest beers and wines from around the world. Open Daily: 10.00 – 17.00


Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art offers opportunities for schools and colleges to visit the exhibitions and participate in a range of activities.

Workshops linked to exhibitions
Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art offer regular opportunities for Primary Schools to book gallery-based workshops. The workshops give pupils the chance to work with professional artists to discuss responses to the artwork and express themselves creatively through a practical activity. Over the past few years many Sunderland schools have visited and given their class the chance to experience different exhibitions of contemporary art. All workshops are for a maximum of a class and are designed for specific key stages.

Artist led workshops for all age groups
Bespoke workshops are available all year round for every age group – contact us to discuss your requirements.  Prices start at £100 for a half day session which will include a gallery tour and artist led activity.  Sessions can be inspired by the exhibition programme or designed to link with your current topic or scheme of work.

Self-led visits
We encourage groups to visit the gallery during term time, and to make use of our learning spaces. It is advisable to ring the gallery in advance of a visit to ensure the availability of rooms. Group leaders are strongly advised to make a preliminary planning visit to check the suitability of exhibitions for their group and to prepare their own risk assessment. A hazard identification form is available online to assist with this.

If you are interested in any of the opportunities mentioned above please contact Kathryn Brame, Engagement and Development Coordinator on 0191 515 5555 or e-mail kathryn.brame@sunderland.ac.uk

Download our free  ‘NGCA Hazard Identification Form’ here


Are you working towards your Arts Award?

Would you like to start your Arts Award journey?

There are a various activities and events at Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art that could contribute towards your Arts Award.

NGCA is an Arts Award Centre & Supporter, meaning we can deliver and moderate Arts Award Discover & Explore and also support young people who are working towards their Bronze, Silver and Gold Arts Awards. If you’ve already started an Arts Award, getting involved with activities and events at NGCA could contribute towards it.

Here are a few examples:

• Creative projects: attend one of our artist led workshops with your school or group. This will be an opportunity to work with a professional artist to develop and extend your skills and explore new artforms. Ideal for Discover, Explore or Bronze Awards Part A: ‘Take part in the Arts.’

• Exhibitions: attend and review an exhibition at the NGCA. Ideal for Bronze Award: Part B, ‘Attend and review an arts event’ or Silver Award: Unit 1 Part C, ‘Experience and review an arts event’.

• Tours: Have a behind the scenes tour, meet and interview staff from across the organisation including front of house, technical, curatorial and learning staff.  Ideal for Silver Award : Part C, ‘Research arts careers’ and Gold Award: Part B, ‘Research the wider arts sector’.

We also work closely with our cultural partners in Sunderland to deliver a city-wide Arts Award offer, which means you can complete different sections of the Arts Award at different venues. Find out more here.

Arts Award’s unique qualifications support young people to develop as artists and arts leaders. The programme develops creativity, leadership and communication skills. Arts Award is open to anyone aged up to 25 and embraces all interests and backgrounds.
Through Arts Award young people learn to work independently, helping them to prepare for further education and employment.


For more information and to discuss how we can help you or your school/youth group achieve an Arts Award, please contact Kathryn Brame on 0191 515 5544 or e-mail kathryn.brame@sunderland.ac.uk

Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art is an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation. We are proud to work in partnership with National Glass Centre.

Temporary website for 2018/19 programme designed by O P E N A I R