The Attenborough Arts Centre offers a huge variety of ways to learn about and engage with our gallery. There is a vibrant and exciting programme of events and courses for primary, secondary, college, SEN students and teachers and our creative courses offers training and tutorage for professionals and hobbyists.

We also have great facilities in which to teach, study and get closer to our collections.


Attenborough Arts offers a flexible, cross-curricular approach to group visits with a wide range of options available for all Key Stages. We work directly with every SEN school across Leicester, letting children explore the arts in our creative studios and new galleries, supported by artists and staff, tailoring access to your requirements.

SENsory Atelier funded by Paul Hamlyn Foundation explores new ways to learn, discover and develop together. Attenborough Arts Centre are working with 9 SEN schools in Leicester and Leicestershire.

We will be drawing on the principles of  Reggio Emilia to explore ways to cultivate imagination and the children’s sense of the possible. It’s a collaborative journey, where children and adults are working alongside each other with a child-led approach and a co-construction model of delivery and development. Together we want to create our own teaching and learning pedagogy that is relevant to us all.

“Experiences of curious investigation, belly laughter, triumphant achievement, heartfelt tears, satisfying discovery and full bodied engagement with the smells, textures and messes of the world”

Ann Pelo, The Language of Art. 2007

SENsory Atelier gives space for children to lead their learning journeys, express themselves and access the world. It supports teachers without specialist arts subject / cultural education expertise, to enable children to lead the direction of enquiry, and reframe our understanding of how they learn. This collaborative approach shifts the schools’ reliance on external peripatetic staff, to giving teachers confidence and capacity to devise creative programmes informed by children themselves

Click here for their website, which provides further information, case studies and contact information.

We are an Artsmark Partner Organisation and support schools to achieve all levels of the award. Artsmark supports settings to develop and celebrate their commitment to arts and cultural education.

Click here to learn more.

Each exhibition has a custom made education pack for schools and teacher to make the gallery as accessible and inclusive as possible.

Children and Young People

We provide creative opportunities for children and young people of all ages. From weekly groups, to school holiday activities, Attenborough Arts is the place to nurture creative talent. Discover our programme of events for young people interested in art and performance.

Attenborough Arts Centre’s Next Gen. Creatives aims to inspire young people, encourage them to help shape the arts centre’s programme and empower them to become the next generation of artists, curators, performers and creative professionals. The name, chosen by the participants, is inspired by the slogan: “we are the next generation dreamers”.

The group has been meeting monthly since March 2017. By joining the Next Gen. Creatives young people in Leicester have the opportunity to network with professional artists and practitioners, gain valuable life skills and learn about the various pathways they could take within the arts. So far they have delivered their own workshops, curated their own exhibitions met internationally renowned artists and taken part in artist led workshops.

To join us you must be aged 16-25. Get in touch to find out more: nextgen@leicester.ac.uk


For more information, visit the Next. Gen Creatives website.

Part of Attenborough Cultural communities: funded by the Peter Sowerby Foundation.

We provide much-needed opportunities for children and young people with complex needs and disabilities to be creative, to feel great about themselves and to enjoy being with others.

All our workshops and performances are FREE to children and young people aged 0 – 18 years old with complex disabilities and needs from Leicester and Leicestershire, our programme takes place at weekends and during school holidays.

Our building is designed to be welcoming and accessible for a range of needs, and our staff are trained to be understanding and supportive. We have disabled parking bays and a changing places facility.

Tailored to the individual needs of our participants, our workshops are limited to small groups of 6 young people and run by skilled professional artists experienced working with young people with disabilities. We also host performances designed for children and young people with disabilities, in particular immersive theatre for people with PMLD by companies including Frozen Light, Oily Cart and Bamboozle.


Children on our programme experience a range of disabilities that without additional support, make it difficult for them to participate in the arts, including but not limited to PMLD (Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties), Autism, ADHD (Attention Deficiency Hyperactive Disorder), Auditory, speech and visual impairments, Down’s Syndrome and Global Developmental Delay.

Our programme has been running since 2015 funded by BBC Children In Need and in August 2021 became part of the Attenborough Cultural Communities programme funded by the Peter Sowerby Foundation.

To register on the programme and gain access to our events, please contact our Project co-ordinator Hannah Pillai on hmpp1@le.ac.uk.

(Please note that Hannah works part time and her working days vary). For general information about the centre please contact the Front of House team on 0116 252 2455 arts-centre@leicester.ac.uk

Arts Award has been embed as part of the SENsory Atelier throughout with 111 portfolios completed so far. Both Ashmount School and Ellesmere College are both registered Arts Mark schools with the Sensory Atelier project being the heart of their Artsmark statement of commitment . Attenborough Arts Centre are supporting both schools through their Arts Mark and Arts Award journeys through training, 1-1 CPD sessions for staff and key workers in the schools to help them as much as possible to integrate Arts mark and Arts Award into their planning and assessments, which has proved an invaluable resource for both schools.

Arts Award celebration 

To celebrate our Sensory Atelier Journey Ashmount created their first ever interactive Art Exhibition. We invited parents and carers to share in their success and watch them receive their Arts Awards. Pupils from Ashmount share with their parents their journey to a new island they created in residencies with  Bamboozle Theatre Company.


Families can enjoy free activities and online resources with the Attenborough Arts Centre. The ever-growing programme encourages play, learning and creativity, all linked to our exhibitions and creative output.

An event for the whole family that is hosted by Attenborough Arts Centre regularly. Come join for a multi-sensory play with disco lighting and thematic projections, as the themes change with each rave. Whether it is underwater, in an enchanted forest, or in space, to rave is promised to be the best time for the young and the old(er).

Ideal for children six and under but all welcome! Click here to explore our What’s On to see when the next rave is.

A baby at a family rave, with a paper moustache.

Throughout our programming we always have events perfect for families, offering a range of activities and shows available for all ages. Whether it is gallery workshops, family raves, interactive theatre shows, or more – there is always something incredible.

Click here to explore our What’s On and book yourself into an unforgettable experience.

Attenborough Arts Centre is passionate about children interacting with gallery work in fun, accessible and meaningful ways – as art should be accessible to all.

To reach this goal, family workshops take place every Saturday to explore our unique exhibition with our friendly learning team.

Space are limited to give people enough space and are pre-bookable only – 10 family bubbles per workshop.

Explore our What’s On to find out about our next workshops.

Take a moment to relax in the Salmon Gallery. A perfect space for students and families alike overlooking our main exhibition, this new gallery space offers a new way for people to experience art.

Learn more by clicking here.

Childrens resource materials in shelving.

Activities and Resources

Our amazing Learning Team creates free and accessible activities and resources to enable creativity and learning for everyone.

Have a play, see what suits you best, and get stuck in!

Time Peake with children from the Little Inventors in Space.


Our Learning Team are always looking for ways to reach more communities with ongoing projects and collaborations. Some of these include the Cultural Communities, Where We Are and START. Explore some of our information below about the projects to see if you can get involved.

Attenborough’s Cultural Communities is an exciting, ambitious new community arts project from our Learning and Outreach Team that creates tailored engagement to extend the reach and impact of our new digital and online cultural activity. This crucial project funded by the Peter Sowerby Foundation, focuses on reaching the most isolated in Leicester/shire, due to their disability or complex needs and the disproportionate impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on their lives. The Outreach Co-ordinator facilitates access to digital content, streamed through platforms and online networks, to ensure children, young people with the most barriers, and their families, have access to world-class arts and cultural commissions.

The Attenborough Cultural Communities project includes:

  • Development of a new online learning resource for people wanting to create their own artwork including income generating and restriction-free classes
  • A dedicated Digital Outreach Co-ordinator ensures that the new resources are tailored to the needs of disabled and disadvantaged children and their families
  • Access to our Centre’s main programme of performances, exhibitions, creative learning workshops through digital and online activity
  • Tailored art packs to take home with detailed and accessible videos
  • Live-streamed and pre-recorded performances
  • Live Zoom art workshops
  • Online creative activities for all the family

For further information please contact the programme coordinator Hannah on Hannah.pillai@leicester.ac.uk

SEE ME AS ME was an exhibition of new work exploring activism and social justice, co-curated by 12 young people interested in social justice and LGBTQIA+ identity in partnership with Attenborough Arts Centre and Pedestrian. The exhibition, displayed for a limited period in December, was produced as part of the national Where we are… programme, organised by the British Museum and supported by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation.

Running from 2021 until 2025 and supported by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Where we are… aims to help give young people agency within their own local communities by creating three cultural projects a year as part of the British Museum’s National Programmes. It encourages young people to interpret what arts and culture mean to them, their families and local communities thereby supporting and developing their skills and experience.

A fully funded programme, it also intends to help bridge barriers that prevent young people from engaging with arts and culture locally by working collaboratively with local organisations responding to a community need. Working in a four-way partnership with the British Museum, local charities and cultural spaces, Where we are… ultimately aims to connect with young people who are currently under-served by the cultural sector.

SEE ME AS ME features a mix of film, sculpture, creative writing and music – all created and curated by the team of young adults, with support from the creative team of Attenborough Arts Centre and Pedestrian. The exhibition explores issues of identity and the reality of LGBTQIA+ bodies, celebrating both the nuanced experiences and embracing the power of the collective. The team of young curators explain the concept as an invitation to see yourselves as you really are, with no labels, inhibitions or constraints.

START is a major national schools and cultural venue programme, founded by the Princes Foundation for Children and the Arts, and supported by The Mighty Creatives.

A pair of hands moulding some grey clay.

Creative Courses

Bring your passion to life by joining a creative class at the Attenborough Arts Centre. We have over twenty years experience in running creative courses for people of all ages. With courses from jewellery making to life drawing, yoga classes to guitar tutoring, there’s always something for everyone, from experienced maker to new beginner.

Meet the Learning Team

Marianne Pape, Learning and Outreach Manager

Leads the Learning and Outreach programme and team, including work with schools, communities, families, children and young people, and artists.

Bob Christer, SENsory Atelier Programme Manager

Leading the Paul Hamlyn Funded SENsory Atelier programme in 9 Leicestershire Special Schools.

Hannah Pillai, Programme Coordinator: Inclusive Youth Arts Programme & Next Gen. Creatives

Caroline Rowland, Schools Learning Assistant

Assists the SENsory Atelier Programme Manager on various projects helping to shape and create learning resources.