Tate Exchange was a programme at Tate Modern, Tate Liverpool and online for everyone to debate and reflect upon contemporary topics and ideas, get actively involved, think through doing, and make a difference.

Each year's programme responded to an annual theme, and to the question, ‘what happens when art and society meet?’ This was done through collaboration with colleagues from across Tate, a community of Associate organisations, artists and our visitors.

Founded in 2016, Tate Exchange was the first of its kind in an art museum anywhere in the world. It was conceived as an open experiment which grew and changed over the course of five years. The spirit of collaboration, community partnership and experimentation which defined the project has since been embedded into the wider activity of Tate’s Learning and Curatorial programmes.

Annual themes

A man walks past a display with the words 'The most important exchange is between equals'

Year 1: Exchange

With Lead Artist Tim Etchells, our first year focused on the ethos and approach of exchange across individuals, difference and society.

An installation at Tate Exchange

Year 2: Production

Starting with a ceramic factory installation from Lead Artist Clare Twomey, the year addressed the nature of production in all its forms.

Sticky notes on the wall from a brainstorm

Year 3: Movement

Exploring social movements to migration, to global transit of objects, to football and dance, with Lead Artist Tania Bruguera and Tate Neighbours.

A person interacts with a display by placing their thumb print on the wall

Year 4: Power

Lead Artists Hyphen-Labs held year-round interventions on our individual and collective power to take action and to transform.

Blue bubble letters making up the word LOVE on a pink background

Year 5: Love

The final year consisted of a series of online events and videos exploring the theme of love as a way to consider issues facing society.


To reflect on and learn from what we did at Tate Exchange, we evaluated our programme, with our Associates, Participant Evaluators and in conversation with our visitors. What we learned in our first years went on to inform what we did in subsequent years.

Tate Exchange Associates

Tate Exchange was delivered in collaboration with Associate organisations from all over the UK and the world, who brought their communities to Tate Exchange to lead their programmes. They generated new perspectives, provoked debate, stimulated creativity and created new collaborations with our visitors.

We want to thank all our Associates, who included arts and culture organisations, early years to post-graduate education, health and wellbeing initiatives, and community groups working within and beyond the arts.

Questions to Explore

Supported by

Maryam and Edward Eisler

and Tate Patrons

With founding support from

Freelands Foundation