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Keep active, make connections, join in, collaborate and have fun! Use your downtime as an opportunity to take part in inspiring activities being promoted and shared by the creative community.

People from different ethnicities and genders linked arm in arm, photographed from behind

Send your news to editors@artsprofessional.co.uk or @ArtsPro #CovidCulture

Monday 18th May

To engage children and families with Shakespeare’s plays at home, Coram Shakespeare Schools Foundation is sharing free educational resources and worksheets that provide activities for teachers or parents to use with students digitally or face to face at home. Its programme the ‘Summer of Shakespeare’ project, runs over 10 weeks, exploring a different Shakespearian story and its characters each week through a series of fun and active exercises.

Aberystwyth Arts Centre has published a call for visual artists to submit work in any medium which responds to the current situation of living in a world under siege by coronavirus. This can be a response to any aspect of the pandemic – from the virus and illness; to the lockdown and a new way of life. Share it on Instagram or Twitter, using the hashtag #oriel_lockdown, or email to oriel-lockdown@aber.ac.uk by 1st August. Curators will select the best works to display in a special exhibition when the Arts Centre reopens to the public.

Wednesday 13th May

The V&A has announced an open-call for homemade signs created during lockdown. From rainbow signs created by children to shop signs and hand-written notes posted in public spaces, the V&A is seeking signs that have been created by individuals and communities in response to the current isolation measures. The public are encouraged to submit images of their homemade signs by email.

Tuesday 12th May

A suite of 18 arts-based ‘family engagement’ products created by arts professionals and cultural organisations in Northern Ireland is being sold to businesses, to support, entertain and educate the families of their staff as they adapt to new working and living arrangements during the Covid-19 lockdown. £15,000 from Arts & Business NI’s wider Investment Programme was used to fund local arts professionals to develop the bespoke products.

Monday 11th May

#When We Paused . . .  During the 2020 Coronvirus Pandemic is a collaborative online exhibition set up by Collective Arts, aiming to explore “where solace and meaning can be found as everyone negotiates this unprecedented moment in history”.  Collective Arts welcomes everyone’s photographs, artwork and writing as part of this visual time capsule. As it explores ‘meaning’, it isn’t about producing ‘great art’ or ‘perfect images’ and there is no single way of responding. Upload your work as a photograph and share a few words explaining your ‘why’ on the online exhibition. There’s extra guidance here.

Cautionary Tale, a new British musical, was in development when workshops had to be cancelled. But the writers are giving people the opportunity to stage it at home by releasing script extracts, sheet music, backing tracks, and choreography. Share your recordings online and the best will go to create a live Zoom musical. The six-week project kicked off on 7th May, so catch up now.

Friday 8th May

The Duchess of Cambridge and the National Portrait Gallery have launched a community photography project, Hold Still, to capture a snapshot of the UK during lockdown by creating a collective portrait. Free and open to all ages and abilities until 18 June 2020, 100 shortlisted portraits will then feature in a gallery without walls.

Tuesday 5th May

Historic England is asking the public to help record a week in lockdown. ‘Picturing Lockdown’ is a seven-day open call for the public to share their experiences of lockdown. 100 images from the public and ten artists will be added to Historic England’s Archive to preserve them and officially record this moment in history This is the first time since the Second World War that the public have been asked to capture a moment in time and save it in the Historic England Archive. The public is invited to share submissions here and on social media via #PicturingLockdown

Thursday 30th April

The National Student Opera Society has launched a free series of “Opera Insights” webinars to encourage young people to find out more about opera. Interactive Zoom meetings led by a major industry figure take place each week of lockdown, combining a short discussion surrounding topical industry issues and a Q&A. Contact @NSOSuk on Facebook or email them with your name and email address.

Tuesday 28th April

Hack Creative are inviting industry leaders, creatives, artists, event organisers and culture workers to a 48-hour online hackathon from 1st to 3rd May, to build new solutions for current challenges. No previous experience in digital technology is required, only a proactive interest in working on projects together with other creative professionals. Participants will learn, build and share with the help of experienced mentors and industry experts.

Monday 27th April

With the May 29th deadline fast approaching, the  King Lear Prizes - the creative arts competition for the over-70s in isolation -is looking for arts sector volunteers to help spread the word, run the competition and judge the entries, all in a variety of categories. Offer your support at support@kinglearprizes.org

Monday 20th April

Voice cLoud based in Suffolk, an intergenerational arts and music project which works with teenagers and older people to promote and celebrate the associated heritage and history of the traditional fishing industry of North East Suffolk, is offering virtual rehearsals that their choir members and anyone else can join in. Visit their Facebook site to find out how to join The Rogues Shanty Chorus.

The Online Choir is inviting anyone to join them in learning and singing well-known songs and explore how music can help us to connect. The sessions are accessible and open to anyone, whether you sing in a choir and are missing your normal rehearsals or if you feel bored, lonely or isolated but have never sung before.

Thursday 16th April

The first ‘NE Culture Social: Conversations & Covid-19’ meet-up will take place via Zoom on Thursday 23rd April from 3.00pm – 5.30pm. It will provide an opportunity for arts organisations in Newcastle Gateshead to get together, welcoming freelancers, furloughed staff, artists, makers and production staff to share advice and useful information, and connect as a creative community.  

Wednesday 15th April

Do you have a live performance, class or workshop coming up that’s aimed at families? If so then the Family Arts Campaign is supporting you to reach and engage with families through its listings website Fantastic for Families, which has been relaunched to showcase online events and at-home creative activities for families. You can add your listings for free.

Monday 13th April

Artists of any and every type are invited to contribute to Grayson Perry’s new Channel 4 show “Art Club”, which is designed to unite the nation through art and unleash its collective creativity.  Any type of art can be entered: painting, sculpture, video art, drawing, amateur, professional, etc.  Entries for the current theme ‘Portraits’ have closed but the next theme is announced on Fri 17th April.

Family Arts Campaign is supporting arts organisations to reach families during COVID-19. It is relaunching its listings service, Fantastic for Families, to help the nation access creative events and activities, and is calling for arts organisations to share online activities that can keep the nation connected to culture and encourage inter-generational arts participation.

Share your story on ‘just a day’, a community website and living social history project that is aiming to ‘provide hope through shared experience’, helping us to gain understanding, perspective, kindness and support. 

Thursday 9th April

BREAD art has announced the release of an online artwork that addresses social distancing and isolation, particularly as a result of the Covid-19 crisis. At a time of dramatically reducing physical contact, the artwork connects strangers who are able to touch virtual fingertips through the screen of their smartphone. It exists as a web app and is available on online platforms including Android, iPhone, laptop, PC and Mac.

Wednesday 8th April

Events guide The List has compiled a short list of the many museums and galleries around the world that have virtual tours and exhibitions keeping us inspired and curious during the lockdown. You can now witness the Mona Lisa's enigmatic smile, or savour the drama of The Night Watch without being elbowed out of the way by hordes of tourists.

Virtual choirs and orchestras are springing up all over the internet, needing only a phone/computer and a pair of headphones to take part. Alternative Classical is listing some virtual UK-based ensembles you can join to help you feel part of the musical community, keep your spirits high and stay creative while isolating at home. Sing/play as if no-one is listening - because they won’t be!

A series of live-streamed singing workshops are taking place to inspire and energise people affected by homelessness. These sessions, designed to keep participants in Streetwise Opera engaged until they can return to regular workshops, are open to everyone. Daily workshops take place from Monday to Friday, 12noon to 12.30pm via Facebook.

Tuesday 7th April

Leeds Museums & Galleries want to start documenting local people’s experiences during the coronavirus outbreak so that in the future people can learn from what we did, how we reacted to it, what we’ve struggled with, and what it’s been like living in Leeds during these extraordinary times. Get in touch @LeedsMuseums

A new digital platform, The Arts Society Connects, will be hosting a series of fortnightly lectures, film screenings and a community forum, targeted at those aged 60 and above and those likely to be hit worst by the current crisis. Free to the general public as well as the Arts Society’s 90,000 members, it aims to help older people stay connected, educated, entertained and informed over the next three months. The charity is also offering free social media training to members to help them stay connected. 

Monday 6th April

The Social Distancing Festival celebrates art – visual arts, dance, music, theatre/musical theatre, opera – from all over the world, with  different media and styles from artists at different stages of their careers. Artists wanting to be included can submit their work for consideration.

Join the Sofa Singers for a free weekly online singing event that brings hundreds of people together from around the world to ‘spark joy and human connection’. 

Thursday 2nd April

Uswitch has created a list of world-class museums that offer virtual tours, to give children a dose of culture and exploration from the confines of their own home – great for parents taking on a new role as teacher or wondering how to keep the kids entertained.

Oxford Playhouse has launched a new programme of work, Playhouse Plays On: The Creativity Continues, to encourage creativity and keep its audiences connected. It includes ten key strands of work, ranging from playwriting to online classes and workshops; from learning resources for schools to creative challenges over social media channels.

Wednesday 1st April

The Arts Society Connected is a new digital platform being launched on 7th April by arts education charity The Arts Society.  Free to their members as well as the general public, the platform will host fortnightly lectures by leading art historians, as well as film screenings, live author Q&As and a community forum for anyone using the platform.

Theatr Clwyd have launched a creative programme, Theatr Clwyd Together | Theatr Clwyd Ynghyd, to encourage and facilitate creativity amongst their audiences and in their community, reaching out to local schoolchildren and the wider public. It will provide free weekly themed creative projects online, with the Theatr Clwyd team and freelance artists providing content and inspiration in music, dance, visual arts and theatre.

The Fun Palaces Campaign is sharing Tiny Revolutions of Connection, practical steps anyone can take to connect more in their local community or pass time creatively in self-isolation. The steps are both online and offline to be accessible for anyone who wants to connect. #TinyRevolutions

Earlyarts is providing creative ideas for families and teachers and showing where to find arts resources being offered for music and singing; art, design, materials and mixed media; dance and movement; museums; and story and theatre. Sign up for their ebulletin to receive regular creative ideas for families and schools.

Dancespirit is offering online dance classes for dancers to practise from the kitchen-counter barre. Dance studios can sign up to send free videos to their students.

Music education charity the VOCES8 Foundation has set up #LiveFromHome which includes performance videos, interactive singing videos, live workshops and interviews with their team. It is accessible via Facebook Live, Instagram Live and YouTube.

Museum in a Box has compiled free online education resources for homeschooling. The website includes a list of resources gathered by various home educators’ networks.
Mothers Who Make is a Facebook site supporting mothers who are artists – professional and/or passionate – writers, painters, actors, dancers, musicians, filmmakers. . .  “Every kind of maker is welcomed, and every kind of mother”. The site is designed to support each other and share advice on finding the balance between creative work and parenting.

Creative United is promoting ways to stay safe and creative by sharing your videos and images to show the world how you’re curing your isolation deflation. Send to info@ownart.org.uk

SeenSpace is a communication hub for the creative community in South Essex to enable support and networking. Artists of any kind are welcome.

New Writing North is supporting the community with a New Virtual Festival from 27 March – 11 April. The Stay-at-Home! Festival is designed to prevent loneliness, champion connectivity and community amidst social distancing. It celebrates writing and reading as the tools to achieve this.

Tuesday 31st March

Sadler’s Wells is presenting new dance content for Digital Stage, its free online performance platform. It will be releasing new content ranging from digital premieres of full-length dance performances to new dance workshops specially created for families with young children, and the over 60s, to take part in at home.

Monday 30th March

Warts and All Theatre has launched LINK, an online programme of activity for children, young people and families, including Storytime, activities for the under 8s; Young Actors sessions; Project Herd, working with a scriptwriter; and LINK learning courses for those working towards GCSE and A Level Drama.

The Higher Education and Research team at Shakespeare's Globe is providing online content to support students studying Shakespeare at home. It has also released new digital content, incuding a new series Shakespeare & Love in Isolation, featuring Sandi and Jenifer Toksvig and Kathryn Hunter. 

The Old Bank Residency in Manchester has announced its ‘online banking’ system, which will continue to provide a civic space for the local and wider community. Activities, workshops and discussions will be centred around 5 areas: Workshops from Home, Reading Practice, Lost Running Club, Distance Dhal and Living Room Dance Club. Follow @OldBankNOMA for updates.

Instagram account @isolationartschool posts projects, lessons and tips by artists to help people get creative while housebound during Covid-19 crisis.

Friday 27th March

DanceEast has launched Home is Where the Dance Is, a dance class programme with free online classes for all ages and seated dance classes for those with limited mobility. Starting Monday 30th March at 10am, classes by dance artists who have filmed their classes will be available at set times throughout the day via YouTube, aiming to help “regain some structure and encourage the sense that we are all sharing a dance together”.

64 million artists is trialling #CreateToConnect, a daily creative challenge to be tackled with friends, family, children, community groups or workmates working from home. The programme, which suggests “mini creative challenges to keep us doing, thinking and sharing at home” will continue until 5th April, but if popular may be extended. 

Thursday 26th March

Suffolk-based theatre company HighTide has announced its Lighthouse Programme in response to Covid-19. Consisting of 7 projects and programmes for artists, audiences and communities, created to ‘bring light in the weeks ahead’. It includes 40 Plays/40 Nights - 40 simple standalone playwriting tasks, for writers to share their responses online for feedback, discussion and celebration.

Wednesday 25th March

Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestras inspires collective spirit with a Skype performance of Beethoven’s ‘Ode to Joy’ by 19 self-isolating musicians, playing from their homes around the country. 

Sherman Theatre has created Interval, a series of online projects and online 1:1 support for artists. An anonymous donation is supporting a new project, TEN, which invites Welsh people or those based in Wales to submit short monologues which will be performed and self-filmed by actors and shown on YouTube. Submissions close 30th March.

Tuesday 24th March

While its theatres are closed, Scottish Opera trucks and drivers are helping to deliver stocks to Scotland’s supermarkets.

Creative network project Canopy has established an online social drawing page, based on BBC Four’s Life Drawing Live! programme, to encourage people of all ages to pick up their pencils and start drawing sessions.

Horsecross Arts, the company responsible for Perth Concert Hall and Perth Theatre, has launched its #keepgoingtogether site where it will be posting daily moments of culture, chat, cookery and community.

The Invisible Arts Network has released the Actuality app, a virtual cinema available straight from mobiles and tablets, providing immersive AR entertainment for everyone while in isolation.

The Space has published updates on how they are managing the coronavirus which includes performances you can watch at home.

Monday 23rd March

BBC Writersroom is asking for original short-form scripts, between 5-10 minutes in length whose 2-4 characters now find themselves in isolation, but connecting via video conferencing. Four of the best will be produced with professional actors and released on BBC platforms throughout April and the selected writers will each receive £300 for their script. 

The Show Must Go Online, created by Robert Myles, is bringing together actors from across the globe to perform the complete plays of William Shakespeare online, in the order they are believed to have been written, and livestreaming them on YouTube, every Thursday 7pm GMT.

The Turban Project has published step-by-step instructions for creating and decorating a personalised lightweight face mask for adults and children (see examples). Care Wear has published instructions for making a decorative fabric cover for a protective N95Mask, intended for reuse after laundering if needed during a severe shortage of masks.

Voluntary Arts is curating a daily update of creative ideas - by and for creative workers - to be explored and enjoyed in response to the coronavirus. 

Nonsuch Studios are launching Creative Quarantine, a daily email of creative activities for people to do in their own home. Led by a group of artists and creatives who’ve been sent home, they will be sending two different emails with content appropriate to adults and to children and families, which will include extra educational features for children who are off school.

Treasure Jam, an online resource that encourages people to create something inspired by an object or work of art they’ve found in an online museum or gallery, is primarily aimed at children, but is encouraging everyone to get involved. It links to free museum, gallery and art resources – particularly useful for parents and carers at home with kids.

Theatre Together, a new collective of over 50 artists and professionals, has announced All the Web’s a Stage, an online event on 23 April featuring a variety of live cabaret, comedy, dance and theatre. Artists and other professionals interested in taking part should contact allthewebsastage@gmail.com. Performances will be streamed live and free to watch, with audiences asked to donate money for arts workers facing hardship due to the pandemic.

Actors and comedians including Jo Brand, Sara Pascoe, Stephen Merchant and many more have launched The Stay at Home Festival, live streaming a mixed bill comedy nights and conversations most days. Free to watch, but with an invitation to “drop a pound into the virtual bucket”, it is “rough and ready in places but that’s where we’re at with things.”

Alternative Classical usually publishes an events guide recommending informal concerts, gigs and other classical music-inspired events in non-traditional UK venues. As these events are now cancelled, they have launched and will be updating an evolving Spotify playlist of pieces that would have been heard live at concerts this month.

An online artist community has been set up to showcase the work of artists around the world who have been affected by the need for social distancing. The Social Distancing Festival is asking artists and organisations to submit details of work that has been cancelled, disrupted or delayed, such as rehearsal videos or photos of artworks that were never exhibited.

The Makaton Charity is running weekly livestream signing choir sessions via Facebook every Wednesday at 4.30pm – everyone's welcome.

Gareth Malone is setting up The Great British Home Chorus which aims to bring together amateur and professional singers who are experiencing quarantine and self-isolation. The project aims to give everyone the chance to “contribute their voices and instruments to an ambitious digital music project”.

Sophie Williams is hosting a Long Distance Dinner Party on 26 March 6:30pm-8pm, for those who are self-isolating. Contact @sophiewilliamsofficial on Instagram for your invitation, and find ingredients at sophiewilliamsofficial.com.

Link up with other amateur and professional musicians around the world by jamming together, or use the Soundtrap app to make music and collaborate with others.