Arts & Culture at your fingertips

I’m sure by now you’ve all heard that ‘staying in’ is the new ‘going out’ and that lots of us are already social distancing or self-isolating.  Many children are now learning from home with their families whilst schools will continue to teach the children of our wonderful keyworkers, who keep the country moving and look after us all.

So, what do we do during this ‘new normal’? How long will it last? We don’t know.

What we do know is that there are loads of incredible digital resources at our fingertips that can surprise, delight and inspire us all. We also know that the technology is there to enable us to connect remotely through the amazing World Wide Web. So, even though our current events have been postponed, we’re looking at ways to help people enjoy the time spent alone as well as finding ways to reach out through digital means and stay connected with other people in creative ways.

For the moment, we’re curating content from the best of the web and we’re also exploring working with artists to make our own. So, watch this space…

Have a look at our suggestions below (this is a living page and will be regularly updated, so keep checking back) and if you have any ideas for this blog that you think other people would like, please send them to Marian, our  impromptu Digital Curator at marian@madeincorby.co.uk

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#CreativeQuarantine #CultureIsDigital #StayConnected

What can I do?

Watch a show

There are fantastic archives and live streams online just waiting to be discovered, so why not check them out?

  1. Want to de-stress? The joyful Wind in the Willows the Musical recorded live at the London Palladium in 2017 is available to stream online for free – get comfy on the sofa and enjoy!
  2. Attend the Social Distancing Festival from your easy chair – find live performances happening all over the world, including music, theatre, poetry, storytelling, comedy, opera and more.
  3. Glastonbury may be postponed until next year, but you can catch up with some great festival performances from 2019 and fantastic Music documentaries on BBC iPlayer.
  4. Royal & Derngate’s brand new digital musical (for grown-ups) #ZoologicalSociety  is now live. A concept album has been released that you can stream now for FREE on Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon Music.
  5. The Royal Opera House has launched a programme of free online content for the culturally curious at home, offering a schedule of free broadcasts and live content starting on 27th March.
  6. Enjoy world-class theatre online every Thursday. Watch popular recordings of National Theatre Live productions, free to stream on YouTube for seven days.
  7. World-renowned performers, Cirque du Soleil are providing a much-needed distraction to your screens!  On their website you’ll find spectacular shows, behind-the-scenes videos. virtual reality experiences and more!

Listen to a story

If you’re tired of the news, enjoy the ultimate escapism of listening to a book. Just close your eyes and imagine you’re elsewhere…watching the story unfold in your imagination.

  1. Escape into a book. Read an eBook or listen to an eAudiobook available FREE from BorrowBox for any device – just activate with your existing library membership!
  2. To help parents entertain their children during school closures,  Audible has made hundreds of audiobooks free to listen to…many of which are literary classics that will appeal to adults and children alike.
  3. Fancy Elevenses? At 11am every day David Walliams is releasing a free children’s audio story every day for a month – relax and enjoy!
  4. Looking for something unique? Do you have an interest in digital stories, electronic literature or digital art? Then have a look around the Digital Fiction Curios archive to experience something immersive and unique.

Explore the world

Explore arts, culture and heritage from all around the world, from it’s beginnings in prehistoric and ancient civilisations right up to the present day with museum and gallery tours and online collections.

  1. If you’ve never been to the British Museum, now’s your chance to explore one of the earliest and most extensive online museum search platforms in the world with more than 4 million artefacts at your fingertips! You can also take fantastic a 360 tour on Google Arts & Culture – who knows, maybe you’ll even plan a visit sometime?
  2. Paris may be on lockdown but the Louvre‘s renowned art collections are available to browse as well as a 360 tour to enjoy some of the world’s most famous artworks, such as Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa.
  3. Ever been to the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao? You won’t be disappointed as they have amazing collections of modern and contemporary art. And check it out on Google Arts & Culture tour for insights into its abstract arhitecture, which is just as exquisite as the art inside!
  4. Find out what Northamptonshire is famous for making at Northamptonshire Boot and Shoe Museum website where you can explore 900 years of shoemaking heritage.
  5. Interested in arts, heritage and health? The Wellcome Collection in London is a free museum and library which has a fantastic collection of artefacts, books, photographs, stories and artworks relating to health and life.

Keep your brain active with making, creating and learning

If you’re not able to attend your usual groups or the children are home from school, try these activities to get your brain in gear.

  1. Sign up to 64 Million Artists’ Create to Connect challenge starting on 23rd March – you can do it with friends, family, in school or community groups, or with workmates working from home.  Take whichever challenges you like – please take a snap share them with us afterwards!
  2. Find lots of fantastic step-by-step craft tutorials at Crafts Council Craft Club – why not set up an online club with your friends? You can also find Craft Club ideas on Pinterest and YouTube or read Crafts magazines from their archives.
  3. Age 6 – 15 years old? Then you can earn yourself a Blue Peter badge to gain FREE entry into loads of great UK attractions! You can earn a blue badge by sending in a story, craft make, picture or poem. Or why not apply for a special music badge! Even if you don’t have a musical instrument at home you can use the Bring the Noise interactive tool!
  4.  With so many students and others being stuck at home for the next few weeks, animator Aaron Blaise is offering his Fundamentals of Animation course completely FREE!
  5. Write and illustrate your own book with Book Creator! Write a story, create a comic adventure, pen an anthology of poetry or make a journal of your time at home to show your teacher when you get back to school. You can even record your own voice and sound effects.
  6. Find out about the art of Animation with the creators of Wallace and Gromit, Aardman Animations – and for lots more fun Aardman content, see their YouTube channel.
  7. Visit the Scouts website for some great make and do activities to keep the children occupied during your time at home – these challenges can even count towards Beaver, Cub or Scout Activity Badges!  Share your creations using #TheGreatIndoors hashtag.
  8. Join Turner Prize winning artist Grayson Perry at his Art Club, which is launching soon on Channel 4. You’ll be able to watch along at home and get inspiration for creative activities to do in your household during lockdown.

Join a local group or connect with local artists

Enjoy the work of local artists remotely, or take part in some online taster sessions – you might like it enough to go in real life once lockdown is lifted!

  1. Think you can’t draw? Then this drawing workshop is for you! Courtesy of Jessica Harby, artist and Assistant Director of Fermynwoods Contemporary Art based in Thrapston.
  2. Join a local creative writing group usually based at Johnny’s Happy Place in Kettering and hosted online by Performance Poet Kezzabelle Ambler. Simply join the Weaving Words facebook group  and you’ll get session reminders and instructions of how to join their meetings on Zoom.
  3. Sing your heart out with Lisa Matthewman and the Big About Singing Corby Community Choir – they usually meet weekly in Corby but for now you can join them in a live session on facebook every Wednesday morning at 10am.
  4. If you’re self-isolating and can’t get out into nature, try grounding yourself by listening to a beautiful dawn chorus birdsong recorded in Glapthorn wood by local musician, instrument maker and wildlife recordist Nick Penny.
  5. Listen to local composer, producer, musician and songwriter Paul Kirkpatrick at his YouTube channel where you can find loads of original contemporary music videos by him and his band, Glitch Code.

Get moving, stay mindful and create joy

You might not be able to socialise as much as you’d like, but don’t let that stop you trying these feelgood activities. 

  1. Join the Lockdown Kitchen Disco on facebook every night at 6pm – just clear the space and bust some moves!
  2. The Sofa Singers is a free and weekly online singing event that brings people together from around the world to spark joy and human connection. Great for those who love a sing-song, are missing their usual choir group or people trying to boost respiratory health.
  3. Get outdoors for some fresh air and draw some inspiration from nature! As long as you maintain social distance it’s really good for you to get outdoors. Try doing a quick pencil sketch when you’re out for a walk in the countryside or in the garden. Children will love drawing on the paving slabs in your garden with coloured chalk if you want to stay home – have a look here for inspiration.
  4. Renowned illustrator Quentin Blake has a fun and free section on his website where you can find colouring-in activities as well as e-cards to brighten someone’s day, even if you can’t get out to the shops to buy them one!

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