Voluntary Arts - restarting voluntary arts activity across all artforms
Restarting Voluntary Arts Activites
Invitation: Monday 7 September 2020, 2pm - 4pm
Following several months of restrictions due to the pandemic, some creative activities are permitted to resume as measures are eased. Voluntary Arts is inviting representatives from umbrella bodies and other networks involved in delivering participatory arts activities to join us for a special online discussion specifically looking at issues around restarting voluntary arts activity across all artforms in each of the five nations of the UK and Republic of Ireland. We are inviting civil servants from each of the five Governments and representatives from each of the five Arts Councils to take part.
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport recently published guidelines on performing arts in England, which presented a number of challenges for non-professional groups. Voluntary Arts responded to these, seeking urgent redrafting or updating of these guidelines to recognise the contribution of non-professional activities to the wellbeing - as well as economic activity - of communities. We are also actively engaging with the governments and other campaign groups in each nation to make a strong case for a safe and sensible approach to restarting creative activities.
Many organisers working in different art forms have been in touch with us to seek advice on how these kinds of guidelines might affect their activities, and others are seeking advice on how to safely restart activities that usually involve close contact with students or other participants.
We all know these are unprecedented, challenging times but we also know that the best way through this is by working together. What we want to achieve through this discussion is:
- to clarify the current situation for non-professional group creative activities in each of the nations and across different art forms
- to discuss any activities that have been overlooked in current government guidance and are still restricted purely because of oversight or loophole
- to identify ways in which those activities that are still deliberately restricted could be restarted safely and advocate for these changes collectively
- to discuss alternative models for activities in the most problematic areas (eg. singing, playing wind and brass instruments) to enable activities to restart safely (eg. outdoor activities, small group activities)
- to highlight the need to restart voluntary arts activities in order to support individual and community wellbeing, address loneliness and isolation, support the resilience of local economies, and much more.
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