creative isolation

Covid-19 anD social isolation

As a mental health network focused on the power of bringing people together with social, cultural and community assets, Covid-19 has thrown us a unique challenge.  With more people socially and physically distancing themselves, we want to share some home-based, creative ways to support mental health during these unique and uncertain times. 

Please feel free to share other initiatives with us via Twitter on @NetworkMARCH or by email to Vas

Hoot from Home
HOOT from home is a free programme of online creative activities to help adults to look after their mental health and wellbeing. New activities are posted every week with live chats with artists and other users, and a gallery to upload and share your work. Activities include singing, music, visual arts & digital music. Open to residents of Kirklees.
The Great Big Art Exhibition
While the doors to our art galleries and museums are shut, let’s use our front windows, balconies, gardens and roofs to celebrate the creativity and resolve of the nation, as we continue through the COVID crisis.
Culture Fix
A fantastic repository of exciting digital content that cultural organisations around the world have produced and shared, all in one place. There are free activities and paid content, and there is an opportunity to support organisations with donations if you wish.
Isolation Art School
Keith Tyson Isolation Art School’ on Instagram has encouraged practitioners to offer tips and tutorials about making and to then post them on Instagram with the hashtag #isolationartschool.
Tyson’s team picks through the posts and reposts some on Isolation Art School’s own instagram account. You will need Instagram to access this content.
Picasso and Paper - Royal Academy
Experience our Picasso and Paper exhibition from your own home in this video tour of the galleries, created before the Royal Academy had to close its doors due to coronavirus.
Smiling Sessions
Under normal circumstances, The Smiling Sessions - Shapeshifter Productions’ popular participatory singing project - go into care homes and community centres for the elderly across deprived areas of London, and host sing-a-longs. They have created The Smiling Remotely Weekly Singalongs (with on-screen lyrics) with celebrities virtually “dropping in”.
Belgrade Theatre
Coventry's Belgrade Theatre has wonderful free content online, including a series of events on 'Lockdown Lessons' and events launched during Black History Month entitled 'Black Futures'
Live Music Now
MARCH Network partner Live Music Now have pulled together a brilliant bank of free pre-recorded live music videos to support and connect with people living in care and the hard-working and dedicated teams that look after them. The videos can be viewed on smart TVs, laptops, tablets or smartphones and feature some of the most talented early career musicians in the UK in a range of genres - join in or sit back and enjoy.
Edinburgh Art Festival
DIY Home Creative Kits - DIY Art is the Edinburgh Art Festival's new free series of activity packs specially designed by artists, inviting you to get creative at home. The instructional creativity kits give insight into an artist's practice, showing how you can use their processes and techniques to create your own unique artwork.
The Old Vic
A range of archive streams of celebrated plays from The Old Vic
Talking Heads
New versions of Alan Bennett's much-loved monologues, with performers including Sarah Lancashire, Martin Freeman, Kristin Scott-Thomas, Jodie Comer and Maxine Peake.
Arts and Minds uses the arts to help people living with mental health challenges. Their team has responded to the pandemic with a series of online events using creativity to support mental health.
This series of community events in London has moved online, with monthly Zoom events and a great catalogue of previous speakers on their YouTube channel.
Tenement Museum
The wonderful Tenement Museum in New York has organised a series of free events, talks and experiences. Their YouTube channel has a wealth of interesting events to engage with.
Southwark Playouse
The Southwark Playhouse has organised "Southwark Steakhouse" - a new online streaming service where they are sharing full-length shows and exclusive video content. All shows are free, so you can watch them whenever you want.
Molly Mahon Block Printing
Since the lockdown began, British printmaker Molly Mahon has been making some inspiring videos for block printing at home, using potatoes to carve her designs instead of her usual wooden blocks.
Glastonbury Festival
The BBC has just announced its broadcast plans for the weekend when this year’s Glastonbury Festival would have taken place (Thursday 25th to Monday 29th June), with a host of classic sets being made available across TV, radio and online. Please see below for the full lowdown on the BBC’s plans.
Rime of the Ancient Mariner
The Ancient Mariner Big Read is an inclusive, immersive work of audio and visual art from the 21st century that reflects the sweeping majesty and abiding influence of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s 18th century epic poem.
Mark Morris Dance Center
The Mark Morris Dance Group are hosting an online event premiering four short videodances by Mark Morris, choreographed and rehearsed for the first time entirely via Zoom videoconference. The free event will be streamed Thursday, May 28 at 7:30 pm ET.
Unprecedented: Real Time Theatre From a State of Isolation - Headlong and Century Films present a series of 12 digital plays, using digital conference technology, written by a diverse group of celebrated writers in response to the extraordinary circumstances imposed by the Coronavirus pandemic
Nothing Concerte Podcast
Join writer, actor, comedian and campaigner Stephen Fry in conversation with journalist Chris Gunness for a four-part series taking Beethoven’s Heiligenstadt Testament to spark conversations on music, art, mental health and the healing power of art.
Partners in Health
Join Academy Award-winning filmmaker Taika Waititi as he reads James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl, in full across 10 episodes, to raise money for Partners In Health
The world’s greatest flower show is going digital to bring you an exciting line-up of world-leading designers, plant experts and practical gardening advice – all from the comfort of your home
In these unprecedented times WoW is proud to present our reshaped, digital programme - WoWFest20: Lockdown. We recognise the value creative writing and literature, Community, connections, conversations and engagement with one another through arts and culture and creativity.
The Reader
The Reader at Home initiative will bring you wonderful reading materials, Shared Reading online and by phone and more.

Whether you’re a member of one of our groups, a volunteer or a partner organisation, they hope there is something for you. And if you’re new to The Reader, they hope to inspire you to get involved in the community.
Pavillion Dance
Fancy trying something new or returning to dance after a break? Whether you’ve had dance training or have no experience at all, PDSW have dance classes for everyone. From Mum and Baby Yoga to African Dance, get dancing from the comfort of your own home!
Wigmore Hall Virtual Concerts
Live Music returns to Wigmore Hall with 20 live lunchtime concerts in June at 1pm
Big Weekend UK 2020
Big Weekend 2020 is going ahead as planned (Friday 22 – Sunday 24 May 2020), but with a twist: it’s a virtual festival. Radio 1 and the world’s biggest artists will be joining you remotely while you stay at home.
The likes of Sam Smith and Jonas Brothers will be performing from their homes and maybe even home studios.
At Home with Penguin
At Home with Penguin is a chance for you to connect with some of our most loved authors in their kitchens, studies and living rooms. In these isolated circumstances, authors will invite you into their homes to share how they’re spending their time, talk about the books they are turning to, and take questions from readers. It’s a great chance to connect with great writers and fellow readers.
Migrateful Online Cooking Classes
As well as teaching you the best recipes from around the world, Migrateful classes help support migrants and refugees rebuild their lives. They have moved their wonderful cooking classes online during the pandemic.
Hay Festival Digital
The Hay Festival is going digital! One of the leading literary events in the world, Hay Festival Digital #Imaginetheworld will be free to view and runs 18–31 May 2020
BBC Four Art Lovers Guide
Art historians Dr Janina Ramirez and Alastair Sooke take us on three entertaining and revealing cultural city breaks - travel and get a dose of culture without leaving your sofa!
ICA Daily
A huge variety of online offerings, from film and video interviews, music, poetry and books. Chosen by ICA curators and friends, it changes daily
lockdown orchestra
Ever wanted to feel part of the BBC's orchestras and singers? Now's your chance. As part of a ten-day creative challenge we are asking the nation to dust off their instruments, warm up their vocal cords and join the newly formed BBC Lockdown Orchestra in a rendition of ‘You Got The Love’.
Heart n Soul
Heart n Soul is an award-winning arts charity that works with people with learning disabilities and autistic people. During lockdown, they have been developing accessible creative activities for people to do at home. They are sharing these with others, as they are great for everyone, not just Heart n Soul participants!
CALM Comedy Club
The CALM Comedy Club is a live streamed comedy series offering big laughs from big names direct to your Twitter feed.
Starting on 27 April, every day of the week at 3pm (BST), exclusively live streamed through our Twitter feed, they will be having an array of very funny people who’ll be providing 10 mins of laughs, where you can take shelter away from the news and these weird times we’re in.
The Lockdown Plays
The Lockdown Plays will feature either a brand new work or an existing piece contributed especially for the podcast each episode and will raise funds for St Mungo’s homeless charity. Caryl Churchill, Inua Ellams, Simon Stephens and Rachel De-lahay are just a few of the names who will be contributing plays for a new theatre podcast.
Armchair Gallery
Discover, play & create with your favourite artists. Including artworks and artefacts from the collections of Chatsworth House, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, The Lowry, Dulwich Picture Gallery, Pitt Rivers Museum, Mr Straw’s House & Newstead Abbey.

Colour a Canaletto, create your own Hepworth, take a selfie with Lowry and much, much more…
Big Book Weekend
A 3 day virtual book festival, bringing together the best of the British book festivals cancelled due to Covid-19, featuring the biggest names in books alongside unknown debut authors and rising talents.
Travel & Leisure
13 virtual train rides that you can experience from around the world
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MARCH Network
P:     020 3108 6282

The MARCH Network                                  

University College London

Torrington Place

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The MARCH Network is funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) as part of the 2018 Cross-Council Mental Health Plus call

Southwark Playouse

The Southwark Playhouse has organised "Southwark Steakhouse" - a new online streaming service where they are sharing full-length shows and exclusive video content. All shows are free, so you can watch them whenever you want.

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