We are delighted to be supported by the The National Lottery and Arts Council England to bring Arts On Call to communities in Devon. Arts On Call connects some of our more isolated older people to their communities through inspiring, imaginative music and movement. This project was created to reach out to some of the people in Devon hardest hit by the pandemic: those at greatest risk of increased isolation, loneliness and poor mental health. We know that some of the older generation are not comfortable with digital communication and do not want to use screens to stay in touch, so the project activity offers other ways to connect and engage. So we are bringing pavements and windows alive with colour, music and movement!
Our artists are spreading the joy of Arts On Call by visiting care homes and sheltered housing, residential streets and individuals’ gardens and driveways. The activity takes place in a wide spread of locations across Torbay, South Hams, West Devon, North-West Devon and Exeter.
Some of the ways we are connecting are;
- Outdoor dance and music interactive performances : Co-ordinated visits to play music and dance on doorsteps (at a safe distance!) or through care home windows, led by our experienced community dance practitioners and musicians, in partnership with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. We are using our ‘on call’ service – inviting family, friends and neighbours (and so on) to contact us to request a pop-up event on their street or the doorstep of an older person who they know might be feeling lonely.
- Creative activities through the post. We are delighted to have collaborated with Dance Centred and their very successful Physical Postcards offer. (Find out more here)
- Dance on the radio! We have created 9 accessible, fun movement sessions to be broadcast across Devon, in partnership with Soundart Radio and community radio stations. Led by community dance artists and designed to be for everyone, whether sitting down in a care home lounge or standing in your kitchen! Our ‘library’ of these episodes are also available online (see below).
Here is our short film of the Arts on Call project created by the very talented Dan Martin. We are sure it will make you smile!
We are excited to be starting the third phase of our outdoor dance and music performances across Devon, and continue to bring colour and joy to people as we start to head into the colder months. We are visiting care homes, residential streets and individuals between October and December. If you know someone who would love a visit from our artists or a relative or friends in a care home you would like us to perform fo please get in touch. We are currently delivering the project in Northwest Devon, West Devon, South Hams and Torbay, between October and December.
We have released our 9 Arts On Call audio episodes! You can listen and join in with the guided movement whenever you like, just click the image below to go to our Sound Cloud playlist. Share them with friends and family to get them moving in their homes. Listen out for them on local radio stations across Devon throughout the summer too!
We have now finished our in-person delivery for Arts on Call, performing to care home and assisted living settings all over Devon as well as reaching individuals outside their homes, in streets and parks. Our ‘on call’ service allowed us to reach those who have been isolating and wanted an uplifting visit or gifted a visit from us by their friends and families! We are delighted to have made a difference and brought a smile to people’s faces during this difficult time.
“This afternoon’s session with Dance in Devon epitomised the power of Community Arts. A quality art experience; Rosies graceful dance was a joy to witness, a shared experience with a small group, accessibility and covid secure enjoyment of the art – these vulnerable people do not go to places putting on performances even where they are permitted.”
“what a treat!”
“The music, singing, dance and the warm smiles brought great joy to the home […] helped everyone believe that things can, and will, get better for these most vulnerable members of society. I certainly went home with a spring in my step and a smile, and real gratitude for the kindness of your members.”
In collaboration with Dance Centred we have distributed ‘Physical Postcards’ to 200 older individuals who’s lives have been seriously affected by the pandemic. The postcards were delivered as a pack of 12, offering creative movement challenges that are accessible and engaging for all. To read Live West’s press release about how the movement activities helped their residents, click here.
We also send packs to 18 Devon-based care homes for their care staff to use with their residents as movement and dance activity ideas.
Meet our wonderful community artists!
Lead Dance Artists: Rebecca Jeffery, Clare Parker and Rosie Perdikeas
Musicians: Hugh Nankivell, Matt Harrison and Dan Jeffery
Support Dance Practitioners: Maya Adams, Jennie Dodd and Martha Scholefield
If you would like to volunteer on this project, joining our artists delivering dance and music performances, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Find out more here. Please note, you may need to provide your own transport between locations and must adhere to current Covid-19 government guidance.
This project was initially supported by the Coronavirus Community Support Fund distributed by The National Lottery Community Fund. We are working in partnership with Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and Dance Centred for this project. We have also been funded by Arts Council England, The National Lottery, The Linbury Trust, and GreenHall Foundation.