We are delighted to be supported by the Coronavirus Community Support Fund 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. We are bringing pavements and windows alive with colour, music and movement and we want to reach out to some of the people in Devon who are hardest hit by the pandemic: those at greatest risk of increased isolation, loneliness and poor mental health. We know that some people 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. Yes… It’s happening in real life!
We are looking for streets, care homes and sheltered housing to work with to keep spreading the joy of Arts On Call. The activity is taking place in Torbay, South Hams, South Brent, North Devon and Exeter.
Some of the ways we are connecting are;
- Doorstep dance and music: 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 trialing an ‘on call’ service – inviting grandchildren, 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 be collaborating with Dance Centred and their very successful Physical Postcards offer. (Find out more here)
- Dance on the radio! We are creating 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 episode will also be available online
We have just 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!
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 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: Rebecca Jeffery, Clare Parker, Rosie Perdikeas and Hugh Nankivell!
If you would like to volunteer on this project, joining our artists delivering dance and music on doorsteps, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note, due to Covid-19 regulations you will need to provide your own transport between locations and adhere to current government guidance.
This project has been 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.