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Industry responses to Covid-19

Adam Pepper - March 30, 2020

The arts provide an essential balm for our anxieties and frustrations. They cheer our mood, they help us understand the world and they bring us together in shared experiences. But Covid-19 is challenging us personally, professionally and pragmatically and at a time when we need them most, our beloved arts institutions and practitioners are unable to function as usual.

We are all concerned about financial and cultural losses in the industry in the short and medium term, but there are organisations and people rising to the challenge and developing new ways to deliver their mission.

Industry responses to Covid-19

We hope they’re rewarded with donations and memberships now, and boffo box office after this intermission. Let’s give them our support by spreading the word. Share your initiatives or those that have inspired you in the comments below, and we’ll add them to this blog article.

Circus

Cirque du Soleil‘s new digital hub, CirqueConnect, features original and exclusive content such as fitness workouts, how-to workshops and highlights from its catalogue of jaw-dropping shows.

Dance

The Bolshoi Theatre will be streaming performance of its most popular opera and ballet productions on its YouTube channel.

Sadler’s Wells Whilst their live stages are dark, Sadler’s Wells are presenting a Digital Stage programme of full-length dance performances online, as well as a series of dance workshops created for young children and over-60s to do at home.

Film

British Film Institute The BFI’s annual LGBTQI+ festival, BFI Flare, was scheduled to begin 18th March. At short notice, a staggering amount of content was able to be delivered online as BFI Flare at Home on BFI Player, and the closing-night party DJ set was broadcast on Spotify to house parties across the UK.

Museums

The Getty Museum tweeted a challenge to recreate your favourite work of art using three items from around your house, which deservedly went viral

MCN have curated The Ultimate Guide to Virtual Museum Resources, E-Learning and Online Collections that will keep you fascinated forever.

North Carolina Museum of Art (NCMA) has published a flickr album of images from their collection that can be used as a virtual background on your Zoom chats.

Music

The Actors Fund Broadway MD, cabaret and radio host Seth Rudetsky and playwright & producer James Wesley host the twice-daily interactive multi-platform Stars In The House benefit where Broadway stars perform from their homes to raise funds for the charity. Rosie O’Donnell also hosted a three and a half hour show online following a similar format, raising over $600,000 dollars. All are available on YouTube.

Feinstein’s/54 Below Affectionately known as Broadway’s Living Room, the NYC cabaret venue’s #54BelowAtHome series offers free screenings of one-time only concerts from their archive and previews of upcoming shows.

London Mozart Players are keeping the music alive with At Home with LMP, a daily stream of musical treats and live-broadcasts, as well as exclusive behind-the-scenes interviews and content for the whole family. From ‘Mozart Mondays’ to ‘Family Fridays’ & ‘Saturday Sessions’, expect contributions from their associated artists such as clarinettist Michael Collins and young stars Jess Gillam and Laura van der Heijden.

London Philharmonic Orchestra has launched LPOnline, featuring playlists and streamed concerts to keep us all connecting through music.

London Symphony Orchestra is Always Playing online with a programme of full-length concerts twice a week, artist interviews, playlists to keep you motivated at home, activities to keep young music fans busy and much much more.

Montreux Jazz Festival have made over 50 festival concerts available to stream for free for 30 days on Stingray Qello, including performances by Ray Charles, Wu-Tang Clan, Johnny Cash, Nina Simone, Marvin Gaye, Deep Purple, Carlos Santana, and more.

Music Klass is a series of free online music lessons for all ages from presenter, singer and pianist Myleene Klass on her Instagram and YouTube channels.

The Royal Scottish National Orchestra has launched a Friday Night Club bringing never-before-seen concert footage straight to your living room every week.

SFJAZZ regularly posts performances to their YouTube channel, and recently published a Work From Home Jazz Playlist.

The Wigmore Hall has an established online video library of past performances and events.

Opera

Garsington Opera is offering free streaming of The Bartered Bride and Le nozzle di Figaro in full in its Garsington Opera at Home series, and will be putting more short performances online, perhaps with an indoor picnic. You can also join their live streamed weekly MondayMotivation series for all ages where you can lift your spirits with a short opera workout from their Learning & Participation team.

The Metropolitan Opera is making a different presentation available for free on its website each day in its Nightly Opera Stream.

The Royal Opera House has created a schedule of free broadcasts and live content that audiences can access for free at any time, anywhere across the globe under the banner #OurHouseToYourHouse.

Theatre

ATG is extending the duration of TheatreCard memberships to reflect the period their theatres are closed, to ensure their members don’t lose any value.

Hampstead Theatre streamed its hit 2018 production I and You, starring Maisie Williams on Instagram’s IGTV for a limited period. They will also screen some of their past productions on their website. Read more here.

LW Theatres has curated a selection of content and activities (including a Musical Theatre Pub Quiz!) to Celebrate Theatre At Home.

Lyric Theatre has created a compelling, invigorating and urgent new work that speaks to where we are right now. New Speak: Re-Imagined is available to view for free from 24th April – 22nd May. Click here to find out more and watch the latest episode.

National Theatre is enabling everyone to enjoy world-class theatre online whilst they are closed with National Theatre at Home. Join them every Thursday for much-loved National Theatre Live productions, free to stream on YouTube for seven days.

The Old Vic Theatre is offering free access to a digital streaming of their new production of Endgame (starring Daniel Radcliffe and Alan Cumming) using the Digital Theatre platform, for all ticket holders who donate their ticket refund for a cancelled performance of that production.

Shakespeare’s Globe has launched a number of initiatives, including a new series Love in Isolation which will see artists share some of the greatest words ever written by Shakespeare from their places of solitude and sanctuary. They are also releasing six free Globe Player films, one on rotation every two weeks and all 34 productions from their 2012 Globe to Globe Festival, which welcomed artists from all over the globe to perform Shakespeare’s works in their own language on the Globe Theatre stage, will also be shared for free. In addition, all 37 films from The Complete Walk will also be available to watch, free, online.

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Adam Pepper

Adam’s expertise includes UI/UX design, Microsoft SQL and HTML. He's taught dance, designed and managed websites for actors, and volunteered for ten years for (and been a trustee of) a charity providing support to people living with HIV.

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