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Culture and the Arts in Times of Isolation

Nearly always when gatherings and get-togethers are temporarily put on hold, entertainment and the arts are the things that we all miss the most. As important parts of our lives, they bring us together in a way that few things can.

That wonderful feeling of gathering together to watch a film, a performance or to experience something with others who share the same passions might be something we all miss terribly at the moment, but if you know where to look, you just might find some things that fill that need until such a time comes when we can all meet again.

Across the county, across the nation and all across the world, people are still sharing their creativity, performing, showcasing, teaching and ultimately; inspiring us all. Hertfordshire is still very much celebrating 2020 as its year of culture and InspireAll are still very much involved!

With that firmly in mind, here are just a few ideas to satisfy our cultural thirst for the arts!

Take in a show, from the comfort of your sofa

Whatever your taste and whatever the genre, there is a wide range of performances to enjoy online by a multitude of actors, dancers, fitness gurus and broadcasters. We can’t travel to enjoy them right now but we can certainly do so from the comfort of home, here are some of the best:

  • The National Theatre is releasing new performances every Thursday evening
  • For lovers of Ballet and Opera, The Royal Opera House is streaming performances each Friday
  • Andrew Lloyd Webber is releasing shows as part of his “Show Must Go On” musical theatre catalogue every Friday evening
  • The Royal Albert Hall has launched a special “Stay at home” series showcasing the best of world classical music
  • The iconic Cirque de Soleil is offering an escape from everyday life in their own incredible style with performances broadcast weekly
  • The Royal Shakespeare have thrown open their doors, sharing everything, from live shows, learning activities and things to keep you and your children entertained
  • If dancing is your thing, former Strictly professional Oti Mabuse is sharing her tips and techniques over on her YouTube channel
  • The Body Coach himself, Joe Wicks is busy taking classes and working out with the nation over on his YouTube channel

Explore the natural world

Of course, as things stand we are able to enjoy the outdoors for a short time every day and many of us are heading for local open spaces for exercise, fresh air and the sights and sounds of nature. It is important to remember these places should be within walking distance of your home and the ParksHerts website offers all the tools you need to find those places and enjoy them safely.

For those of us who yearn for more The Wildlife Trust has a range of live camera capturing the very best of British wildlife 24/7. Chester Zoo and Knowsley Safari Park are both giving us a taste of the natural world beyond the British Isles with daily virtual tours and even home school safaris!

Our very own Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust will be sharing wildlife activities, educational resources, arts and craft ideas and much more for both adults and children young people, setting weekly creative challenges for artists of all ages and encouraging participants to share their creations. They are also making back-issues of their members’ magazine, Wildlife Matters, available to download for everyone for free.

Information for book lovers

Hertfordshire Libraries are still very much a part of the local community with a wealth of E-reading material such as books, local newspapers and magazines available online. Their BorrowBox app allows you to enjoy them all for free by simply logging in with your library card number and PIN.

For little ones who enjoy their daily Rhyme Times, the great news is they are still happening with details for your local library on the Hertfordshire Libraries Facebook page.

Culture means a wealth of different things to different people especially during difficult times when we need it the most. Keeping your creative spark alive is great for your wellbeing and for connecting with others at times when you might feel isolated.

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