Since our building closed in March this year, our team have been working hard behind the scenes to maintain our work with young people and communities.
Our Performance Academy sessions became virtual as each week, our participants were sent activities, routines and sing-a-longs via e-newsletters to keep them active and engaged during lock down. Similarly, our Chime participants (a music making project for learning disabled young people), met weekly over video-call to catch up, sing and play their instruments together. Thanks to the support from Arts Council England, Creative Minds and Paul Hamlyn Foundation, we have now been able to reopen our building to these sessions so participants can now enjoy performing in person once again.
The pandemic has had devastating effects on the arts industry, but we’re proud to have been able to continue this life-enhancing work with our young people. Despite the challenges we have faced, all the safety measures are in place and although we have had to reduce capacity and adapt the content we can deliver in these sessions, our tutors and participants are thrilled to get back to doing what they love.
After quickly moving to online programmes in March we carefully monitored numbers and ran a phone and online consultation in May to find out what was working and what was needed and then we adapted our plans with this in mind. We run informal plenaries at the end of each session with participants and respond to their thoughts and ideas too.
We have found more innovative ways to work with our Chime group using instruments more than singing and have found this really beneficial to the groups confidence and creative practice. We hope to be able to keep a blended element to the sessions (i.e person to person and online) when it is helpful to broaden access.
Communications & Programme Manager
Theatre Royal Wakefield