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Creativity and Wellbeing Week 2020

Today marks the beginning of Creativity and Wellbeing Week 2020 (18th – 24th May) and of the festival of the same name. As participants in the festival we had planned to hold a full day of workshops, discussions and celebration at our Maxilla site. But due to Covid-19 all physical events, including ours, were cancelled, and the festival organisers asked all organisations and artists to share their contributions via their online platform. You can view our listing here.

Since 17th March 2020 our Programmes team have been working hard to adapt our public programme to new social distancing rules, whilst at the same time ensuring we continue to deliver as much creative activities as possible, while maintaining social distance, staying home and staying safe.

Our public programmes offer life long opportunities for all people to engage in creativity, and explore what art is and can be. Our projects are inclusive and welcoming spaces where people come together and build strong social networks, as well as develop creative skills and their individual art practices. The social element is essential to the work we develop and, faced with physical distancing restrictions, we have had to quickly evolve how we interact with, maintain and build relationships with our communities.

In response to this new situation we created #ACAVAathome, a new blog containing new digital content and news from our Creativity Clinic, Flourish, and Maxilla Men’s Shed programmes. You can see it here.

#ACAVAathome has been showcasing the following work from our various programmes:

  • Mindfulness exercises to help you focus before embarking on a creative activity. These were designed by regular Flourish Programme artist Ursula Kelly and illustrated by artist Millie Nice for our spring half term Flourish Programme, to help children find a sense of calm (but they work for anyone of any age!);
  • Flourish Programme worksheets, detailing an activity designed by a regular Flourish artist and carefully illustrated by Mille, bringing them to life for families to enjoy together. Try making Rubbish Pets with Heather Fiona Martin, Tiny Ocean Plants with Camilla Brendon and a Home in a Box with Ursula Kelly;
  • A collaborative animated film, ‘With the help of a Friend’ made remotely by local families under the guidance of animator Sophie Burrows.
  • Creativity Clinic team Emily Fuller and Felix Fuller-Kirely have been making video tutorials for adults to try. Join them to create a Picasso inspired collage or an Arcimboldo style vegetable portrait;
  • Also for our Creativity Clinic audience are a series of ‘How to Guides’, created over the past two years by local North Kensington Community members in partnership with professional artists and graphic designer May Glen. So far we have uploaded guides to lino printing, ink drawing, paper sculpture and comic book making. More will follow, so keep an eye out.

We have also been busy offline, keeping in touch with our most regular community members through weekly phone calls, staying connected, and making the most of our local networks to ensure everyone has access to the practical support they are entitled to, as well as creative activity to help maintain wellbeing. This includes:

  • Delivering planters made by Men’s Shed members to people wanting to grow plants, and connect with nature. Setting up our Maxilla Men's Shed project (a partnership with NHS WLCCG and Westminster and Kensington and Chelsea Bi-borough Public Health) as a referral agency for statutory, and, third and voluntary sector support.
  • Donating PPE from Maxilla Men’s Shed to local voluntary and NHS services.
  • Fortnightly artist advice by telephone for members of our Artspace Link peer mental health group.
  • Plans to open up the Maxilla Forest School to individual Flourish families without access to their own private outdoor space.

Our work continues to develop and evolve, with a number of funding applications pending we hope to bring you more quality content generated by paid, professional artists; supporting the creative sector and supporting communities health and wellbeing through creativity.

Hoping you are keeping heatlhy and safe, we wish you all a good Creativity and Wellbeing Week!

 


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Maxilla Men's Shed: spoon carving workshop

 


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