Meet the five successful applicants to the Get Creative micro-commissions in England!

Following our call for micro-commissions, five projects will use up to £2,000 to bring people together remotely through creativity and reduce loneliness in the context of lockdown restrictions. 

This initiative was supported by DCMS and Arts Council England and delivered in partnership with Get Creative and Age of Creativity. It is part of our new Get Creative & Make a Difference campaign aiming to highlight those creative activities that have social connectedness at their heart. While it isn’t possible to come together physically to enjoy creative activities at the moment, we feel it is vital to offer means of connecting, sharing and creating with other people.

Autin Dance Theatre C.I.C

Elderly people in the West Midlands will have the chance to create a fun, light-hearted and accessible movement and wellbeing dance routine through open digital community sessions. Participants aged 55+ will be invited to share their experiences of the pandemic, individual anecdotes, creative exercises and co-create the moves and the steps of the ‘Post-Lockdown Dance’. All sessions will be BSL interpreted including closed captions.

We will provide Covid-safe socially distanced doorstep filming opportunities for those who lack the equipment, knowledge or confidence to film themselves.

You can find out more about Autin Dance Theatre via their website and by following their updates on social media @autindt.

Bristol Textile Quarter

In partnership with Changes Bristol Peer Support Mental Health Charity, Bristol Textile Quarter will run a series of Meet Make Mend Slow Stitch workshops. Participants will be able to connect and learn and share skills, regardless of ability. If people have no experience we help, and when people get stuck, we problem-solve. Meet Make Mend is the perfect platform for reaching out to all people feeling isolated and lonely at this time.

As we become more physically distanced from each other, sewing is a safeguard to isolation, a way to stay in touch with each other: hand and mind working in harmony to convey what lies in our hearts.

You can find out more about Bristol Textile Quarter via their website and by following their updates on Instagram @bristoltextilequarter.

Good Things Collective C.I.C.

Woman painting an advertising board in a workshop

Based in Morecambe, Lancashire, Good Things Collective will collaborate with  Eggcup to offer a mini programme of creative activities and conversations around food that seeks to build connection and a sense of cooperation and collectivity between members and organisations. 

Over a 3 week period, they will gather participants' artworks, recipes and ideas in a growing display web installed in the Eggcup window. The creative activities, recipes, tips and tricks will be brought together in a magazine-style community cookbook to celebrate our collective achievements and provide a lasting resource made available in print and online, whilst helping raise awareness of both Eggcup and GTC.

All of that does so much to brighten up the space and connect people with one another. They’re admiring pieces of art, and getting to say ‘my daughter did that’. Other times, they might be learning a new recipe. In time, we’ll also be able to create a cookbook, which we’ll be able to give to our members. That’ll be a particularly good channel of communication for those members who are maybe a little shy about speaking out in store or on the online groups.

You can find out more about Good Things C.I.C. via their website and by following their updates on social media @goodthingscic.

Little Angel Theatre

We know that our audiences are missing coming to the theatre and the joy of the shared experience. We want to offer elderly Islington residents a unique opportunity to create and share a puppet show with their family or grandchildren. 

This London-based creative group is aiming to support older people in association with Age UK Islington. They will run a short course with a small group (10-12 participants) via Zoom over three weeks. Participants will have the chance to learn how to create their own puppets and as a group create a short story. The final session will encourage everyone to invite and reconnect with their grandchildren or family to share the joy and outputs of their creativity. Participants will gain new skills, build their confidence and reduce feelings of loneliness.

You can find more details via Little Angel Theatre's website and by following their updates via Twitter (@littleatheatre), Facebook and Instagram (@littleangeltheatre).

Touchbase Care (Arts Health and Wellbeing Centre) Folkestone

How can we rise from the pandemic a more inclusive and less lonely society? Could we reinvent our failing high streets as centres from which to  grow thriving, inclusive communities? - ‘The People’s Report’

During a series of six online workshops with supporting music sessions, composer Anna Braithwaite and members of Touchbase Care will develop a collection of protest songs that tackle these questions and present a vision of an alternative future for Folkestone’s High Street. The participating group will feel connected through joint endeavour, sharing music together and co-creation of new songs helping them to feel less isolated.

You can find out more about Touchbase Care via their website and by following their updates on social media @touchabsecare.