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30th June 2020

On March 14th we took the heart-breaking decision to cancel an event we had been working towards for over 18 months. Back then, as UK cases of COVID-19 were beginning to rise, we sensed that change was coming but had no comprehension of the devastating effect it would have on the cultural sector.

Like so many other businesses and charities, over the last few months our entire delivery model has changed. We started with Made at Home, a 6-week programme of artist-led online video tutorials for people to follow at home. Local households joined us in a photo scavenger hunt, making story cubes and dancing around their living rooms. These resources are all still online.

Some activities have flourished during lockdown – the residents of Kingswood and Hazel Leys in Corby have been busy writing poetry for a book to be published in the autumn, Corby Community Arts have delivered creativity packs directly to the doors of local families, and homeless people in Wellingborough have been telling their own stories to a local writer. But we’ve had to start looking beyond lockdown and trying to predict what the rest of the year will hold.  

In planning our programme for the remainder of 2020, we’re keeping a few things in mind. Firstly, that the majority of people, both adults and children, will continue to spend much more time in their homes than usual. And that lots of people will continue to ‘shield’ for the foreseeable future and many more will feel uncertain about attending group activities. We’re also aware that whilst the range of cultural experiences currently available online is brilliant, not everyone has good access to the internet, and many will prefer offline experiences. 

So, we’ve settled on a mix of activities, some online and some physically delivered to households in both Corby and Wellingborough. The first of our cancelled events, the Time To… Takeover, will hopefully become an interactive online exhibition. The annual Fun Palace events normally run in libraries at the beginning of October will become an at home delivery service for families. And at some point, when the government says it’s ok and when local people are ready, we’ll re-start our workshop programme in community centres. There’s a long road to recovery ahead, but we’re going to do everything we can to help people continue to enjoy being creative. 

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Helen Willmott, Made with Many


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