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NTU’s cultural strategic partners’ speedy responses to the call for isolation

Arts and culture are saving the day for many during lockdown. People are connecting, sharing, expressing and entertaining themselves through every art form – craft, visual arts, dance, theatre, poetry, performance, music, and more. Nottingham’s thriving arts and cultural scene is playing its part and making a whole host of resources available.

Nottingham Playhouse drawing club
Nottingham Playhouse Paintshop Drawing Club

Nottingham Trent University’s (NTU) strategic partners, Nottingham Castle, Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham Playhouse and Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature, are just four of the city’s fantastic organisations responding to the COVID-19 crisis creatively and generously.

Nottingham Castle

Nottingham Castle might be closed to visitors whilst it undergoes major refurbishment, but that isn’t stopping its team from sharing content online during the pandemic.

The Castle’s learning team has launched Heritage Hunters, a new series of online activity to join the young people of the city together through history and creativity. This week’s task is to build a castle, using whatever is to hand, and then share it on social media using the hashtag #NottmHeritageHunters.

Voices of Today is a project that will document local perspectives and experiences of activism, protest, rebellion and riot in the city, in past and present day. The Castle has launched a new YouTube channel inviting viewers to contribute creative ideas and responses. This is an opportunity to join in and potentially create new content for the Castle when it opens.

Read about the refurbishment of the Castle as it prepares to open in 2021. This site includes time-lapse films, introductions to the refurbished and new spaces and places within Castle grounds and some fascinating behind the scenes views of the construction and archaeology.

Nottingham Contemporary

Nottingham Contemporary is continuing to stimulate and entertain audiences whilst they stay at home.

The gallery is making great use of technology to present its most recent exhibitions virtually. Still Undead: Popular Culture in Britain Beyond the Bauhaus closed its doors in January but online visitors can take their time to wander through the galleries to learn about the impact of the Bauhaus over the last one hundred years.

One of the three exhibitions on site at the time the gallery needed to close was Itchin’ and Scratchin’ by Denzil Forrester. An informal conversation between Nottingham Contemporary’s Director, Sam Thorne and the artist was filmed with a live audience on 18 March and is available to see in its entirety. It provides a great insight into Forrester’s experiences and approach.

For children, Nottingham Contemporary has started a series of simple family activity resources. Currently there are ideas relating to Denzil Forrester paintings, and sculptures by Diane Simpson, both of which provide a great starting point to going on and finding out more about the exhibitions.

The gallery has also just released the latest issue of its online Journal. This open-access platform presents via text, video and audio, thinking on critical theory, artistic research, the curatorial, and visual cultures.

Nottingham Playhouse drawing club

Nottingham Playhouse

Nottingham Playhouse was quick off the mark sharing ideas and activities to occupy us during these weeks of social distancing.

Its first post revisited the glorious and celebratory Mass Bolero to mark the 30th anniversary of Nottingham’s Torvill and Dean’s Olympic triumph in Sarajevo. This short film features a host of Nottingham residents putting their heart and soul into representing the winning routine.

With the over 55s dance classes unable to continue in real time and space, Nottingham Playhouse has put a selection of tutorials online, available to anyone and everyone.

The Conductor Alex Patterson has created a video class to teach us how to sing Bring Me Sunshine, and the paint shop team has shared a video from the regular drawing club.

For just under three minutes of sublime entertainment take a look at Rebecca Trehearn’s award-winning performance in Sweet Charity of her rendition of If My Friends Could See Me Now.

Keep visiting the Digital Playhouse page over the coming weeks as they share more content.

Geoff Nicholson books
Geoff Nicholson books

Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature

Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature has been maintaining a lively Twitter feed, sharing activity from its peer organisations and highlighting a wide range of literature-themed information from a range of sources.

The online Stay-At-Home! Literary Festival is designed to celebrate writing and reading as tools to prevent loneliness, and champion connectivity and community amidst social distancing. It’s free and programmed from 27 March to 11 April 2020.

The Guardian recently wrote how book clubs are enduring and flourishing, with links to online clubs.

A conversation between author Geoff Nicholson and NTU’ s David Belbin that was due to take place at Five Leaves Bookshop has now been posted online with a rich selection of links and activities included. The City of Literature team are hoping they can continue their collaboration with the independent bookshop and NTU’s creative writing hub to present more conversations with authors in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, there is a series of blogs providing a wealth of information and a range of voices shedding plenty of light on their work, and on Nottingham’s thriving literary scene.

All of our strategic partners are using their social media platforms to promote their activities and those of their peer organisations. It’s not just these four organisations that are sharing content. ChalleNGe, Nottingham’s cultural education partnership, hosted here at NTU, has become a repository for ideas to occupy and entertain children and young people. Their website includes a vast array of activities from across the city.

NTU’s Curated & Created team are also keeping busy sharing creative content. Follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Published on 1 April 2020
  • Category: Business; Culture; Current students