Let’s Have a (Virtual) Tea Dance!

Our friends over at Britten Pears are running a virtual tea dance next week on Tuesday 8th December, and our Our Day Out participants are getting involved too! Usually they hold a tea dance every December at Snape Maltings, bringing together care homes, local community groups and dancing enthusiasts alike to enjoy music, dancing, tea and cake. Of course, like us and so many other organisations, they’ve had to adapt due to the pandemic and restrictions in place, so this year they’ll be holding the tea dance online!

We usually hold celebration gatherings ourselves as part of the Our Day Out programme, which bring participants from all of our different groups across Norfolk together to share in music and dance activities as a collective. Past celebrations events we’ve held include a Strictly Come Dancing-style extravaganza, a Big Sing, trips to Cley Nature Reserve, and a backstage tour of Rambert headquarters in London. Obviously this year, we haven’t been able to host these as we usually would, so we’re delighted to be taking part in Britten Pears’ Virtual Tea Dance this year.

The event will last 45 minutes, and includes a seven-piece big band, a presenter and professional dancers. There will be an opportunity for you to learn some dance moves and sing along. To make the event even more special, they suggest having a teacup and teaspoon at the ready to join in with some musical activity, and having some tea and cake to hand. You could even dress up! If you check out the trailer below, you may even spot some familiar faces, such as Laura and Sarah from Glass House Dance and opera singer Rob Gildon, who have both previously worked on the Our Day Out project!

Our Project Support Worker Sydney will be hosting a pre-tea dance Zoom session for our ODO and Operation: No Cold Shoulder participants at 1.30pm on Tuesday 8th, so if you want to join this then do get in touch with her here. You can find all the information about the tea dance here on the Snape Maltings website, including song-lyrics, bunting making instructions, and more!

We hope to see you there, tea cup in hand and ready to dance!

 

 

Creative Arts East are taking part in the Big Give Christmas Challenge this year – a match-funding campaign to raise £,2000 in individual giving. Every donation, no matter how small, will be DOUBLED by pledges we’ve already gathered. To give what you can, please visit creativeartseast.co.uk/christmaschallenge. The campaign is live from 12pm 1st December – 12pm 8th December.

Arts, Health & Wellbeing: How Our Day Out Makes a Difference

If you’ve been following our blog and other communication channels over the last few months, you’ll know that the way we deliver our flagship arts, health and wellbeing programme Our Day Out (dementia-inclusive creative workshops for all older people led by professional artists) has had to change dramatically since March, as organisations everywhere responded to the pandemic and subsequent government safety rules.

The remote Creative Wellbeing Packs we now offer, not just to our regular participants but to all older people in Norfolk and beyond, are going from strength to strength. With this in mind, and with 2020 coming to an end soon, we wanted to reflect on some of the key achievements of the Our Day Out programme over the last 3 years since the project began, and share some of the substantial successes it has achieved in terms of the links between arts, health and wellbeing.

Impact Report

In collaboration with our principle funder Spirit of 2012, we published an Impact Report containing the significant findings and analysis to come out of the project from 2016-2019. Take a look at some of the key statistics above, including our academically validated wellbeing data (more on this in the report, read it in full here).

 

Journal of Dementia Care

Since the beginning of Our Day Out we have worked with Dr Hannah Zeilig, who has provided us with invaluable academic insight and independent evaluation of the project, offered further analysis of our approach, and conducted interviews with participants. Dr Zeilig has also written about the project in her own research as well as in external publications. Her latest article appeared in the July/August 2020 edition of the Journal of Dementia Care, and focuses on Our Day Out’s particular mission in reaching people living with dementia living in rural communities.

 

Press and Publicity

Our Day Out has garnered increasing local press attention since the pandemic, and fed into national conversations about dementia, isolation, and the benefits of arts activity on health and wellbeing.

In April 2020, our Executive Director Natalie Jode appeared on BBC Radio Norfolk as part of their coverage on how local organisations have adapted their work in response to the pandemic. Natalie focused on how Our Day Out was responding, and also introduced the premiere of beautiful original song ‘A Day In With Our Day Out’ written by Mary Lovett and Kimberley Moore, two local musicians who had previously led workshops through the project and were the first artists to adapt their planned sessions into Creative Wellbeing Packs.

We also appeared on BBC Look East as part of their World Alzheimer’s Day coverage in September 2020. Their focus was on the profound impact that music can have on people living with dementia, and they interviewed one of our participants about her experience seeing her late husband respond to music during the later stages of his dementia.

 

Awards and Accolades

In 2019, we entered Our Day Out into the Royal Society for Public Health Awards under the Arts and Health category. We were nominated alongside some other incredibly worthy programmes, and so when we named as the winners, we were absolutely overjoyed. To have our programme recognised on such a national scale, and celebrate alongside project partners was without a doubt one of the stand-out moments for the organisation in 2019. The prestigious kitemark reignited our determination to break into the social prescribing framework, and has started to help us do so. Read more about our win here.

We are also nominated for a Culture, Health and Wellbeing Alliance Award – the Collective Power Award, which was presented in conjunction with Ideas Alliance, and celebrates the power of collaboration between different sectors that helps make projects like ours a success. We achieved ‘Highly Commended’ status, and were one of the runners up for the award, which we were incredibly pleased with, considering the stiff competition from other fantastic projects.

 

What Does Our Day Out Look Like Now?

Since the start of the pandemic, we have been continuing delivery of Our Day Out remotely, through a carefully curated series of free Creative Wellbeing Packs, sent twice-monthly. Each pack is based on a theme in collaboration with a different professional artist and contains activities to encourage gentle physical movement, keep the mind busy, and other ways for recipients to feel creative and connected from home. We also offer opportunities for them to share their creations, keep in touch with us and access extra content through our private Facebook group, website blog and regular phone-calls. We’ve worked particularly hard lately to make the packs image-rich so that they are as accessible as possible, and we also provide accompanying materials such as audio CDs where needed. So far, the pack themes have included Jazz, Typography and Bollywood to name a few!

We are also thrilled to announce that thanks to new funding from Independent Age, we are now able to offer the Creative Wellbeing Packs free of charge to all older people, whether they have previously engaged in the in-person Our Day Out workshops or not. This offer is available for those living in Norfolk and beyond, and we’re so pleased that now we will be able to reach more older people who may benefit from creative engagement at home during this difficult time.

If you are or know an older person who might enjoy and benefit from receiving twice-monthly Creative Wellbeing Packs, or are a health and/or social care professional who wants to collaborate with us to refer people on to the programme, then please do get in touch. You can phone us on 01953 713390 or email lea@creativeartseast.co.uk for more information.

 

We’d like to take this opportunity to extend a message of thanks to all our funders, not just of the Our Day Out programme but of Creative Arts East as a whole and our other projects. Your patience, support and flexibility in working with us to trial new approaches to delivery where possible during this time has been invaluable.

 

 

Creative Arts East are taking part in the Big Give Christmas Challenge this year – a match-funding campaign to raise £,2000 in individual giving. Every donation, no matter how small, will be DOUBLED by pledges we’ve already gathered. To give what you can, please visit creativeartseast.co.uk/christmaschallenge. The campaign is live from 12pm 1st December – 12pm 8th December.

Typography and Print – Creative Wellbeing Packs!

Hello Everyone, it’s Lea. I hope you are all well and have been enjoying and staying cool enough under the hot sun we’ve had recently! This month, we are introduced to artist Donna Thompson who has created some amazing type and print making content for you to get your hands on!

Donna has made a video to show you how to use your ink stamp pad, and the various materials you can try to make all sorts of shapes and lines for your own artwork. Give it a watch for some inspiration, pop on some music and have a go!

Click here to view Donna’s Printmaking video

After seeing Donna’s pack, I went on my own mindful wander to try and look at things creatively and differently. I wanted to find things that looked like faces upon second glance, and it was surprisingly fun to do! Some are more abstract than others and here is what I found:

Watch this Pixar short film and you will  find faces everywhere! https://prettybird.co/us/talent/collaborators/saschka-unseld/work/the-blue-umbrella/

Our brilliant volunteer and trustee at Creative Arts East Liz has also created her illuminated letter and typography friend- aren’t they great! Did you know that during lockdown, an archeologist at Oxborough Hall recently found a rare 600-year-old illuminated manuscript under the floorboards of an attic room. The gold leaf and blue colour can still be seen on the illuminated initials too! You can read more about this here: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/oxburgh-hall/news/archaeologist-discovers-rare-items-under-the-floor-of-oxburgh-hall

 

And Donna has compiled a list of extra resources at the bottom of this blog if you looking for even more interesting information related to the packs!

As always, if you would like to share anything you have created using the packs with us, please email Sydney at sydney@creativeartseast.co.uk or even call us and we’d love to hear all about it!

If you are a member of the ‘Our Day Out’ groups, feel free to share any of your creations on our private Facebook page! If you need any help sharing, you can give us a call and we will try our best to walk through it together.

Do let us know if you have any friends, family, or  neighbours who you think would benefit from receiving a Creative Wellbeing Pack too. You can contact us by calling us on 01953 713390 or by emailing info@creativeartseast.co.uk 

 

Ta-ra for now,

Lea and the Creative Arts East Team x

 

Illuminated letters:

https://www.ancient.eu/Illuminated_Manuscripts/

A Brief History of Illuminated Manuscripts by the Getty Museum

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K0L0SZ4TB58

William Morris (black and white G was one of his designs)

https://www.vam.ac.uk/articles/william-morris-text

Typography Faces:

http://typeand.press/new-blog/2016/10/19/typographic-portraits-by-jan-vermandere

 

Wassily Kandinsky:

Watch Kandinsky painting

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bc83deRcKMoWhat

10 Amazing facts about Kandinsky

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AaviUsz2r9M

Art and Design BBC: Kandinsky’s ‘Schaukeln’

https://www.bbc.co.uk/teach/class-clips-video/art-and-design-ks2-kandinskys-schaukeln/zv7g7nb

What Does Colour Sound Like? Kandinsky and Music

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2xDnxkzQtdI&t=91s

Colour Theory by Kandinsky

https://www.mat.ucsb.edu/~g.legrady/academic/courses/12w259/Kandinsky_%20Color%20Theory.pdf

I spy with my little eye – A film about Kandinsky by Stefan Scheider (30 mins)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cf5FvgJ7Lhk

 

Music that inspired Wassily Kandinsky:

Schoenberg - Three Piano Pieces

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VeTFxbsVGrl

Wagner - Lohengrin: Prelude to Act I

Unleash Your Inner Poet – Creative Wellbeing Packs!

Hello there, It’s me again – Sydney! I hope that you all enjoyed getting your bodies moving and hips shaking with the help of our last creative wellbeing pack, lovingly inspired and co-created by Kay Wheatley. This month’s pack is all about creative writing and how we can use the world around us as inspiration for poems, stories and characters. Poppy Stevens (our creative writing expert) has created some truly wonderful poetry activities for you all to try in the comfort of your own home.

In previous wellbeing packs, the Creative Arts East ‘Our Day Out’ groups have responded to a couple of activities from Poppy, and sent us their poetic creations in the post. Poppy has then magically turned them into 2 beautiful poems for you all to read and see below! Sometimes I close my eyes and listen to the words, it helps me listen and visualise (give it a go!).

Click here to view the first collaborative poem called Window Frame

Click here to view the second collaborative poem called A Picture of Home

Here’s what Poppy has to say:

I have been so delighted by the response of the Our Day Out participants. All the poems I read were thoughtful, well written and creative. Having such a wide range of wonderful poems made my job; collating and editing them into a group poem, an absolute dream. 

When reading the poems for ‘Window Frame’ what stood out were the beautiful descriptions of nature mixed with the tedious days and a feeling of hope during lock down. All the poems brought together have captured, nature, tedium, appreciation and hope in a beautifully descriptive way.

The poem ‘A Picture of Home’ was an absolute joy to curate. Every object poem that I received was thoughtful, descriptive, creative and held its own as a verse. Each verse was a piece that all together created a whole picture of home. ‘A Picture of Home’ explores the meaning and importance of the objects that make up our homes, in an imaginative and creative way, thanks to all your wonderful words.

Thank you so much, I have loved collaborating with you. I hope you enjoy the packs and continue writing fantastic poetry.

If you’d like to try some more poetry activities, Poppy has some on her You tube channel – here is one below:

As always, if you receive our Creative Wellbeing Packs and would like to share any of your creativity with us, please email info@creativeartseast.co.uk or even call us- we are very open to hearing any poetry through the phone!

If you are a member of the ‘Our Day Out’ groups, feel free to share any of your creations on our private Facebook page! If you need any help sharing, you can give us a call and we will try our best to walk through it together.

Do let us know if you have any friends, family or neighbours who you think would benefit from receiving a Creative Wellbeing Pack too. You can contact us by calling us on 01953 713390 or by emailing info@creativeartseast.co.uk 

Ta-ra for now,

Sydney and the Creative Arts East Team x

A Taste of Egypt – Creative Wellbeing Packs!

Hello friends, it’s Sydney here! I hope you enjoyed your last Jazz themed Wellbeing pack. Al Southgate took us on a journey starting in the 1920’s and ended up in our homes, helping us to create drums! Next, we are looking at Egyptian Dance with the help of the wonderful Kay Wheatley.

Kay has helped us to fill the wellbeing packs with a whole host of Egyptian themed activities, including an Egyptian Recipe, a guide to make our own hip belts and some dance moves to try. Below is a bonus dance move for us to try, grab your hip belts…

Hip drop – Place your weight onto your left leg (don’t forget to hold onto a chair for support if you need and to tighten your core/tummy muscles to improve stability). Place the ball of your right foot close to your left so that your heel is lifted. Keep the heel lifted. Think about raising your right hip using internal muscles and then ‘drop’ the right hip down in a controlled fashion. Lift the right hip again and ‘drop’ it down. If you aren’t holding onto a chair, take your left arm up towards the ceiling with place your right arm on your hip. Try to repeat 16 right hips drops and then try the same on the left leg, repeat 16 left hip drops. One side will be easier than the other!

As always, we absolutely love seeing what you are getting up to, so if you have anything to share, like a picture of your hip belt or colouring, why not email them to me at sydney@creativeartseast.co.uk. or for Our Day Out groups,  post them on our Facebook page. If you need any help sharing, you can give us a call and we will try our best to walk through it together.

For now, here is a poem which I would like to share with you all. It is also a hint as to what will be the theme for the next pack..

My Object Poem –

A battered and well-loved cuddly cat. Orange and white.

Smells like home.

Quiet and calm childhood bedroom.

At Holidays and Hope Cove

Safety

Parents, family, childhood

Ta-ra for now,

Sydney and the Creative Arts East Team x

Let’s Get Jazzy – Creative Wellbeing Packs!

Hi everyone, it’s me, Sydney!

I hope you are well and staying positive. Our latest Wellbeing pack was themed around Jazz and all the wonderful things associated with it. We were introduced to our very talented and jazzy artist, Alan Southgate, who provided us with physical/vocal warmups, lyrics to ‘Fly me to the Moon’ and a guide on how to get jazzy at home by creating a drum using a washing up bowl and brushes! We also gave you the opportunity to do some drawing to music/colouring in, and we’d love to see some of your responses – you can see my attempt at the colouring sheet below! Please share them with us (you can find out how at the bottom of this page).

Alan has recorded some videos telling us more about jazz and how to be creative at home. You can find these on the Creative Arts East YouTube channel. I have popped Alan’s first video below for you…

If you want to access more of the videos Click here

It has been lovely hearing from you through our phone calls. It seems as though a lot of you are enjoying seeing the flowers bloom and birds nesting in your gardens, I have definitely been enjoying the lighter evenings – I even have blue tits nesting in the eaves of my house!

So, if you have anything to share, like your examples of drawing to music, you can email them to me at sydney@creativeartseast.co.uk.

If you are a member of the ‘Our Day Out’ groups, feel free to share any of your creations on our private Facebook page! If you need any help sharing, you can give us a call and we will try our best to walk through it together.

Do let us know if you have any friends, family or neighbours who you think would benefit from receiving a Creative Wellbeing Pack too. You can contact us by calling us on 01953 713390 or by emailing info@creativeartseast.co.uk 

Ta-ra for now,

Sydney and the Creative Arts East Team x