great arts & cultural stuff to do at home

SPECIALLY SELECTED & COMMISSIONED FOR CHILDREN & YOUNG PEOPLE IN CARE

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In this section you'll find some links to other great arts & cultural stuff on offer, specially selected for you. We'll be updating it regularly, so keep coming back to find out what's new, or sign up here to be notified by email.

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INTERNET SAFETY

 

All of the linked content below has been checked for appropriateness, but please let us know if you see anything that concerns you. Note that YouTube films are often preceded by adverts, have public comments and contain other links.

We advise adult supervision of YouTube links and recommend that onward links and other online content from any external websites are not viewed, as these are out of our control and may contain inappropriate content.

We strongly recommend the Thinkuknow e-safety website for good advice on e-safety.

Warts and All Theatre are offering fully subsidised access to their online drama programme for young people. See theatre section below.

Breakdance Festival (8-10 May) - Sadlers Wells' fantastic annual hip-hop festival Breakin' Convention has moved online. Watch fabulous dancers here.

Picturing Lockdown - Historic England are asking for pictures, paintings or photos that people have created that 'picture lockdown' for them. Would you like to contribute? Click here.

64 Million Artists - daily creative challenges sent to you throughout May via email from the arts organisation. Free activity packs to download too. Click here to subscribe to daily creative challenges.

Time-limited opportunities

GENERAL

 
Creative at Home

Vanessa Rogers at AC Education has created some great creative activities to do at home, which they've published on YouTube. We'll be adding more each week, and start this week with Lockdown Lightbulbs

Soothing Arts Pack

Great bundle of arts activities, colouring and breathing techniques from BCAT (Birmingham Centre for Arts Therapies). Click here to download the pdf.

Foundling Museum art games - new game!

A group of Care Leavers have worked with the Foundling Museum to create a great group art games:

100 Brilliant ideas to spark creativity

From Coventry Education Partnership. Click on the image to download the PDF.

The Comeback

A powerful short film of spoken word, still and moving images from West Midlands Cultural Response Unit. See here how arts & culture will return to our cities after COVID-19 lock-down.

Corona book.JPG
Gruffalo illustrator creates a free book for children
explaining Coronavirus

A book for children designed and written by children's author Axel Scheffler to explain Coronavirus in an accessible way: Corona Book for Children click here (go to bottom of webpage to find the free downloadable book, or watch it on the short film clip)

Warwick Castle

Take a virtual tour and have a go at the history quizzes:

Warwick Castle Virtual Tour & Quizzes 

CMOM at home

A great range of creative activities to do and watch at home from the Children’s Museum of Manhattan: CMOM at home

My Lockdown Diary

New Zealand artist Stephen McCarthy has created this free 28-day lockdown diary for kids with a challenge/activity for each day. Click on the image to download.

DANCE

 
ACE Dance & Music Company

Based on the words 'confined' and 'passage' here is a fantastic dance film created by young new recruit dancers from ACE.

Stay at Home with SAMPAD

West Midlands based South Asian Performing Arts Dance company gives a captivating performance About the Elephant

2Faced Dance

A quick look behind the scenes with Herefordshire's dance company. Click here to view on YouTube.

JCB Digger & Dancers

Yes really - a dance film starring a JCB digger and 2 dancers by Motionhouse Dance in Warwickshire. Click here to watch on YouTube.

Spaghetti Dance

Corey Baker Dance Company have created a dance film under Birmingham's Spaghetti Junction. See the 2-minute YouTube film here.

Behind the scenes of The Australian Ballet

Click here to watch on YouTube

Physical Theatre - creating a chair duet

Click here to watch on YouTube

Ballet Class in Quarantine

Watch ballet dances do their daily class – but each in their own homes, all around the world.  Dancers from Birmingham Royal ballet take their usual daily class a la Corona style!

Ballet Class in Quarantine

Film clip from Dein Perry's Tap Dogs

An all male tap dancing cast tap and talk about the show.

Click here to watch.

Peter and the Wolf

A superb staging by The Royal Ballet and Royal Ballet School of Sergei Prokofiev's much-loved children's work for orchestra and narrator. Pure escapism!

Click here to watch on YouTube

 

MUSIC

Body Percussion

Fancy making your own body beat? Watch Olly from Beat Goes On on YouTube here and watch Olly on BBC's One Show here

Music with Dan

Musician Dan from Make Some Noise in Staffordshire gives this brilliant introduction to making music on a keyboard - and you don't even need a keyboard! Watch on YouTube:

Episode 1: Chords

Episode 2: Melodies

Episode 3: Song Structure

Episode 4: Harmony

Episode 5: How to Play in Any Key

Episode 6: Rhythm, Meter and Tempo

Enjoying Music with Dan and ready to try something more advanced? You might be interested in Make Some Noise's Players Academy - tutorials aimed at young people aged 11 and up with some knowledge of music. New clips added each week. Click here to find them on YouTube.

Trinity's Rock & Pop practice room

2 professional singers describe a range of songs and explain the challenges and opportunities with each.  An interesting listen for any budding singers. Click here 

Star Wars: how John Williams composes a theme

A look inside one of the greatest soundtracks of all time, in particular exploring the use of themes or ‘leitmotifs’ (short themes associated with a particular person, idea, or situation) to draw the viewer in to the action. Click here to watch on YouTube.

BBC Bitesize

Top tips on on singing as a performer.

The Voices Foundation virtual singing assembly

Energise your day with these brilliant 10-minute singing sessions from the Voices Foundation team.

Creating a rap

Click here to watch on BBC

Listen to the instruments in the orchestra

Great introduction for primary aged children. Click here to watch.

West Midlands Music

March was the West Midlands' Big Month of Music. Their YouTube channel features some clips of schools taking part in the Big Sing, plus you can join in with songs set by the Ex Cathedra Education Team (wearing pink t-shirts).

Click here to watch on YouTube

Starting on the guitar

Got a guitar in the house? This YouTube Kids beginners’ lesson by Andy Guitar gets you strumming along to songs within 15 minutes.

Click here to watch on YouTube

Berklee students create a virtual band & choir

Lots of musical groups have overcome Coronavirus isolation by creating virtual groups. This performance, by students of Boston Conservatory and Berklee College of Music, of What the World Needs Now is Love is one of the best, and is well worth a watch. Sing along!

Click here to watch

 

THEATRE

Backstage at musicals

Take a peek behind the scenes as a cast prepare for a performance of The Lion King: click here to watch on YouTube.

Watch actress Kay Murphy of smash hit musical ‘Matilda’ show you around the backstage secrets of the show including wigs, quick changes and dressing rooms. Click here to watch on YouTube.

VAMOS Theatre

Watch some great film clips from VAMOS Theatre Company in Worcester - specialists in mask theatre:

Top tips for actors using masks

See some of their show trailers

Free online drama activities with Warts and All Theatre

Coventry-based Warts and All Theatre are offering free access to their LINK digital programme for Care Experienced Children & Young People. This includes Young Actors, masterclasses and a well-being strand. Click here to see the range of activities on offer.

Please note: to access the programme for free please email us to request a promo code.

How angels fly

Watch this short film by the National Theatre on YouTube to see how you make a character fly in a theatre performance.

Sensory Stories

Frozen Light Theatre company creates exciting multi-sensory theatre for audiences with profound and multiple learning disabilities. Check out their free sensory story kits here, suitable for anyone who likes to live and feel a story.

 

And check out Sensorium Theatre Company’s Top Tips on making sensory stories

10 fabulous creative activities for teenage theatre makers

Download this free resource from Bubble Theatre.

Fun Easy Drama Games

A collection of beginner’s drama games to warm up imaginations and self confidence.

Click here to visit

How the Royal Shakespeare Company makes theatre

A fascinating and detailed behind-the-scenes look at how one of the world's best-loved theatre companies creates its shows.

Click here to watch

Warhorse

The puppeteers talk about how they play 'Joey' the horse in the stage show.

Click here to watch on YouTube

Rehearsing The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Watch actors and directors in rehearsal for the stage show.

Click here to watch on YouTube

 

VISUAL ART

Architecture at Home

Bake your own ornaments or make a pop-up building from a paper bag. More interesting and fun architecture and design activities all using things found at home: Click here

Natural Dyeing

How to create beautiful colourful results by using natural dyes. Watch this short film on YouTube which introduces the work of artist Sachio Yoshiko.

Tour the British Museum

One of the world's greatest museums, and you can have a look around it from your living room! Click here.

Anxiety tiles

Artist Sam Bakewell uses clay to create artworks. In this short film on YouTube at the V&A Museum in London he talks about how carving and creating ‘anxiety tiles’ helped him to manage his mental health.

Beautiful Carnival Costumes

See how they are made in Brazil here, and hear from a costume designer from the Notting Hill Carnival on YouTube here.

Create a story using collage & paint

Simple tips and demo from author and      illustrator Viviane Schwarz - click here for artist demo.

Had enough of Easter Eggs?

Take a look at these beautiful artistic eggs decorated by a range of artists.

Edible Art with Tate Liverpool

Make a piece of art work that is good enough to eat! 

Edible Art

Sewing

In case you would like to create pictures and patterns using sewing instead of painting.   If you have a needle, threads and some plain fabric you can use – have a go at these basic embroidery stitches.

Comic Book Artistry

Artist Wayne Nichols talks about his work.

Click here to watch on YouTube

Fashion Design

Design clothes using rako designs inspired by nature, with artist Letilia Mitchell

Click here to visit her stunning website.

Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery

Virtually tour BMAG, which owns the world's largest collection of Pre-Raphaelite paintings.

Click here for the Virtual Tour

 

LITERATURE

Stories by children for children

Read by actor Mark Rylance, from Bubble Theatre's Speech Bubbles Project. Click here to watch on YouTube.

The Paper Dolls

Listen to Andrea Sadler reading Julia Donaldson's book, and download a free activity pack. Click here

Poems by young people

Artslink featured artist Matt Windle has been delivering online poetry workshops, and has shared with us these fantastic poems by young people. You can read the poems in our Gallery.

The Book of Hopes

An online book to read - stories and poems all about 'hopes' from the Literacy Trust. Click here.

Soundtrack to a Story

Try this British Library activity to create your own soundtrack to a story using objects you can find at home.

Tales from different places

Listen to these animated tales from around the world on YouTube.

Ever mis-say words, or make up your own?

How about creating your own ‘Nonsense Dictionary’ and fill it with wonderful words that are weird and wonderful? British Library have a fun activity to help you create your own nonsense dictionary

Top writing tips from Joseph Coelho

Have a listen to Joseph’s tips to being a poet and download his free resources from here

Comic Books

Download free comic templates and challenges from brilliant cartoonist Neill Cameron

See also: Woodrow Phoenix guide to creating a comic strip.

Click here

Audiobooks for free

Free from Audible - click and listen.

Click here

Michael Morpurgo

Michael Morpurgo talks about being a writer.

Click here to watch on YouTube

The world of David Walliams

David is offering free audio downloads of his books at the moment: Elevenses

There's also a Free Fun Activities section, inspired by David's tales: Activities

 

DIGITAL

Studio Ghibli Museum

Some short films giving a glimpse into the beautiful interior of this museum in Japan. Click here (links to YouTube).

Film your neighbourhood

A chance to create a 3 min film about nature in your neighbourhood and submit it to Into Film. Click here.

Video Time Capsules

Watch these funny, poignant films by teenagers from Company 3 who are creating video time capsules to capture their time in lock-down. Click here to watch on YouTube.

Photography tips

Artist Emma Majury gives tips on photographing movement here.

Coronavirus Time Capsule

Bubble Young People's Theatre have created a Young Theatre Makers' Video Time Capsule.

Into Film

A choice of resources to give you insight into the world of film - including costume design templates and review writing dice!

Click here to visit their site

British Wildlife Photography

Stunning images to admire.

Click here

Fancy becoming an animator?

Have a look at this film to get some starting tips.

PERFORMANCES

 
Cirque du Soleil

Watch the awesome spectacle of the world's most famous circus company.

Click here to watch on YouTube

Pengiuns

Take a look at this online children's show 'Penguins' from Birmingham REP. Click here.

PLEASE BE CAREFUL!

Children & Young People: please make sure you stay physically safe when doing any of the activities, and check with an adult before starting, as Artslink can't accept liability for any damage to yourself or property!

Children & Young People and key adults: please be aware of the importance of e-safety.

We strongly recommend the Thinkuknow e-safety website.

Artslink is a programme by West Midlands Virtual Schools, co-funded by Arts Connect. It aims to ensure that

all children & young people in care are able to access high-quality arts & cultural experiences and activities.

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