Creativity in Quarantine

The arts bring us together, emotionally and physically. But these days, coming together physically is not something we can do right now. We are social distancing to save lives and flatten the curve of the Covid-19 pandemic. You’ve most likely received a flood of emails or notifications canceling events and gatherings, halting opportunities to witness others’ creativity through art, dance, theater, cooking, etc. It’s an extra bummer on top of everything else going on right now, but let’s look at the bright side.  

Thanks to the internet and social media, new creative opportunities are springing forth in response to the isolation many creatives are feeling now. These opportunities to learn and/or share artistic endeavors is a beautiful, global connector. Some museums are providing free virtual tours of their collections and we’re seeing more bands offering free online viewing parties of performances they had to cancel. It’s a wonderful solution to see. And I’m proud to see New Hampshire creatives are making awesome things happen too. 

Online Opportunities From NH

Here are just a few of the opportunities I’ve come across in the last week happening virtually. There are certainly more out there, so go explore. #ArtsConnectNH is being used a lot for creative connections. Also, If you are not finding what you want creatively, maybe connect with others and start something new!

Make Something

  • Sarah Koff Studio has been hosting a series of Makealong videos of teaching block printing at home. 

La la la

Soak In The Music

Make em’ Laugh

  • New Hampshire Theatre Project offers a teen comedy club where teen participants will explore writing and performing comedy, looking at the art of stand-up, sketch, joke formation, and physical skills that are designed to have audiences rolling around laughing. 

Theater in a New Way

  • Seacoast Rep has a live stream and Rep Radio station for family fun classes, dance works outs, Friday Night Livestreamed Cabarets, and more!  

Feature Spotlight: Shake a Tail Feather with NEO

Neoteric Dance Collaborative (NEO) is a multi-disciplinary dance company based in New Hampshire’s Seacoast region. They have performed shows, held collaborative events, and provided dance education throughout New England with a mission of creating opportunities for people to see, learn, and make dance happen. Neoteric’s founder, Sarah Duclos, is providing a creative and active outlet on Instagram. Her series “Wednesday Wake Up” is a virtual dance-along she hosts live on Neoteric’s Instagram.

Now that more people are staying home, cut off from creative events, it’s programs like this one that are critical to keeping us creative, moving, and happy. Sarah recognizes the importance of this, as she states:

While Wednesday Wake Up is something that I’ve been facilitating on Instagram for a long time now, that creative outlet has become so much more important as we socially isolate. At face value, bopping around in the living room to pop music may seem like a frivolous pastime, but right now it’s providing a virtual space for people to move their bodies, to connect, and to temporarily relieve the stress of what’s happening in our nation. It’s a bright moment of joy for the participants and for me as well.

I have danced along with a few her live streams and they were heaps of fun. Sarah’s joy beams through your phone as you stretch, dance, create movement, and ultimately learn a whole choreographed dance together. Though she performs them live, these videos are also available to watch after the fact. Follow Neoteric Dance Collaborative on their Instagram for some great times dancing.

Special Mentions 

These special mentions are not based in NH but they are immensely inspirational outlets that I highly recommend. 

  • hitRECord is an online collaborative media platform founded and owned by actor and director Joseph Gordon-Levitt. It is free to join and participate in and the content on this site is amazing. 
  • The Sketchbook Project is an independent Brooklyn-based company that organizes global, collaborative art projects. Aside from their physical sketchbook projects, they are currently hosting a 28 Day challenge of daily prompts for inspiration. 

Here is a tiny sketchbook I drew in from The Sketchbook Project in 2019.

What’s Important

Though the gravity of this pandemic situation is weighing on all of us in one way or another, finding happiness in a creative outlet, learning a new skill, or consuming a piece of art is what will keep us sane. It can also keep us connected, which we desperately need right now. 

Another need from our local art centers and organizations is for patrons to still show support. Some of these offerings I listed are free and some are not. If they are free, consider donating to the organization that is putting out great content. We need to have these places around still when we are out of the woods of this thing. Support the arts!

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