The importance of our local arts and events has been brought into sharp focus during the current pandemic, but while we are missing going out to enjoy the city’s culture, our home-grown artists, performers, writers and curators are providing new ways to bring their creativity to us in our own homes.
Next month was to be the start of the Brighton Festival and Brighton Fringe and both organisations have adapted quickly to bring us some events online.
This weekend families can take part in Brighton Festival and arts charity Same Sky’s ‘Children’s Parade at home.’
They are inviting every young person to celebrate their creativity and imagination, whether its dressing up on the doorstep or having a dance round the sitting room.
Brighton Fringe is now online and putting on a whole range of virtual events, from cabaret and variety to comedy and theatre.
Meanwhile our museums have introduced Close Look Collections where you can get up close to some of the objects in the collections.
A different one is posted every day and over the last week we’ve had a dormouse, crowds waiting to see the first aeroplane race in 1911 and a football crowd at the Goldstone taken around 1920.
I hope we’ll be able to continue this when the restrictions are lifted as it’s not only a great resource for residents but showcases what we’ve got to future visitors.
Museums staff have been using their skills to develop new content for people to enjoy on their website. Illustrator Katy Knapp usually works in visitor services and has created some family-friendly colouring and activity sheets. Read Katy’s blog.
Our libraries digital services are proving popular with an average of 1,000 viewers a day to the storytime session every morning at 10.15am Go to the Libraries Facebook page to view or catch up on previous ones.
Almost one in three people are reading more since the lockdown started. Digital users and ‘borrowing’ more than doubled in Brighton & Hove during April compared with February of this year!
We’re on course to have nearly 680 new digital members this month, and for nearly 2,500 digital items to have been borrowed or viewed.
Libraries have a vast range of eComics, eMagazines, eAudiobooks as well as eBooks to read. Visit our library webpages for more information.
Support the cultural sector
As the lockdown continues and we stay at home, we all need a bit of light relief and things to do to keep us happy and healthy. I hope you will take part in some of these activities and support our cultural sector during these difficult times.
Information and resources to support the cultural sector in Brighton & Hove can be found on the culture in our city website.
VisitBrighton is planning to host a virtual ‘Brighton & Hove’ themed weekend of events over the first May Bank Holiday weekend, 8-10 May 2020 by creating a listing on their site for each event as well as promoting across their social media channels and tourism connections.
If you are interested in taking part, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
Councillor Alan Robins
Chair of the Tourism, Equalities, Communities and Culture Committee