Our work is about contact and connection. Building communities of care through creativity. In the first few weeks it felt like this was impossible as self-quarantining and then social distancing kept everyone apart.
In Ireland at least that’s still the case. Bea and I have been locked in the same flat for 7 weeks and counting. Over the weeks we’ve explored what this meant for the work that we do, and the business we’re in, especially the way we’ve set out to connect social and health using the tools of arts and entertainment. We are incredibly lucky to be stuck in the same rooms with someone to talk it over. We extended the conversation to people online. Then we decided the best way to think was to do something. So now we’re launching Dawn Chorus by working with several national agencies in Ireland from Bea’s kitchen table.
We realised that crisis makes institutions fluid. We’re not the only people wondering about the psycho-social needs of older adults, of the effectiveness of centralised care systems when faced with a virus, or the impact on mental health as lockdowns continue. So as we reached out across sectors we found people willing to work with us. To share what assets they have available at the moment in collaborative venture. Maybe it’s part of the culture of Ireland, or a benefit of a 5million population, or maybe it’s an affect of a Republic. Though none of those are quite right, and maybe now isn’t the time for analysis but for doing.
This is what we’re doing.
We’ve taken a project I began at Bealtaine Festival and adapted it, Covid creativity.
The basic premise is 1) Invite people to learn songs together 2) they choose their repertoire, rehearse together 3)They pick a local spot near water and sing as the sun comes up.
Its simple, all about connection, and self directed.
In Covid times we’ve adapted it to social lockdown. So tunes are being developed by creative agencies, shared by social and government agencies, and taken up by volunteers. Its crossing the health, wellbeing and social sector. To date Sing Ireland and The Royal Irish Academy of Music, together with ALONE, Healthy Ireland, Dublin City Culture Company and RTE are taking on parts of the puzzle. There is no budget. It’s snowballed from me started picking up the phone and writing emails.
What we’re focused on is the viral contagion of happiness. Positive mental health. There are endless studies articulating this, and a couple of millennia of music making that make the case much more articulately.
To see how the project evolves watch this space. Sure what else would you be doing in a crisis.
Although sleeping on the sofa bed is losing its attraction, and both of us had to cut out biscuits
- Posted by Bea the Beautiful
- On 30th April 2020
- 0 Comments