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Get Creative at Home

We asked Kelly Donaldson, Communications & Engagement Manager at Voluntary Arts Scotland, to tell us all about Get Creative at Home, a campaign that highlights cultural activity in local communities and encourages everyone to get creative!

An illustration of various objects you might use to get creative, such as a printer, a camera, a laptop, pencils, pens, a notebook, paints and brushes

What is Get Creative at Home, and how did it originate?

A coming together of the annual Voluntary Arts Festival and the BBC’s Get Creative weekend, the Get Creative Festival takes place over nine days each May, with opportunities for creative participation in all its forms. Due to the lockdown, the festival has been re-branded ‘Get Creative at Home’ and the website now has hundreds of fun, creative activities that people can do in their own homes at any point.

What exciting activities have you seen happening so far?

Organisations and artists across the UK and Ireland have been uploading activities to the website on a daily basis, with more added all the time. There are currently over 500 different ways to be creative – from photo challenges to dance videos, online pottery classes to sewing and knitting demos. You can paint fashion designs, make a paper mouse, write a poem, learn hip hop – from drama to digital, babies to adults, there’s something for every age and skill level.

Why should people get involved?

Because being able to express ourselves and be creative is one of the things that make us whole as human beings. The lockdown is challenging for all of us, for many different reasons, but not being able to take part in our usual activities, meet with others and have fun together is one of them. Many of the activities on the Get Creative at Home website invite you to share what you’ve made, so you can feel part of something bigger – or you can get together as a family/household and join in. It’s good for the mind and body – and a great distraction from the news!

What does creativity mean to you?

A chance to become completely absorbed in something and forget about everything else. Whether that’s singing with a choir (in real life or digitally), writing, dancing or drawing – I always find it leaves me feeling somehow changed. Imagination is a powerful thing, but sometimes we have to drown out the noise of work, domestic chores and other commitments to allow ourselves to hear it.

With the pivot to Get Creative at Home, how do people take part in activities if they don’t have materials?

Most of the activities on the Get Creative at Home website can be carried out with basic materials that most people already have at home – paper, pens, recycled objects, stones from the garden, old clothes, your phone – but often all you need is your body and mind!

What do you hope to see for engagement in participatory arts once lockdown ends?

A combination of more time (for some people at least), a need to occupy themselves or others, and missing the outside world has meant that many people are looking for a creative outlet. We hope that, once this is over, people will remember how much they enjoyed drawing, writing, dusting off a musical instrument, singing along to a virtual choir, taking photos with their phones – and maybe seek out a group to join nearby. If they do, Voluntary Arts’ ‘Creativity Map’ is one of the places to look and find one!

If there’s one thing you’d like people to remember about being creative, what would it be?

That instinctively it’s inside all of us. As babies we love to move our body to music, sing along, draw, paint, pretend and play. Somewhere along the line, the pressures of work and family, or being told we’re ‘no good’ at something squashes that out of us. But we don’t need to be ‘good’ at a particular activity to enjoy doing it – the process of creating is often the best part of the journey. It doesn’t matter where you arrive, it’s how you got there.

Find out more about Get Creative at Home:

Sign up to the Get Creative at Home newsletter

Get Creative at Home website

Get Creative at Home Twitter

This article was published on 19 May 2020