Eight Easy Ways to Support the Creative Arts (that Don’t All Require Donations)

Here are eight ways to prevent Covid-19 from triggering the final curtain call on our favourite galleries, theatres and creative enterprises. P.S. They don't all require you to make a donation…

It's all rather gloomy, isn't it? Throughout history, the arts have provided a constant respite during times of crisis, a touch of human connection when all hope is lost. That's a little tricky right now with us being in a national lockdown. In order to ensure that the coronavirus doesn't get the better of our beloved galleries, theatres and creative start-ups, it's more important than ever to offer support from afar. Here are eight ways to prevent Covid-19 from triggering the final curtain call on our favourite creative enterprises and cancelling . P.S. They don't all require you to make a donation…

Eight ways to easily support the arts from the comfort of your own home

Continue to embark on virtual tours

We might be well into autumn but we're still taking turns about the Royal Academy's Summer Exhibition - available both through their website and, in a slightly more exciting format, on WeTransfer. Stumped for inspiration? Try The Whitworth at Home, take a peek at Kettle Yard's Linderism exhibition and lose yourself among the bustles and petticoats of the Leeds City Museum's expertly digitalised exhibition on the birth of fast fashion. Clicking through a virtual walk-through might feel a little pointless, but these institutions rely on high visitor turnout, whether physical or digital, to stay afloat.

Take part in online workshops

There are few pastimes more therapeutic than getting your hands dirty with a new craft project. It's a crying shame that in-person workshops have been cancelled, but we're still getting our fix online. Earl of East, purveyors of London's finest scented candles, has shifted its candle-making classes online and pottery studio Kana London will be streaming its workshops throughout November, with participants able to fire their creations in the kiln at a later date. In both cases, you'll craft your own lovingly handmade gift. To get involved, you'll simply need to order some basic supplies from the respective websites.

Help build a new outdoor theatre in London

When the pandemic first reached London way back in March, Dalston's Arcola Theatre acted fast. In no time, it launched a plan to build an outdoor theatre that would be Covid-compliant and would allow performances to continue despite distancing measures. It's not quite there yet. If you're based in London and in a position to do so, consider donating to its fundraiser. And once you've done so, why not spice up the long evenings that lie ahead by livestreaming performances from the Bristol Old Vic, Manchester's Hope Mill Theatre or the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh.

Join a digital life-drawing class

If you were a real deft hand pre-lockdown but stopped sketching the second that distancing restrictions came into place, why not sign up to an online life-drawing class? There are countless classes available whatever your ability and no matter your location. We're tuning into classes with Bare and London Drawing, two budding community-led initiatives. Besides being a fantastic way to support local creatives (both of these enterprises are overseen by London-based artists), the practice is also incredibly calming - not to mention a welcome distraction from that substandard Netflix series you can't stop watching.

Donate to these theatre charities

Did you know that freelancers make up 71 per cent of the UK's theatre workforce? Help precarious theatre professionals in need by donating to one of these charities. Buy your Christmas gifts from Alofts - every item is made by hugely talented, out-of-work theatre professionals in the UK. You could also pick up a copy of Intermission, a pair of books featuring meditations from some of the UK's most renowned actors and directors on what happens when the stage falls silent - be that mid-speech, during an interval, or a pandemic (how novel). All proceeds from sales will go to Acting for Others, which provides financial and emotional support to theatre workers in times of need. Alternatively, check out Freelancers Make Theatre Work, Theatre Support Fund and the Fleabag Support Fund.

Like, follow and share tattoo artists’ work

While many visual artists can comfortably (and compliantly) work alone in a studio, tattoo artists have been hit hard by the social distancing restrictions. Rum brand, Sailor Jerry, has launched a campaign aimed at uplifting tattoo artists and studios. Every week, they're spotlighting a little-known tattooist and giving them $1,000 (£780) to help shoulder the burden of the pandemic. Know someone in need of a little boost? Slip into Sailor Jerry's DMs or drop the #SupportYourArtist hashtag beneath one of its posts to nominate them for the weekly prize draw.

Shake up your listening habits

Spotify? We're not mad about it. Instead, we're tuning into Bandcamp, an online platform where you can buy albums and merch from independent, unsigned musical artists. On the first Friday of every month, Bandcamp is waiving its portion of revenue so that artists get paid the full whack. They've been doing it for the past few months and have just announced that they'll continue to do so for the near future. Mark the dates in your diary and compile a wishlist ahead of time. Refer to this page if you're struggling to get your head around transatlantic time zones.

Sign up to local newsletters

While all of the above are quite top-line suggestions, to really make a difference on a grassroots level, we suggest seeking out nearby creative hubs and signing up to their newsletters so you can be kept abreast of local goings-on. We're fully committed followers of the Made by Tottenham newsletter and would encourage fellow Londoners to join us.

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