Across the UK, arts organisations, museums and theatres are unveiling innovative digital plans to ensure culture and creativity is accessible for all Image by Edward Samuel AdobeStock_65494946

​Online range includes theatre, dance, opera, literature, museums and fine arts

Arts and cultural organisations have launched a range of digital initiatives to ensure national collections and performances can be enjoyed by everyone following the latest guidance from public health experts to stay at home.

The range of online opportunities spans theatre, dance, opera, literature, museums and fine arts. All can be accessed at the click of a button, from the homes of millions of people across the UK and the rest of the world.

Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, said:

“The UK’s cultural sector is one of our great global calling cards, and these new digital initiatives are ensuring they will continue to be enjoyed by people across the country and around the globe in these difficult times.

“Thanks to the innovation shown by our world class cultural institutions, we can continue to enjoy the fantastic work of UK artists as we all do our bit to stay at home, save lives and protect our incredible NHS.”

Offers include:

  • A number of Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS)-sponsored museums and galleries are offering virtual tours of their permanent displays
  • Under the hashtag, #ConnectedByArt, the Government Art Collection will be sharing images of artworks currently on display in government buildings around the world
  • Sadler’s Wells is sharing new content ​on its “Digital Stage”. This includes digital premieres of full-length dance performances, screendance – choreography designed for film – and new dance workshops ​that have been specially created for families with young children and the over 60s to take part in at home
  • The National Theatre’s “National Theatre At Home” makes a selection of much-loved National Theatre Live productions available on YouTube
  • City Arts in Nottingham has developed a free app which features artworks and artefacts from collections across the UK, including the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, The Lowry and the Pitt Rivers Museum. The app, available on Apple and Android devices, also has special features for users with dementia
  • The Royal Opera House is offering a free programme of curated online broadcasts, musical masterclasses and cultural insights. There are also free weekly ballet and opera productions streamed on demand via Facebook and YouTube
  • BFI Player is offering a 2 week free trial for everyone to enjoy the best classic and contemporary world cinema. There are curated selections from Parasite director Bong Joon-ho, Tilda Swinton and Mark Kermode, 1000’s of free archive films through Britain on Film and a specialBFI Flare at Home online festival from the 2020 edition, including filmmaker Q&A’s and Spotify playlists
  • The Southbank Centre’s new weekly “Culture Fix” shares literature, music and visual arts content with subscribers
  • Sage Gateshead is linking up with 25 concert halls as part of the European Concert Hall network to stream archive performances on social media every evening
  • From Monday 6 April, six rotating Shakespeare’s Globe productions will be available to watch for free on the theatre’s video-on-demand service, Globe Player. Featured films will be captioned to make sure they are as accessible as possible. The Globe Player will also host all 37 ‘Complete Walk’ short films for free
  • Projects have been developed to inspire creativity in the home. For example, 64 Million Artists have set up ‘Create to Connect’ with daily creative challenges to participate in and Fun Palaces have set up Tiny Revolutions of Connection, looking at how to use creativity to support those who are self-isolating both online and offline.

The Government said it will be supporting digital content offerings to increase over the coming weeks.

In addition, as part of BBC Arts’ Culture in Quarantine initiative the BBC and Arts Council England have created an artist fund that will commission and distribute around 25 new works by independent artists.

The Culture Diary is also compiling a list of online arts events which will be regularly updated during this period. You can view the full list here.