An online wellbeing choir, craft workshops and at-home circus skills are just some of the activities audiences can look forward to from Shetland Arts in the coming month.

With venues remaining shut during the lockdown, the coming weeks see regular wellbeing activities resume in a different way from usual.

  • Wellbeing Choir will move to Facebook Live on Tuesdays 14, 21 and 28 April from 7-7.30pm, via the Shetland Arts Facebook Page. Singers will be able to download the song sheets in advance on social media, and join in for free with tutor Suzanne Briggs.
  • Wellbeing Craft with Jane Cockayne will resume mid-April, with further dates and times to be announced. These free, ticketed sessions will happen via Zoom, and focus on the materials from around the house that participants can make use of.
  • Wellbeing Writing is also set to go ahead at the end of April, with Claire Davenport leading themed online tasks and peer-supported learning.

Since closings its venues four weeks ago, Shetland Arts has continued to deliver some strands of work by taking advantage of its experience in delivering online courses.

  • In April 4 local artists were successful in applications to Visual Arts and Crafts Makers Awards, funded by Creative Scotland, Shetland Islands Council and Shetland Arts. Linda Newington, Niela Nell, Tony Humbleyard and Liam Henderson have started work on their projects.
  • Storytime for under 5s takes place each Thursday on Mareel’s Facebook Page with staff and freelance artists, including readings from the Peerie Ooricks series with author Ann Marie Anderson.
  • Following the Fact To Fiction Creativity Club, a short story and drawing challenge is coming soon, where young people can submit tales and images inspired by the St Ninian’s Isle treasure.
  • Let’s Circus will virtually return to Shetland after their sold-out shows in 2019. The company will be sending postcards to the isles from their homes around the world, introducing ‘circus at home’ activities.

Creative learning and education projects have been going ahead too, despite the closures.

  • Last week, filmmaking students from UHI campuses across Scotland united together online for a virtual residential, with four full days of editing and video production led by Shetland Arts lecturers.
  • Shetland Youth Dance Company have been working together from home each Monday, learning a set of 12 exercises. A virtual sharing is currently being planned.
  • Shetland Youth Theatre Company has also been continuing their weekly sessions from home, exploring how personal objects can be used to create a sensory connection to a character.
  • Courses in the Creative Industries education programme delivered in partnership with Shetland College UHI are still continuing in the virtual learning environment, and recruitment for the 2020/21 academic year remains open.

Graeme Howell, Chief Executive of Shetland Arts said "Our thoughts are with those who are being directly affected by the current situation. We hope that, in a small way, these activities and sessions can help everyone unlock your creativity and filling your days.”

Up-to-date information in regards to Shetland Arts venues can be found on our homepage. The following courses are still being delivered, and Shetland Arts urge all current students to check in with their lecturers if they have not already done so - Skills for Work Creative Industries: Film and Sound, NC Creative Industries Film and Music, HNC Music, BA Film, BA Applied Music and MA Music and The Environment. Recruitment for the 20/21 academic year is also currently underway. Information and application forms can be found on the Shetland Arts and Shetland College UHI websites.